Slash - "4" Review

Check out Jessica's review below




2010 was the year Slash and three other musicians got together to work on another project of his.

Little did they and the world know that Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators would still be at it twelve years later (stronger than ever even). The group struck audiences with album #4 (titled “4”) on February 11, 2022, in digital and physical formats (CD and vinyl).


MUSICAL STYLE THOUGHTS


Band members Slash, Myles Kennedy (vocals), Todd Kerns (bass), Brent Fitz (drums), and

Frank Sidoris (rhythm guitar) meld into a cohesive unit every time they get together to play, and that shows in “4”. (It is easy to tell that the band got together to record because the energy and the quality are there.) This is an album that kicks ass and takes names from the very first track “The River Is Rising”. Thundering drums and bass, shredding riffs, and powerful (whilst seemingly effortless) vocals bring listeners in for the ride in true Slash feat. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators fashion. “The River Is Rising” gives off Slash’s Snakepit energy, for sure.

The main compliment about this release that just about everyone writes because it is true (aside from Slash and his incredible riffs and solos) is this; Kennedy is a powerhouse vocalist. He has incredible range and expressiveness to make every single song his own. Kerns also offers a fullness to the tracks through his background vocals and harmonies with Kennedy. (Their voicescomplement each other well.) It is also nice to hear that all the instruments balance out well and do not overpower one another.


The album stays high-energy throughout most of the tracks, but there are some nice breaks in style that keep the listening experience interesting. There are blistering, GNR-like tunes you would hear on Sunset Strip in the late 80’s like “Call Off the Dogs”, but there also grunge and even boogie touches thrown in there for some variety (songs like “Spirit Love” and “Actions Speak Louder Than Words”, respectively). They also have the slower (though not necessarily ballad) songs thrown in there like “Fill My World” and “Fall Back to Earth”. It is a good overall mix.




LYRICAL/CONTENT THOUGHTS


Generally, the lyrics are straightforward and direct; however, this is not a bad thing at all. The words are written succinctly, but no imagery is lost. The listener can envision the story/message clearly as they hear the words like a part of the chorus for “Spirit Love” (“Here she comes, here she comes / My apparition of love / She's got me speaking in tongues / As we dance in the midnight sun”).

What is most appreciated on this album is the experimentation that went into the songwriting process, and the lyricism is included in that. “Fill My World” is the stand-out track for that experimentation as Kennedy stated that this song was written from his dog’s perspective during a storm. The idea was creative, and the words painted such a picture of desperation and sorrow that the poor pup must have felt being alone that day. (Some stand-out lines from this one would have to be “Did you get to where you're going / To the place you're meant to be? / Still I'm holding out that you'll return to me” and “I'm barely breathing / Because all I know / Is that I miss you so / What I'd give to know you'll fill my world again”.)


What is also cool is the fact that they tactfully wrote songs about relatable, and sometimes serious, encounters anyone can have in life with tact and attitude. “Actions Speak Louder Than Words” tackles the need for a change of behavior rather than just words of apology, which just about anyone can relate to. Yet they managed to get even more specific with tracks like "C'est La Vie";, “The Path Less Followed”, and “Fall Back to Earth”. “C’est La Vie” is about a domestic violence victim with the desire to break free, depicted beautifully with nicely poetic lines such as “Princes turn to monsters / When they lose their way you know / They kiss you in condolence / After only throwing stones”. “The Path Less Followed” and “Fall Back to Earth” hit home for entertainers especially as these are both about the struggle and losing yourself in your ego as someone tries to obtain fame and notoriety. These serve as nice little warnings tucked into a nice musical package.


OVERALL THOUGHTS


“4” is another fantastic release by Slash, Myles Kennedy, and The Conspirators. It is another solid release to add into their discography, and any fan of Slash would be wise to add this album to their digital or physical collection.

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