Sahara EP Review

artist: Slash date: 03/31/2010 category: compact discs
Slash: Sahara EP
Released: Nov 11, 2009
Genre: Hard rock, J-Rock
Label: Universal Music
These were the first two songs that I'd heard from the album and I was definitely not disappointed.
 Sound: 9
 Lyrics: 9
 Overall Impression: 10
 Overall rating:
 8 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.3 
 Users rating:
 6.7 
 Votes:
 21 
review (1) 27 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.3
Sahara EP Reviewed by: Dalek300, on march 31, 2010
0 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: 01. Sahara (ft. Inaba Koshi): Immediately, we're hit with an awesome almost Axl Rose-esque voice shouting those powerful hey, hey, hey!'s. Brilliant way to start the song and we keep strong with some pretty great sounding vocals provided by Mr. Koshi and some equally cool guitar riffs from Slash whilst Josh Freese sets an nice and steady beat which carries the song through both the verse and chorus sections before a nice calming middle sections where the song becomes more melodic and before you know it Slash is breaking out into one of his signature guitar solos. What's great is just how Slash' the solo sounds. It's nice to hear that Slash hasn't lost any of his style over time. From the solo, we head back into the song's chorus and then into one last hey, hey, hey' section before the song comes to a close. Personally, I feel the song drags a little bit but that's probably because of the Japanese lyrics provided by Inaba. They may sound great but the inability to connect with what's being said is unfortunate. There's an English version that's been recorded but released separately from the original EP on iTunes, this review being for the version released in Japan during November 2009. Anyways, that being said, everything on this track sounds really good, reminding me of rock band Crush 40 somewhat despite the fact that an inability to relate to foreign spoken lyrics makes the vocals less memorable save for the awesome hey, hey, hey' hook. 8/10 02. Paradise City (ft. Cypress Hill and Fergie): Opening up with a simple but nice sounding 4/4 beat and a bass that quickly jumps in with some synth and the voice of Cypress Hill which I must say was unexpected. I can't say swapping Axl Rose's voice for that of a rapper was a suitable choice but the mix of genres shows Slash's versatility as an artist in my opinion. Either way, to me there is a certain Rage Against The Machine vibe that comes across on this track which isn't necessarily a bad thing because I really like Rage however some other Guns N Roses fans (also one as well) may be unhappy with this change. Just as we get to the end of the first verse, who do we hear? The Black Eyed Peas' lovely Miss Fergie who, for me, definitely makes this track for me. She has such a mean voice and made me think she definitely deserves a permanent place in a rock band. Anyways, the rest of the song should be familiar to those who've heard the original track, Slash's wonderful licks, a tremendously powerful chorus and another great Slash solo giving way into a calming and melodic interlude which jumps straight back into a verse and a final bout of choruses. No complaints about this song musically or lyrically because it's a cover of an original Guns N Roses classic. The only unsavoury thing is probably the inclusion of Cypress Hill's vocal work as it's a bad substitute for Axl's voice whereas Fergie is a brilliant inclusion on the track and really makes it shine for me. Overall, this is an awesome song and shows how Slash is still keeping up with the times. 9/10 // 9

Lyrics: Lyrics are quite a tricky thing to comment on for these songs mainly because, as said, the first song on the EP is in Japanese and the second song is a cover, using the lyrics from the original version. Looking into a rough English translation of Sahara's lyrics, they're quite good but don't sound quite like something I'd expect to be sung. I'll give the English version a listen later to see what it's like. Either way, the fact that Slash has teamed up with a Japanese band member and the lyrics are in Japanese, it further shows the diversity associated with Slash that I mentioned before. As for Paradise City, the lyrics haven't really been altered and remain unchanged so I can't really say anything about originality but either way, the song is a classic and I'm glad the lyrics remained the same as opposed to being changed for the cover. In terms of delivery, I think everything's spot on except for the inclusion of Cypress Hill replacing some of Axl Rose's vocals, but that's just my opinion. I feel Inaba's J-Rock/Crush 40 style voice suits Sahara extremely well urging me to listen to the English version to see if he can deliver the same performance. Fergie's performance is also top-notch. I never knew she could put forward such a well sounding voice to a rock song but now I know and I'm definitely glad I had a chance to hear it on this EP. So overall, great EP sound wise and definitely worth the listen. // 9

Overall Impression: When I originally heard that Slash was making his own album with many well known musicians I was extremely excited and optimistic for it. Not only was this an album made by one of my favourite guitar players but it was to feature some of my favourite musicians alongside him such as Dave Grohl, Duff McKagan, Travis Barker, Andrew Stockdale, M. Shadows etc. These were the first two songs that I'd heard from the album and I was definitely not disappointed. The artwork that has been revealed so far shows that visual side of the album has definitely been well planned and well executed. So all in all, things are coming together nicely for Mr. Slash. To anyone else, I'm sure doing such an album would be intimidating but it seems Slash is getting on quite comfortably with everything and I'm very pleased with the product so far. I am still a bit surprised that one of the songs is a re-recording of a Guns N Roses track but oh well. Slash can do as he pleases. The inclusion of these different musicians is definitely impressive and everything seems to be fitting into place for what should be an awesome album later this year, an album which I shall definitely purchase. // 10

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