Sound — 10
The music on Contraband is great. It comes as a relief from all the punk rock music thats been clogging the air waves (not to say that all punk rock sucks). The Slash, Duff, and Matt combo is back baby! And they completely make up for bad lyrics. The solos are great just like any other Slash solo from GN'R/Snakepit/Etc. Dave Kushner also sounds excelent. The ballads are great but they don't quite match up to "Don't Cry" or "Patience" but hey, they're still awesome. Scott's voice isn't like the old rock and roll voices of past times and in turn, gives the album a more modern sound.
Lyrics — 6
The lyrics on the album is completely lame with the exception of a few songs such as Big Machine and others. However, like I said earlier, the music makes up for it. And let's face it, Scott is no Izzy Stradlin but he still has some good writing skills. His style of music and songwriting is just a little different. He's more abstract and it seems to me like he cares more about how the overall song sounds rather than if the lyrics makes sense to the audience. Also, it's important to note that Scott didn't write all the lyrics himself.
Overall Impression — 10
Finally I can listen to the radio again! I'm actually just 17 and I wasn't around during GN'R's hayday but when I started listening to them a few years ago, I was hooked to classic rock. All these years i chose only to listen to things that had to deal w/ GN'R and classic rock cuz most of the music today is more like noise with lame lyrics. Contraband is what many of us have been waiting for: a genuine rock album. I'm a huge Slash fan and this record is great. I think that the album sounds more like STP than it does Guns N' Roses but nothing will be like the original. Listen to this album and take it for what it is. Velvet Revolver is one of the best bands of the year so get out there and get this album. Also, listen to the ballads as they are the highlights of the album and try not to let the lyrics spoil it for you.