Sound — 2
In this album, you get an awful mix of GN'R and STP. There's a lot to talk about, so let's take this bit by bit. First, let's talk about Slash. Everyone seems to be in awe of Slash. And, given his background in GN'R, that's probably a deserved reverence. But on this album, quite frankly, he sounds terrible. First, and most noticably, is that every song on the album might as well be the same thing. If they have influences other than "pop metal," it isn't obvious to me. Slash's guitar tone is dreadful, dreadfully boring. Humbucker. Marshall stacks. Lots of noise. But very little actual control over how the guitar sounds in between. I was really disappointed with his work on this album, I have to say. It's just like, the songs are either loud or quiet, or full-on distortion, or not, when there are so many interesting areas in between. I got very bored with this guitar rock very quickly. Sometimes, simplicity can work. But this isn't so much simplicity as it appears to be a failure to consider interesting sounds. They have all sorts of processed effects (because those are cool or not), but the guitars themselves have nothing interesting to say by themselves. really quite a sad de-evolution. Scott Weiland really can sing. Go listen to Purple, or Tiny's Music From the Vatican Gift Shop, or Shangri-LA-DE-DA (STP's final release). It's just that for whatever reason, on this mistake of an album, he chose not to sing well. his voice sounds weak and thin. Following in the general theme of good musicians doing bad work, neither Matt Sorum or Duff McKagan do anything of note on either the drums or bass. It's your standard pop-hard-rock fare, with nothing really to say about it good or bad. It's just there. Yawn. Another point of contention I have is that the band often ends up sounding like GN'R trying badly to cover STP. STP wrote amazing songs in their day. Go listen to track 10, then listen to Sex Type Thing, and tell me that there's no ripping off going on here. It's a joke, really. And STP wrote great songs, it's just that most of them weren't on Core, the album that VR is most clearly trying to steal from. So, VR is really an STP cover band that's covering the worst STP material. I give this album a because it falls into the worst possible category an album can fall into, I simply don't care about it. It hurts me to give this rating to one of my favorite singers, Scott Weiland, but I really have to do it.
Lyrics — 2
Godawful. It's really shockingly bad. Ok, Scott Weiland was never a great lyricist, but he was never embarassingly awful. In fact, at times, with STP, he could be quite good. Not the case on this album. It's either drugs or marriage, and there's not a whole lot left to say about either topic if you ask me. It just gets old, and it gets old quickly.
Overall Impression — 2
I'm glad I didn't buy this album. I wouldn't, and I would never reccomend that anyone else do. Look, here's what you should do instead. Go listen to STP. Go listen to GN'R. Listen to them seperately. Then you'll hear two great bands doing their own thing, unburdened by some ridiculous supergroup experiment that takes the worst elements of them both and combines them into something awful. Please, stay away from VR.