Sound — 9
Libertad doesn't dissapoint in terms of sound, but, it isn't (in my opinion) as good an album as Contraband. I think the band work well together and seem able to bounce off each other. Slash certainly cut the mustard with guitar skills and Weiland sings well. The tracks from the album are as follows: 01. Let It Roll - is a perfect opener to start with. It sounds just like something you'd hear from the '80s during the glam rock era when bands like Motley Crue, Van Halen, and Poison reigned.Both Scott and Slash seem in their comfort zones here, especially with the Slash solo in this song. Though it be short, it's a good opener, and for once, Velvet Revolver sounds more like Velvet Revolver rather than GN'R with Scott Weiland. 02. She Mine - we go a little into a STP type song here with She Mine with lyrics like "I call it love insanity, I call it my reality". Still a good song though, although Slash's solo in this song is short. However, it still doesn't sound like GN'R w/ Scott still. It sounds more like STP with different members other than Scott. 03. Get Out The Door - nothing much to say here except this sounds like another '80s song, just more modern like Let It Roll, but this time it's the negative of Let It Roll. Kinda humorous when Scott says "Like Transformers girl, there's more than meets the eye", I must say. 04. She Builds Quick Machines - their first single from Libertad, She Builds Quick Machines, sounds more like the stuff that VR did in Contraband. But though it has a great Slash solo, the song reallys brings Libertad down. This sounds more like the sludge in Contraband with stupid lyrics that made no sense, like "Ice cold desert snow" and "I can feel it when you pull straight down, I can feel it when they stood their ground." Even the chorus makes no sense! Another problem with this is that it has a sort of how-now-brown-cow rhyme scheme in this song. Really this song is a filler and it really throws off the balance of the album. 05. The Last Fight - now we go to the first of 3 ballads in Libertad. The Last Fight makes a major progression from a ballad like Fall to Pieces. Instead of using hard, chugging riffs, it uses some backing vocals and has a mellow mood to it. A better song than that of SBQM. 06. Pills, Demons, & Etc. - you'd think this would be a darker song, but this is surprisingly up tempo, with a great Slash intro. This is one of the songs that was dedicated to the memory of Michael Weiland and Daniel Sorum. They died during the recording of this album from heroin, and this song talks of the demon drug that killed the brother. Again, it shows a musical progression from Contraband. 07. American Man - Scott takes some time to talk of the modern culture of today in American Man. Nothing much to say here, but an okay song. Kinda dull, but nothing noticiably crap about the song. 08. Mary Mary - it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who wrote the song or even who it's about. Again, this is one of those songs like that reminds of an '80s glam rock song. Shows a major progression again from Contraband, and this song really shows off Scott's vocal ability. Also, impressive drum opening from Matt. 09. Just Sixteen - this song is like Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher". This song is surprisingly up tempo, and again sounds like another 80s style glam rock song like I've pointed out, like I don't know, a lot? Anyways, this is a very good song, and this is one of the stand out songs that succeeds where Contraband fails and shows signs of a major musical progression. 10. Can't Get It Out Of My Head - the best ballad of I have ever heard from the band, it's even better than You Got No Right in Contraband. I must applaud Slash in this song, this is the best solo I have heard and some of his greatest work ever. Great song. 11. For A Brother - this is the other song dedicated to Michael Weiland & Daniel Sorum. But this seems more heartfelt this time around. Good song, nothing much more to say about this. 12. Spay - again, this is one of the songs that sounds all too familiar to a song from Contraband, Spay sounds more like Dirty Little Thing, but it aims more at the modern Hollywood starlets rather than just at one person with lyrics like "You would rather spite your face than change your life" and it takes a shot at the rappers of today with "The singer sings of diamond things and all excesses". A wonderful song. 13. Gravedancer - a wonderful ending to Libertad. Scott's voice is perfect for this song, and Slash has a great closing solo for this song. But I must say: the country song at the end of this song is kinda humorous. Gravedancer ends like Kitchen Ware & Candy Bars does for STP's Purple. And does anyone know the name of the country song at the end of Gravedancer? Anyways, Gravedancer is a perfect ender.
Lyrics — 8
Although I am not a fan of Scott Weiland his vocal skills are not too shabby to say the least. He blends gruff and smooth vocals well, creating the moods for each song almost perfectly. The first and last songs on the album, Let It Roll & Grave Dancer, are definately Weilands best performances as he get deep into the heart of both songs. Also Pills, Demons, & Etc and For A Brother deserve a mention as these songs are both dedicated to the memory of Michael Weiland & Daniel Sorum, so needless to say Weiland puts his heart into these as well.
Overall Impression — 8
Loaded rhythms, jaw-dropping guitar works, seasoned harmonies, but, I feel they just didn't cut it well enough to blend it into a superb album. I think we all need to realise that we are not going to see these guys create an album anywhere close to Appetite for destruction, and need to stop comparing Velvet revolver to GN'R. Libertad has a sense of aimless purpose, though certain bits were good, it's one of those album that you need time to warm up to. I would but the album again if lost/stolen, but, it is not in my favourites list.