(Planet Me)
Monday, October 08, 2007
Libertad by Velvet Revolver
Reviewed here.

Three years on from the rather turgid "Contraband", Guns'N'Pilots seem to have kicked themselves up the backside and produced a classic rock album. Opening with the riproaring, blink and you'll miss it "Let It Roll" races at a suckerpunch pace - a roaring scream of guitars that pins you to the back wall by the scruff of the neck and never lets go.

Unlike "Contraband"s rushed -three-weeks-and-rehab vocals, "Libertad" stands up to scrutiny. The previous albums weak points, the rushed and nonsensical lyrics, the pedestrian vocal melodies that were added after the music was complete, are thankfully missing here. In "Libertad" Weiland works with the band to shape the songs. As a result this record doesn't sound like two different bands playing at once, but one cohesive hard rock outfit that is utterly contemporary. Not bad for grizzled rock veterans approaching their 25th anniversary in the Metal Wasteland.

Also, thankfully dispensed are the Jovi-lite dull ballads. Libertad pounds away like a jackhammer, propelled by an articulate and unstoppable musical fury. The one mis-step is a cover of ELO's "Can't Get It Out of My Head" - sadly a pedestrian lowpoint on the record.. Whilst comparison to GNR are unavoidable, VR are clearly now moving into their own arena and their own musical identity. In terms of musical progression, there's little new in the palette that wasn't there in 1987 back when "Appetite For Destruction" came out - whereas Axl's new look GNR tinker endlessly with "Chinese Democracy" (the songs of which have been heard are fascinating) - but VR have created a unique identity and moved forward to continue creating material and forging forward a new artistic vision. In comparison to the debut, "Libertad" is leap years ahead and significantly more interesting. Aside from the occasional lapse into Rock Cliché ("Gravedancer" and the ELO track), "Libertad" is a fine rock record and a record far better than any bunch of long-in-the-tooth forty something metallers should produce

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