While some may have predicted that egos would get the better of supergroup Velvet Revolver, former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Matt Sorum, onetime Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland and well-travelled guitarist Dave Kushner have made it to the five-year mark and a decent second album.
During its best moments, their 2004 debut 'Contraband' showed that it didn't matter if the wait for Guns n' Roses' 'Chinese Democracy' went on longer than forever - songs like 'Big Machine' and 'You Got No Right' were good substitutes and even better live.
Like its predecessor, 'Libertad' isn't the classic that this quintet have it in them to make, but anyone who grew up blasting certain records of the late 1980s and early 1990s may get a lump in the throat to go with the ringing in the ears.
With Weiland's vocals sounding smoother than on 'Contraband', and the choruses that bit poppier, the songs here often bring to mind his old outfit rather than Slash's. That, for some, will be Velvet Revolver's biggest failing; others will find a pointless ELO cover ('Can't Get It Out of My Head') and lyrical treats ("She ran away to Texas, to keep away the excess", "Yes I am the American Man", "Black boots, strong legs, got style") even harder to forgive.
They are at their best on the hardest-edged material like 'Spay' and 'Let It Roll'; if - hopefully - there is a next time, that's where they should focus all their energies.
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