(Best Buy Collector's Edition)
Make no mistake, I'm a Slash fan. The guy writes and plays music I like, and he has proven it in multiple bands. While I'm sure it's more the record company's decision than the band's, this is the third version of this release that I've purchased. There was the original, then the "deluxe" with two bonus tracks, and now the Best Buy Exclusive Collector's Edition with a bonus acoustic show and a live DVD. Seriously, is the industry hurting so bad that they have to fuck the hardcore fans into purchasing the same music three times? Apparently so.
I won't bother to review the main release, as it's reviewed here if you want to search and find it. It was a 92/100 if I remember right. It's truly terrific, and songs like "You're A Lie" and "Standing In The Sun" are as good as anything Slash has ever been a part of. I also won't really bother to review the LIVE FROM NYC DVD, other than to say that much like this year's earlier LIVE IN STOKE release, it's pretty kick ass and showcases the great chemistry between Slash and Myles Kennedy live. I will however review the eight song acoustic disc that comes with this. While certainly listenable, these songs really come off pretty tepid and boring; sad considering just how dynamic these guys are live. Vocalist Myles Kennedy is a chameleon in the live setting, but doing an acoustic live performance such as this where he doesn't have the power of the plugged in music really takes away from his vocal abilities. Songs like Velvet Revolver's "Fall To Pieces" feature one of the flattest and dull vocal performances ever recorded from Kennedy. The same can be said about the Guns N' Roses classic "Civil War", where Kennedy almost seems like he can't find the right pitch to sing in. He goes up and down in register on this song looking for the right fit, and seemingly never finding the right range to perform the song in acoustically. This is not to say it's all bad, as it's not. Kennedy shines on songs like "Back From Cali" and "Far And Away".
The other problem here is no one's fault, but at the same time plagues the release. Slash's distinctive sound is all but gone here thanks to the acoustic performance. For a guitarist who's every note electic is immediately recognized as Slash, hearing him reduced to little more than an average accompaniment for Kennedy on songs like "Beggars And Hangers On" really takes things backwards when listening to it. He sounds fine, but not distinctive in the least bit on songs like "Starlight" or "Not For Me". In short, the thought of purchasing new "Slash" is pretty much nullified by the acoustic dumbing down of the material.
PITRIFF RATING - 85/100 - As a whole, this Best Buy edition of APOCALYPTIC LOVE is very worth having. It has the great original release, two killer bonus tracks, and a great DVD and it's only $20. That said, the allure to purchasing this release again was the acoustic disc, and it's pretty boring. I can't say it's horrible, but if you are like me, already purchased this before and wanted this SOLELY for the acoustic tracks, then save your money, or go buy the ITunes session they did in 2010 for $5. It's far superior to this.