The Revolver Rock Machine Returns
One of the most eagerly awaited rock albums of the year is finally with us, and it's taken its time about it.
The debut from Velvet Revolver was out in 2004, and by their own admission, was more successful than the band anticipated. This lead to what was at times a fairly chaotic touring schedule, fueling rumours that all wasn't well in the VR camp.
A decent break behind them, as well as plenty of speculation and misquoting as to the form of 'Libertad', including one story that this was to be a concept album, and Velvet Revolver album number two has surfaced, and the rock supergroup machine rumbles back into action.
From the first riff of the short, sharp and very catchy album opener 'Let It Roll' it's clear what kind of whirlwind ride we're in for, and the pace doesn't drop throughout the first four tracks.
This quartet includes lead single 'She Builds Quick Machines', but any of the first half of 'Libertad' would fit in perfectly on rock radio or TV. 'She Minds' and 'Get Out The Door' have easy to grab hooks and interesting if uncomplicated sounding guitar work, as well as the obligatory solo that any rock anthem is incomplete without.
The track that stands out the most in terms of massive hit potential is the slower 'The Last Fight'. This is a softer offering in an early nineties stadium rock mould, I would be very surprised if this isn't a single at some stage.
If 'The Last Fight' is reminiscent of the early nineties, then the track that is for me the highlight of the whole album, 'Just Sixteen' is firmly rooted in the eighties. Whether your air instruments persuasion leans towards guitar or drums, this is a high-energy track of irresistible proportions, puts TV images of fast cars on sun drenched West Coast freeways firmly in the mind.
Although 'Can't Get It Out Of My Head' is another strong track, the album starts to drift from here on in. Nothing especially wrong with what's on offer, however variety is certainly not the spice of life and 'Libertad' could have benefited from being two songs shorter.
That said if you've been longing for an album made up of classic influenced, full on rock'n'roll that doesn't break new ground but has enough quality to hold its own in 2007, then this is the CD for you. Repeated listens do leave this album wearing thin, however there are plenty of stand alone anthems to make this well worth owning.