Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators - Living The Dream Album Review - Autumn 2018

I think it’s fair to say upfront that the latest record from Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators is perhaps the guitar and rock event of the year. It’s absolutely no surprise that Slash has chosen yet again to work with the very best musicians in the business. Myles, Todd Kerns (bass) and Brent Fitz (drums) have been with Slash since his self-titled debut solo in 2010. Whilst Frank Sidoris (guitar) may be considered the new boy, he has been Conspiring since the World On Fire tour in 2014 though Living The Dream does mark his debut recorded contribution. 

But let’s talk about the music. Slash and the boys have created an absolutely incredible album. At 12 tracks long, it’s significantly shorter than the 17-strong body of work from his last record World On Fire. However, restricting the number of tracks probably makes it a better album. That might sound strange but with Living The Dream we are given the perfect balance of being satisfied yet hungry for more. Every track is worthy of single-status but allow us to share a few highlights…

The album opener is The Call of the Wild. A track that offers a twangy intro which has a very Aerosmith quality to it before the track kicks in full-throttle. Like many of the tracks on Living The Dream this has all the hallmarks of a classic Slash number. Highly infectious, cool break-out sections and of course a wonderfully powerful solo. Throughout The Call of the Wild also showcases the stunning talent that is Todd Dammit Kerns, as he delivers the most infectious, thunderous baselines throughout. The track is an absolute joy and one that builds anticipation and excitement for the rest of the record. 

Driving Rain and Mind Your Manners are two tracks we have already been treated to in advance of the album’s release. Being teased in this way over the last two months has resulted in pre-orders in huge numbers. Both offer the traditional Slash blueprint in terms of soaring riffs. Many people have said Slash simply cannot write a bad riff and that hypothesis is proved conclusively here. 

My Antidote allows Brent to showcase a wonderful drum intro. There is perhaps a ‘son of Mr Brownstone’ quality here but this is also where we see Slash embarking upon new territory guitar-wise. The almost industrial intro is something of a surprise but it’s one that absolutely work and one which shows that there is always something new to explore and discover on the guitar – even for Slash.

The One You Loved Is Gone. Well, where do we start with this one? It’s the most beautiful ballad. It’s hard to express exactly how special this song is. With its acoustic and clean lines it has the power to strike the most heartfelt emotion. It’s also a track that has the possibility to have huge mass appeal. It won’t only be rockers who fall in love with this song – it’s a song for everyone. The solo is something quite epic. It’s not about shredding or being indulgent but about showcasing how melody and passion can create a moment. We look forward to seeing the impact this track will make. 

So to summarise Living The Dream is everything any Slash fan could have wanted. Surpassing the standard set by World On Fire was always going to be a massive challenge but Slash has 100% pulled it off. We are in equal parts both surprised he has been able to do this yet also unsurprised. It would be impossible to recommend this album any higher and we realise what a huge statement that is.    

Enjoy the recent performance of Driving Rain on the Jimmy Kimmel show below.