"The feel and energy of Libertad informs the eternal struggle for freedom -- individual, political and social freedom." So says Velvet Revolver's frontman Scott Weiland in describing the band's forthcoming album. Produced by Brendan O'Brien, Libertad is the follow-up to Contraband, VR's debut album, released in June 2004, which earned three million in sales worldwide, debuted on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart at #1 and was awarded a Grammy for the lead track, "Slither." 1st single: She Builds Quick Machines.
When they exploded out of the gates on their 2004 debut, Contraband
, Velvet Revolver were met with as much diffidence as appreciation. After all, supergroups have tended to detonate as often as succeed, and with vocalist Scott Weiland, bassist Duff McKagan, and guitarist Slash all vying to keep the lit match away from the fuse, the odds against this band ever seeing album #2 were even money at best. Surprise! Not only have Velvet Revolver survived three years with unreckless abandon, this album blows the doors off its predecessor. Save a pair of disinfected ballads ("The Last Fight," "Gravedancer"), Libertad
is all about hand-grenade chords, drag-racing riffs, and circus-tent choruses. The ageless McKagan and Slash continually gun for the disorderliness of their former band (most notably on the punkish opener "Let It Roll" and its lewd brother "Spay"), while Weiland sounds--knock on wood--positively clean and like a voice of boisterous renewal on tracks like "Mary Mary," "She Builds Quick Machines," and the melt-in-your-mouth cover of ELO's "Can't Get It Out of My Head." Obviously egos have been checked at the studio door, as Velvet Revolver have already exceeded their anticipated existence. And now that existence goes back on the clock, trying to outshine a second album that's head-and-shoulders better than the first. --Scott Holter