Albumk cover artwork for SlashWhen in full flight, Slash’s guitar wizardry peels back emotional layers that lyrics alone cannot access, and – thanks to his scuttling-tarantula-level phalange dexterity – seemingly impossible musical possibilities open up for him.

As always, the icon’s ‘guitartistry’ here is beyond compare, and his spontaneous-sounding solos ripple like waterfalls of liquid gold (see opener The River is Rising); during standout track Spirit Love, he runs an electric sitar through “a Marshall at full blast” to spectacular effect. But 4 is so much more than just The Slash Show: The Conspirators always hold their own and Kennedy’s yowling vocals contain exactly the right amount of grit at all times.

Fill My World – with its taunting, carnivalesque, circular riff that evokes Sweet Child O’ Mine – was written from the perspective of Kennedy’s beloved Shih Tzu, Mozart. Unable to return home due to flight delays, Kennedy checked his pet cam before watching on helplessly as his pooch freaked out during an intense storm. A simultaneous stankface- and headbang-inducing moment, closer Fall Back To Earth’s theatrical, descending riffs cleverly echo the downward trajectory chronicled in lyrics.

4 captures this group of (ridiculously talented) mates finally reuniting and rocking out IRL, after Covid-the-fun-sponge kept them apart – and their joyous abandon is palpable. Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators are blatant show-offs, sure. But, then again, they’ve earned the right to be.

4 by Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators is out Feb 11 via Sony.

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