After the Guns n’ Roses break up, Duff McKagan broke out on his solo career. In 1993, “Believe in Me” was released. Upon hearing this for the first time, I thought that it was different. One can hear many of the influences he brought to and from GNR. Duff plays most of the instruments on this album with some of his old band mates making special appearances.
Musically, one can hear punk, hard rock and also some bluesy and jazzy elements throughout the record. Some of the old GNR hard/metal sounds are clearly heard on songs like “Believe in Me.” “Punk Rock Song” is one of those songs you can hear the punk influence. “Lonely Tonight” is a laid back song with that jazzy and bluesy influences that almost seems to be a song you hear in an high society bar. “Fucked Up Beyond Belief” is another song that has some jazz influences that are mixed with heavy metal. There’s even a rap song on here, “Fuck You.” Many of the songs are ballads or partial ballads. With regards to the ballads, I have to ask why so many? “I Love You”, “Man in the Meadow”, “Could it Be You”, and “10 Years” are all ballads which is almost half of the album.
So, what about Duff and his guests? Well, the musicianship is good and Duff knows hows to play everything. With regards as a signer, he is no Axle Rose, but if he would have stayed with punk music, he might have made a better early career. He does write songs and some of them are good.
Music wise, there’s a lot going on here from song to song. It’s almost as if Duff had written these songs and they were rejected by GNR and he later recorded them for this album. The album does have some nice melodies and some decent songs. But I am glad that got this used as this opener for the solo career starts out weak. I have heard some of his newer stuff with Loaded Revolver and its a hell of a lot better than his earlier stuff.
“Believe in Me” (featuring Slash) – 3:23
“I Love You” – 4:14
“Man in the Meadow” – 4:50
“(F@*ked Up) Beyond Belief” (featuring Jeff Beck and Matt Sorum) – 3:29
“Could It Be U” (featuring Dizzy Reed) – 3:04
“Just Not There” (featuring Slash) – 3:34
“Punk Rock Song” – 1:37
“The Majority” (featuring Lenny Kravitz) – 3:10
“10 Years” (featuring Gilby Clarke) – 4:29
“Swamp Song” (featuring Jeff Beck) – 3:04
“Trouble” (featuring Sebastian Bach and Dave “The Snake” Sabo) – 3:12
“F@*k You” – 3:24
“Lonely Tonite” – 3:03