I am sitting here listening to an album that I thought only existed in my dreams and stoned, nostalgic conversations revolving around the hard rock 80's:
The elusive, mythical - Chinese Democracy by the even more elusive Guns and Roses.
Oh Axl - why???
Some thousand years in the making, 13 million dollars in production costs, THIRTEEN studios - by all rights this thing must be the goddamned apocalypse of G'n'R albums.
Bloated, excessive - over produced - this is work of a man who is second guessing his every note. This a band who was kicked off the charts by the lean, hard, gritty resurgence of punk and Nirvana. Once again (as in the late 70's) punk reared it's tattooed, pierced head and kicked the shit out of over wrought corporate rock.
Maybe Axl (the only remaining original member) felt that if he sat on this baby it's time would come again. That if he incubated this turd it would hatch into a resplendent swan. So he sat in hiding, put the finishing touches (for 15 years) on an album that he probably hoped would put him in the rarefied strata with Brian Wilson and his legendary album Smile - alas - this is to be Axl's white whale.
There are moments of brilliance and you cannot deny Axl is man conflicted who wears his heart on his sleeve for better or worse; often to great dramatic effect. It's almost a welcome sound - his snarl, that slithering signature vocal but this record is full of EVERYTHING - piano, movie dubs, a speech of MLK - it goes everywhere and nowhere. it's angry but so filled with sappy sentimentality that it drowns out the former.
All in all - we would have been better off if this baby remained at the bottom of the Loch Ness or what ever mythic place such a legend resides. It was much better in theory.
i am not on zoloft.
4 weeks ago