There was no one in the world who cared less about the release of Chinese Democracy than me. Years in the making, months of studio time, more money wasted on it than I’ll ever see in my life. I had forgotten completely about CD until the day it came out. My first intent was to call Guns ‘N Roses’ Chinese Democracy the album of the year and trash the hell out of it while talking about how Axl is completely full of himself and that the band is nothing without Slash. Then I was randomly reminded about Velvet Revolver. So where does the review go now? It still stays with the same album, but it was very weird to see my entire idea for a review crumble before me because of just one fleeting comment. I wonder if that’s how Axl felt about CD. Hmm…
I like to believe that the opening line is a joke for the listener about the album:
It doesn’t really matter
Gonna find out for yourself
Funny, introspective (ha ha), and true. I don’t think the world needed a new Guns album, but we got it and we have to live with it. One thing for certain is that Axl still has his voice, and why shouldn’t he? What kind of strenuous work has he been doing over the last decade and a half that would have torn his vocal chords apart? There were only a handful of gigs between the post-Use You Illusion Guns and now. My favorite part of the album is during There Was A Time when Axl yowls:
I would do anything for you
in the highest pitch I have ever heard a man sing before. I thought it was a castrato. I laugh out loud every time I hear it, which I can say about most of the album. It’s a hilarious romp though the ultra ego of an over the hill hard rock star attempting what he honestly and truly believes to be the greatest album ever made. The song Catcher in the Rye… it’s as if he was told it was the greatest book, so it had to exist on the greatest album. I hope… otherwise he is either equating himself to Salinger or saying that he is the one saving the children: delusions of grandeur or megalomania, you decide. Either way it’s kind of sad. Or maybe he’s being saved… which is almost equally as sad from the man who once screamed "YOU’RE IN THE JUNGLE BABY! YOU’RE GONNA DIE!"
They’re not the rock band they used to be, literally most of the band is missing. There are two thing are glowingly obvious about new Guns:
1) Slash is gone (for better or worse?)
2) Axl has been listening to a shitton of NIN.
It’s also been over 15 years since the last album. I never said this was my "favorite" album of the year, or it is what I thought was the "best" or "worst" album of the year. It’s not the "longest" or the "loudest" or the "best guitar" album of the year. It was the album that when I listened to it the first time it just stuck out. I was walking down 24th Street the first time I listened to it and everyone must have thought I was insane. Every few steps I would take I would start laughing out loud. It is evident that a lot of work went into this album, it wasn’t just a ploy to get more money out of the fans. Axl really believes that this is the album he has meant to make all these years. And it is. And it’s hilarious. And I find myself compelled to continue listening. Like watching a train wreck with Guns ‘N Roses inside. Rumor has it that this was the first album in a trilogy due for completion sometime in 2012. If these albums continue on the same schedule as the first the actual completion date will be sometime around 2039. Remind me when it happens.
Modern Major Generals: 2, 3, 4!! (The Life and Times of T the C EP)