Friday, November 28, 2008

Chinese Democracy review - Just say no little bobcat.

I had this post all ready to write with a witty comment about it being appropriate that Axl n Roses dropped a turkey on us a few days before Thanksgiving. Unfortunately I was unable to get on the computer yesterday so all that careful planning went to waste. Truth be told Chinese Democracy is not a turkey but hey, it made for a good punch line.
For me though, this album just does not work at all. It has nothing in it to hold my interest. Thankfully though I didn’t drop any cash on it. Instead I went over to their myspace page and listened to it and for that fan friendly gesture I thank Axl and the band. The fact that this took so long to come out and that it’s not REALLY Guns N Roses did not factor into my opinion at all. I judged the songs on their own merits. For my personal taste there is far too much guitar god shredding on the first few tracks. That’s where the guitarist attempts to put as many notes as humanly possible into a small piece of the song. I don’t like speed metal for this very reason and I surely don’t like it when someone tries it in any other kind of music. I’m all for a good blistering solo but on these songs it sounds forced, something a good song should never do.
There is also a lack of continuity from song to song as if the order was just thrown together. Or maybe Axl picked the titles out of a hat and put them in that order. Either way it doesn’t flow well. Axl has always had a distinctive voice and could screech with the best of them (and I mean that in a positive way) but there are times on Chinese Democracy where he loses control of it and goes out of tune. Inexplicably this made it onto the final product which is strange in that he has exercised such control over this project for such a long time one would think that he would have fixed problems like this.
I have no doubt that this album will do well enough but I don’t believe it will end up matching GnRs biggest hits. Some people are throwing the genius tag on Axl but he hasn’t convinced me so I have to vote no on this one. Maybe we’ll see another GnR release before our mid fifties but given Axl’s track record I doubt it. One thing I’ve always wondered about is why he didn’t just go solo instead of investing all of his time and effort in making the other band members give away their rights to the name Guns N Roses? His name was sufficiently big that a solo album released under his name would have had just as big an impact as under the band moniker of GnR. Unfortunately the long wait coupled with countless broken promises of a release date and Best Buys strange, underwhelming lack of promotion over what they call the biggest release of the year has lead to an even larger lack of anticipation over this cd finally being released. Well, time is of course the final judge and years from now we can look back and decide for ourselves if it was all worth it. For me, the answer is no.

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