A little while ago, a co-worker hands me a CD-R with "Guns N Roses - Chinese Democracy" hastily scribbled (benefit of the doubt) onto its surface. Could this be the mythical, 15 years-in-the-making return of Axl Rose and GNR in my possession...for reals?! Will it bring peace to mankind like Wyld Stallyns?! I'm hoping it's one of the recent leaks
of whatever tracks have been "completed" for the album, but with my luck it's a Debbie Gibson "Best Of" collection mashed with Bell Biv DeVoe. We're going to find out together in this pictoral live blog since taking it to Stickam would bore the ever loving shit out of you as I fall asleep and/or pick my nose for 40 minutes.
12:49 EDT: We start off with the track, "Better." What the fuck is happening in the beginning? Is this album going to be all soft and sissy? Electronics? WHAAAA?
12:50 EDT: It got better. The guitars kicked up, Axl sounds like Axl and it's rolling along. It's definitely more commercially inclined and probably isn't going to please many GNR fans, but since I'm not a GNR fan I really don't give a crap. It doesn't suck.
12:51 EDT: HOLY CRAP! There was a solo for about 2 seconds and then it broke into some guitar/electronics breakdown. Now Axl is shrieking like a banshee and I'm having a good time. This goes against all law!
12:54 EDT: This totally isn't GNR. Not one bit, but the track will probably make 14 year olds go out and buy "Appetite for Destruction" afterwards.
Track 2: Chinese Democracy
12:57 EDT: What the hell is this? Was Axl listening to Suicidal Tendencies or something? He sounds like crap and this track is total cock rock. If this is how he chooses the album's namesake, I am worried. Oh the horror.
Track 3: IRS
1:01 EDT: Hey Axl, Robert Plant called; he wants his vocal stylings back.
1:03 EDT: Sweet fucking mercy this is lame. I had hope for this stuff when I discovered, "Better" wasn't going to make me want to drill my brain with a twizzler, but this is some seriously lame crap. They're channeling Santana now. Black Magic Douchebags.
1:05 EDT: There's a ripping solo now and Axl sounds like Axl, but this doesn't sound like GNR. OH YES! It's over! Moving on!
Track 4: Madagascar
1:06 EDT: Oh my hell. The track opens with a string arrangement followed by a downtempo electronic beat. Axl sounds like Billie Holiday if she chugged down a mixture of maple syrup and lighter fluid. GNR fans...stay away!
1:09 EDT: Seriously. What the fuck, Axl? This track could totally be the next shitty theme for the next shitty Bond movie. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? There's a weepy solo with a bunch of movie samples in the background and the grandiose string arrangement. Who brought the crack?
1:10 EDT: It's official: this out gays "November Rain."
Track 5: New Song #1
1:12 EDT: We've transcended the need for track titles here, folks. Axl just said "fuck" and the track actually kind of sounded like GNR with a little bit of that stupid track from End of Days, "Oh My God" throw in for whatever reason. That went out the window though because now there's some electronic whizzing going on and lots of bitch.
1:14 EDT: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. That's the sound both Axl and I are making.
Track 6: New Song #2
1:15 EDT: Wow. This is totally something The Frey would release. Next time someone gets clever and asks them, "how do you save a life?" they can cleverly fire back, "don't do what Axl does."
1:17 EDT: This song doesn't know if it wants to be a sappy pile of aural gymnastics or another Bond theme song. "Live and Let Die" this is not.
1:20 EDT: The end would be really cool if I didn't know this was supposed to be GNR. That's not discrimination, that's the truth.
1:21 EDT: I thought it was over...IT KEEPS GOING! COME ON!
Track 7: New Song #3
1:22 EDT: I'm moving on before the other song even finishes because it's nonsense.
1:23 EDT: Alright. In all honesty this track is actually really cool. Starts out with a spanish guitar and has a very latin rhythm with some synth strings in the back...and then Axl starts singing and I'm reminded of what I'm listening to. I'm pretty sure they say just before you die, you drift into serenity...if only it was true.
1:24 EDT: This song officially sucks. Seriously, Axl's vocals just do not belong in what could be a decent instrumental. Maybe the band should fire Axl.
1:27 EDT: Santana, circa "Supernatural" era going on right now. I thought Axl was supposed to churn out a NIN or Ministry clone? I would've been all for that.
Track 8: The Blues
1:29 EDT: One more to go after this....this track should've been called "November Rain 200Gay."
1:30 EDT: Hounestly, this song is pretty good. It's very grand, lots of piano, strings and Axl is really reaching for those notes. It's not bad, but it's definitely "November Rain" for a new generation. I blue myself.
1:31 EDT: Epic ending akin to Taranchula's "Moving Very Slowly." On to the end.
Track 9: There Was a Time
1:32 EDT: More strings, more programmed beats, more Axl doing whatever he's doing. Any semblance of what you thought was GNR is maggot feed.
1:34 EDT: Ugh. The song shifted sloppily into a hard riff and then hopped back to a bouncy little piano ditty reminiscent of The Beatles. If you ever stayed awake at night wondering how that would work, I can tell you that it does not.
1:35 EDT: MEEDLEY-MEEDLEY-MEEDLEY-MEEDLEY-MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
1:37 EDT: This has now become what my friend's band and I used to refer to as an "EPOS" -- Epic Piece of Shit. It's just a sea of strings, piano and guitar wankery. I think Axl passed ou......nope, there he is.
1:38 EDT: It ends with a small choir. CRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY LITTLE SISTER!! Oh wait, that would've been awesome.
1:43 EDT: It's over. 9 tracks done and dusted. I'm actually pretty disappointed because while I made fun of it above, it's not entirely bad but it's nothing really special. The music is pretty average and most pieces really do sound like "November Rain" knockoffs. If this wasn't the mythical hydra that is "Chinese Democracy" it probably would get a pass as being a valiant effort from some band in the middle of Ohio (Tazar and the Date Rape) but it being the oft-delayed GNR album, it's a ho-hum pile of nonsense. Time to thaw out Slayer.
I do not claim to be an expert on music, although I am. I also know that I'm not funny even though my mom laughs pretty hard when I tell my brother to go fuck himself at the dinner table. I love you all.