Guns N’ Roses: Chinese Democracy

“Appetite for Destruction” contained a fine set of instant classic heavy rock songs that redefined the genre in the late eighties. “Use Your Illusion I & II” could also be distilled into another single classic hard rock album. So seventeen years on from their last album of original material and 10 years of hard work, restarts, line-up changes and studio fiddling with limitless time and money the megalomaniacal frontman should have been capable of coming up with a new masterpiece to rival those early G N’ R classics. But to my ears “Chinese Democracy” has come up short. The new album does contain the familiar screeching and strained Rose vocals and the rather fluid replacement line up makes a solid and utterly competent job of the fine guitar solos, piano pieces and solid rhythm section, but there’s still a vital ingredient missing. I don’t think the void is simply the absence of Slash, Duff, Izzy or any of Axl’s other former band mates that he now seems incapable of working with, but simply the quality of the new material. I appreciate that Axl has spent 10 years crafting this album and I have only had it for one day so perhaps it’s unfair to dismiss it so quickly, especially as it does have some fine moments. But despite 10 years of perfecting, with shed loads of finely tuned details, complicated solos and subtle and clever fills I’m still reminded of the old adage that you simply can’t polish a turd.


Crispian Jago said...

Free Dr. Pepper anyone?