Guns N' Roses Chinese Democracy

Guns N' Roses <i>Chinese Democracy</i>
So, I’ve heard the leak. After 17 years (we don’t count The Spaghetti Incident?, do we?), nine songs of what could be the most ridiculously anticipated, delayed and overblown album ever has surfaced thanks, most likely, to an excited blog called Antiquiet, which must be run by some insider (likely a mailroom clerk!) at Geffen because I can’t understand how it got the actual album tracks.

My weighty conscience concern over legality prevents me from mentioning where exactly you can find the Chinese Democracy leak, but trust me, it’s just a comprehensive Google search and a simple click away.

How do I know it’s not a fake? Well, mainly because it is Guns N’ Roses. There’s no mistaking Axl’s overcooked sandpaper howl, though on "The Blues,” a standout piano ballad (no, not like "November Rain,” think far inferior and just plain shitty), the hot-tempered’n’dreaded front-man does a remarkable Cher impersonation that falls in and out of Jack Black doing his inane rock’n’roll posturing. So, that song’s interestingly terrible… much like the rest of what’s reared its head, sadly.

Holding your breath that Chinese Democracy actually lives up to expectations might help you sleep at night (I consulted Telehealth Ontario and they say it will do the opposite), but the truth of the matter is it’s a bloated mess that really doesn't belong anywhere in music today. It’s arguable that GNR were always misfits that didn’t fit in, and that they carved their own path, which made them so radical — that certainly was the case. But things have drastically changed.

When I say "Madagascar” doesn’t belong, I mean it sticks out like a gushing, shredded thumb barely hanging on by a piece of tendon. This becomes clear at the 1:12 mark when Axl tries to hit and hold a note longer than his beaten lungs can actually sustain. That, as well as the samples ("What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate” — are they for real?), the dated looped beat (was this lifted from sessions back in 1995?) and the string over-saturation... need I go on?

And just so you know, I was really rooting for Axl and whoever else is in what they’re calling Guns N’ Roses (Tommy Stinson: Paul Westerberg really is just a phone call away! He’ll do it, trust me). They were every kid’s favourite band from the years of ’87 to ’92, including mine. But the inflated legend of Chinese Democracy has made it impossible for the album to satisfy any fan, be it hardcore or casual. The danger just isn’t there anymore, and neither are the songs judging by the nine that are floating around. Recommendation: lock it up and never let it see the light of day. Don’t even keep a copy on your computer, because someone will steal it. Just a suggestion…

Guns N’ Roses "The Blues”