Chinese Democracy: The Bollocks! Review Part II (This Time It’s Personal)

part 2

One beer down, three to go. We’re getting heavier now, not musically, but I’m pouring a nice glass of Stone IPA right now and it’s a lot hoppier than the polite, mild mannered Morimoto. Stone IPA is one of my favorite IPAs, and 22 ounces of it might lead us to more typographical mishaps later in the evening. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya. I did a palate cleanse with some water to make way for the Stone IPA, so how about a musical cleansing as well? I’m dipping into Pavement’s “Cut Your Hair” (seemed appropriate) for a second before picking up the Chinese Democracy again.

9:07PM: Back to the Grind: “There Was a Time” has Axl at his most martyred: “I was the one who gave you everything,” he sings. Way to toot your own horn there, Axl. Chicks dig confidence. As a guitar player (a decent enough one, I’m told), I can confidently say that, despite most of these songs having five guitarists on them, the guitars are uniformly annoying. Where the tone doesn’t suck outright, whichever guy is playing is just squirreling away a million notes a minute that mean exactly fuckall. On “There Was a Time,” there’s a little interlude that sounds like a Kenny G lick. Kid you not. Axl seems to lament, “There was a time/ I would do anything for you” as if now, after all you’ve put him through, Axl just can’t do anything for you anymore. So you’ve fucked that up for yourself, whoever you are. The song could be about Slash or some chick or… who really cares? All you need to know is that it’s Axl Vs. The World and gosh, he’s just tried so hard to be nice and give you so much and this is how you repay him? For shame!

I mentioned to a friend today that I could forgive how far up his own ass Axl is on this album if the music was halfway decent. The odds are looking better for Mousavi to win the election in Iran at this point (big ups to the protesters there; Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is an Islamic Sarah Palin and the good folks of that country deserve better). “There Was a Time” is overlong, features finger-tapping (hey, guitar players: you wanna piss me off? Engage in finger-tapping), and is, so far, the low point on an album I would be complimenting by calling a shit sandwich.

9:14PM: Why JD Salinger Doesn’t Talk to Us Anymore: Ooooooooh… a literary reference from a guy whose grasp of English is worse than my dog’s, and she’s got a pretty good excuse. “The Catcher in the Rye” must have been inspired by J.D. Salinger’s book, right? Axl sings, “If I thought that I was crazy/ guess I’d have more fun” and there’s really nothing in the song that indicates to me that Axl read the book. There’s little on this album to convince me that Rose can read. Salinger is currently suing someone who wrote a sort of sequel to Catcher in the Rye. Maybe he should sue Axl over this instead. This song also has a guitar solo that sounds almost like it was patched in from an entirely different recording session. This song takes the taco for infuriating lyrics (the Taco of Lyrical Fury): “Cause what used to be’s/ Not there for me/ and ought to for someone/ That belongs/Insane/ Like I do.” Despite my drinking, kids, I didn’t mistype a single word there. What…the fuck… does it mean?

And that’s the problem: you get the feeling that Axl doesn’t know either. He’s just singing shit and playing around in a studio and the result is this  jam-packed mess. Rolling Stone, proving they’ve lost touch with reality, called Chinese Democracya great, audacious, unhinged and uncompromising hard-rock record.” Audacious, yes. Great? Hardly. Not even good. Kinda outside the ballpark of listenable.

“Scraped” follows “Catcher in the Rye” and it’s Axl getting back to what he does best: talking about how fucking great he is, shrieking in his whiniest voice, “Nothing’s impossible/ I am inconquerable.” Again, Axl, you’re not “inconquerable.” Nobody is “inconquerable.” It’s not a word. Dick. “Scraped” does throw a bone to any fans gullible – er, “faithful” – enough to have made this journey with Axl through these long years. He tells his listener(s?), “You know you’re stronger/ than the lies they tell you.” But I’m confused. Because he also says, “Don’t you try to stop us now”. Is he talking to the same “you”? That would seem kinda inconsistent, but since the song seems to be about how Axl is a word he made up that he thinks means “unstoppable”, I guess it doesn’t matter.

9:24PM: Ah. There’s that New Low. “Riad N’ the Bedouins” is the worst song on the album so far. Apparently, Axl is referring to someone named Riad (although, as it’s spelled, the word is derived from, I believe, the Arabic “Ryad”, meaning “garden.” ) and his or her semi-nomadic followers. He opens the song with this turdworthy verbiage: “Riad N’ the Bedouins/ Had a plan and thought they’d win/ But I don’t give a fuck ’bout them/ Cause I am crazy.” I’m pretty sure if you gave my niece dog meth, she could write better lyrics than that.  “Garden and the Bedouins” is the most egregious offender in the Holy Shit, This Song is Fucking Meaningless category. Is Axl really enemies with some semi-nomadic folks and a dude (a chick? I don’t know) who was named for Moroccan gardens? He sings about not bending his will to “nomads and barbarians”, the sort of thing you’d write about a far off land (say, the Middle East) if you’ve never fucking seen the region on a map.  Will more beer help this? Maybe, but the effects-driven guitars at the end are giving me a headache. Another palate-cleanse coming soon, though I’m still on my Stone IPA.

“Sorry” is, so far, the most unintentionally hilarious (and that’s saying something) song on Chinese Dumb-0cracy so far. “You like to hurt me/ you know that you do,” sings Axl in his “tender” tenor. I would like to hurt you, Axl. A lot. The song is a slow-burner that seethes with disdain for… well, somebody. Maybe this song is about ex-bandmates or gilfriends or… Christ. I’m not drunk enough to consider that a megalomanical, dipshit white boy with corn rows gets laid.

The hilarity continues: Axl just sang, “I’ll kick your ass like I said that I would.” Does he mean physically or musically? Either way, I have my doubts. “Sorry” continues Axl’s trend of knowing more than everyone else about how to behave and how to treat people. When, oh when, will we stop hurting poor Axl?

Part III coming up next. I think we’ll finish this thing up then: I’m going full Belgian on this bitch in a minute.

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2 thoughts on “Chinese Democracy: The Bollocks! Review Part II (This Time It’s Personal)

  1. you sir are an idiot who has no clue about music.
    axl rose is the greatest talent in the last 30
    years. chinese democracy is clearly the best album
    in recent years and it is idiots like yourself that
    brainwash today’s young audience into liking flavour
    of the month music or should i say crap that is out
    there. go kiss simon cowell’s or some shit rapper’s
    ass. loser !!!

  2. well said William

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