Author Topic: Welcome to the Jungle Gn'R Fan Club  (Read 38603 times)

Offline Scott

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle Gn'R Fan Club
« Reply #585 on: November 19, 2008, 11:07 PM »
I just cannot believe this is actually happening.  Most of what I have heard is decent and I'm sure I'll at least enjoy it a little.  It is just mind boggling to me that I used to search usenet groups on my college VAX system for information about the next album.  That was 1993...I was 18, so much has come and gone in the world and my life...it is almost surreal that this weekend I will go to Best Buy and plunk down some moolah for it and it will be a lot of good memories of high school and college and my friends I had back then and all that jazz.  That's all I'm looking for, no more, no less :)

Offline S_A_Longhorn

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle Gn'R Fan Club
« Reply #586 on: November 20, 2008, 05:22 PM »
The whole album is streaming on the GNR MySpace page.

So you like 15%, ROB?  I'm a die-hard GNR/Axl fan, so I love the whole album.  Some songs rank higher than others.  Still can't fully embrace the industrail rock songs completely, then again I've never been a NIN fan either.  ALthought Robin Finck has impressed me with his playing, which I prefer compared to Buckethead or Bumblefoot.  Not saying he is better that either of them, just prefer his Slash-like style.

The industrial rock songs (Shackler's Revenge, Chinese Democracy, & Rhiad & The Bedouins) are great songs, but I wish they weren't put the industrial blender.  The more pure rock songs like Better & I.R.S., I've enjoyed those for years, and glad to have the final versions.

The majority of the songs are ballads, but they are still ringing in my head.  My favorite leak/song still has to be Catcher In The Rye.  The melody and Lennon/Chapman/book lyrics are very memorable.  The new songs like If The World, This I Love& Sorry are all very unique and sound nothing like anything GNR has ever done.  And I think that is a good thing.  All have killer guitar solos.

Looking forward to picking up my CD this weekend.  And my free Dr Pepper!
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Offline Rob

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle Gn'R Fan Club
« Reply #587 on: November 20, 2008, 11:11 PM »
It just doesn't sound like GNR to me.  His voice sounds shot on half of the tracks... it doesn't have the bluesy sound that they used to have... the energy is really low, the songs are boring to me.  It comes off as weak and uninspired to me and I'm really surprised that so many of you guys like it and that the review Matt posted was so complimentary.


Offline Matt

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle Gn'R Fan Club
« Reply #588 on: November 21, 2008, 04:50 AM »
It just doesn't sound like GNR to me.

. . .'cause it ain't.

Quote
I'm really surprised that so many of you guys like it and that the review Matt posted was so complimentary.

You might like this one a little better:

The New York Times reviews Chinese Democracy

Quote
How Axl Rose Spent All That Time

By JON PARELES
Published: November 20, 2008

“ALL I’ve got is precious time,” W. Axl Rose sings in the title song of Guns N’ Roses’ new album, and he must be well aware of how that line sounds now. Mr. Rose, 46, the only remaining original member of Guns N’ Roses, needed 17 years, more than $13 million (as of 2005) and a battalion of musicians, producers and advisers to deliver “Chinese Democracy,” the first album of new Guns N’ Roses songs since 1991. It’s being released on Sunday, with CDs sold exclusively at Best Buy. (In another 21st-century fillip the album’s best song, “Shackler’s Revenge,” appeared first in a video game, Rock Band 2.)

“Chinese Democracy” (Geffen) is the Titanic of rock albums: the ship, not the movie, although like the film it’s a monumental studio production. It’s outsize, lavish, obsessive, technologically advanced and, all too clearly, the end of an era. It’s also a shipwreck, capsized by pretensions and top-heavy production. In its 14 songs there are glimpses of heartfelt ferocity and despair, along with bursts of remarkable musicianship. But they are overwhelmed by countless layers of studio diddling and a tone of curdled self-pity. The album concludes with five bombastic power ballads in a row.

“Chinese Democracy” sounds like a loud last gasp from the reign of the indulged pop star: the kind of musician whose blockbuster early success could once assure loyal audiences, bountiful royalties, escalating ambitions and dangerously open-ended deadlines. The leaner, leakier 21st-century recording business is far less likely to nurture such erratic perfectionists. (Mr. Rose did manage to outpace Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine, which re-emerged on tour this year but hasn’t yet released a successor to its 1991 masterpiece, “Loveless.”) The new rock paradigm, a throwback to the 1950s and early 1960s, is to record faster, more cheaply and more often, then head out on tour before the next YouTube sensation distracts potential fans.

“Chinese Democracy” is such an old-school event that at this point no album could easily live up to the pent-up anticipation and fascination. Over the last two decades Guns N’ Roses’ 1987 debut album, “Appetite for Destruction,” has sold 18 million copies in the United States alone. The original band, particularly the guitar team of Slash on lead and Izzy Stradlin on rhythm, collaborated to forge a scrappy combination of glam, punk and metal behind Mr. Rose’s proudly abrasive voice, which could leap from a baritone growl to a fierce screech. Singing about sex, drugs, booze and stardom, Mr. Rose was a rags-to-MTV success story for the 1980s: a self-described abused child from heartland America who got himself out of Indiana and reinvented himself as a full-fledged Hollywood rock star, charismatic and volatile, never pretending to be controllable.

Amid tours, band members’ addictions and liaisons with models, Guns N’ Roses went on to make an EP and the multimillion-selling albums “Use Your Illusion” I and II, which were released simultaneously in 1991. Those were followed by a desultory collection of punk-rock remakes, “The Spaghetti Incident?,” in 1993, before the band splintered and left Mr. Rose as the owner of the Guns N’ Roses brand. Clearly it would be a very different band, but there was little doubt that Mr. Rose had more to say.

He has been announcing the impending completion of “Chinese Democracy” since at least 1999 and has been singing many of its songs on tour since 2001. Concert bootlegs and unfinished studio versions circulating online have defused some of the surprise from the finished album. Yet meanwhile, year after year, Mr. Rose worked on and reworked the songs. The album credits list 14 studios.

For years Mr. Rose has been tagged the Howard Hughes of rock, as his manager at the time was already complaining in 2001. That didn’t have to be a bad thing; estrangement and obsession have spawned great songs. But “Chinese Democracy,” though it’s a remarkable artifact of excess, is a letdown. Mr. Rose’s version of Guns N’ Roses, with sidemen he can fire rather than partners, leaves his worst impulses unchecked.

Guns N’ Roses is still collaborative; the songs on “Chinese Democracy” are credited to Mr. Rose along with many of the musicians who have passed through the band since the mid-1990s. The guitarists Buckethead and Robin Finck, the bassist Tommy Stinson and the drummers Josh Freese and Brain pushed Mr. Rose toward rock, others toward ballads. By way of comparison with the old Guns N’ Roses, Mr. Rose’s latter-day songwriting tilts more toward the pomp of “November Rain” than the thrust of “Welcome to the Jungle” or the pealing guitar lines of “Sweet Child o’ Mine.” The one song on “Chinese Democracy” written by Mr. Rose alone, “This I Love,” is by far the album’s most maudlin track, and he hams it up further with a vibrato vocal homage to Queen’s Freddie Mercury.

Like the old Guns N’ Roses albums “Chinese Democracy” whipsaws between arrogance and pain, moans and sneers. The present-day Mr. Rose presents himself as someone beleaguered on every front, a cornered character with nothing to lose. He’s tormented by inner demons and, from outside, by antagonists, lovers and users who constantly betray and exploit him. “Forgive them that tear down my soul,” he croaks in “Madagascar,” amid French horns playing a dirge. (The middle of that song inexplicably gives way to a collage of movie dialogue and speeches by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)

All the labors of Mr. Rose and his various lineups, both inspired and overblown, come through the finished album. Mr. Rose and his co-producer, Caram Costanzo, just keep piling up the sounds. String orchestra? Toy piano plinks? Voices muttering in foreign languages? Harp? Drum machines? Choirs? “I Have a Dream”? They’re all there, along with indefatigable drums and phalanxes of guitars.

“Chinese Democracy” reveals multiple archaeological layers, including what might have been passing fascinations as the 1990s and early 2000s rolled by: the Metallica of “Enter Sandman” in the surly, self-righteous “Sorry”; the distortion effects of Nine Inch Nails in “Shackler’s Revenge”; U2’s sustained guitars and martial beat to begin “Prostitute”; a combination of Elton John piano and strings (arranged by Mr. John’s longtime associate Paul Buckmaster) with Smashing Pumpkins guitar crescendos in “Street of Dreams.”

Some of the album’s best moments are its intros. Flaunting what time and money can accomplish, there are gratuitous ear grabbers like an a cappella vocal chorale in “Scraped,” a siren matched by a siren swoop of Mr. Rose’s voice in “Chinese Democracy” and the narrow-band, filtered beginning of “Better.” That track goes on to hurtle across so much of what Guns N’ Roses does well — from steel-clawed hard-rock riffs to metallic reggae-rock to arena-anthem melodies — that it almost makes up for the whininess and lazy “-tion” rhymes of the underlying song. “If the World” opens with acoustic guitar lines suggesting a Middle Eastern oud but segues into wah-wah rhythm guitar and sustained strings fit for a blaxploitation soundtrack, while Mr. Rose unleashes something like a soul falsetto.

Is it demented? Sometimes. Does Mr. Rose care? Apparently not. “I am crazy!” he belts over the frantic guitar and tom-toms of “Riad N’ the Bedouins,” while he’s a potentially trigger-happy maniac in “Shackler’s Revenge.” In “Scraped” he’s alternately depressive and manic, warning “Don’t you try to stop us now” over a riff fit for Led Zeppelin. “Catcher in the Rye” echoes the Beatles in its melody while it alludes to Mark David Chapman, who was carrying that book when he killed John Lennon: “If I thought that I was crazy/Well I guess I’d have more fun,” he sings.

Even when he’s presumably being himself, Mr. Rose is forever overwrought. He pushes his multiply overdubbed voice every which way — rasping, sobbing, cackling, yowling — while at the same time Mr. Finck, Buckethead and Ron (Bumblefoot) Thal are playing frantic guitar solos, with a mandate to wail higher and zoom faster.

The craziness on “Chinese Democracy” isn’t the wild, brawling arrogance that the young Mr. Rose and his rowdy ’80s band mates gave the fledgling Guns N’ Roses. It’s the maniacal attention to detail that’s possible in the era of Pro Tools: the infinitude of tiny tweaks available for every instant of a track, the chance to reshape every sound and reshuffle every setting, to test every guitar solo ever played on a song — or all of them at once — and then throw on a string arrangement for good measure. That microscopic focus is obvious throughout “Chinese Democracy”; every note sounds honed, polished, aimed — and then crammed into a song that’s already brimming with other virtuosity. At points where the mix goes truly haywire, like the end of “Catcher in the Rye,” a Meat Loaf song title sums things up: “Everything Louder Than Everything Else.”

It’s easy to imagine Mr. Rose determined to outdo his own brazen youth and his old band, but with less perspective and hundreds of new tracks as each year goes by. If Guns N’ Roses had released “Chinese Democracy” in 2000, it would still have been an event, but it might also have been treated as the transitional album in a band’s continuing career. By holding it back and tinkering with it for so long, Mr. Rose has pressured himself to make it epochal — especially if, on this timetable, the next Guns N’ Roses studio album doesn’t arrive until 2025. And fans were waiting for him to defy the world again, not to do another digital edit. Sometime during the years of work, theatricality and razzle-dazzle replaced heart.

As Mr. Rose bemoans the love that ended or vows to face life uncompromised and on his own, the music on “Chinese Democracy” swells and crashes all around him, frantic and nearly devoid of breathing space. It’s hard to envision him as the songs do, that besieged antihero alone against the world, when he’s sharing his bunker with a cast of thousands.

Offline S_A_Longhorn

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle Gn'R Fan Club
« Reply #589 on: November 21, 2008, 10:16 AM »
It just doesn't sound like GNR to me.  His voice sounds shot on half of the tracks... it doesn't have the bluesy sound that they used to have... the energy is really low, the songs are boring to me.  It comes off as weak and uninspired to me and I'm really surprised that so many of you guys like it and that the review Matt posted was so complimentary.



That's just it - and the reason why Slash and Axl are not together. 

If you want the bluesy-rock album, the go get Slash's Snakepit's "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere".  Slash doesn't claim it was the next GNR album, but Axl does.  Matt, Gilby and Slash wrote those songs together, without Axl or Duff (b/c they didn't want to go in that direction at the time).  For as great as Slash is, and I'm a huge fan of his, his sound has always remained the same.  Duff later came around to play on VR, which is toned version of what GNR used to play and an extension of Snakepit.  I liked it, but never thought it was anything GNR would release had they stayed together.  Axl had to replace all of them to continue what he wanted to do, and then members left for various reasons (Tobias, Buckethead, Freese). 

I would also love another AfD album, but there are people who are saying this album sounds dated.  Metallica's recent album was fantastic, IMO, but there are still a large portion out there that says they are "trying to sound hard".  You can't please everyone I guess.

The majority of the reviews (Rolling Stone, Spin, etc) have been complimentary.  All comment on the time it took to make the album, and the number of power ballads.  It's an extension of the Illusion albums while also being something different and new.  Axl told Rolling Stone in 2006 that it would have some songs everyone would like. 
« Last Edit: November 21, 2008, 10:17 AM by S_A_Longhorn »
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Offline Matt

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle Gn'R Fan Club
« Reply #591 on: November 21, 2008, 11:42 AM »
On the aforementioned "Sorry," Rose suddenly sings an otherwise innocuous line ("But I don't want to do it") in some bizarre, quasi-Transylvanian accent, and I cannot begin to speculate as to why. I mean, one has to assume Axl thought about all of these individual choices a minimum of a thousand times over the past 15 years. Somewhere in Los Angles, there's gotta be 400 hours of DAT tape with nothing on it except multiple versions of the "Sorry" vocal. So why is this the one we finally hear? What finally made him decide, "You know, I've weighed all my options and all their potential consequences, and I'm going with the Mexican vampire accent. This is the vision I will embrace. But only on that one line! The rest of it will just be sung like a non-dead human."

I must have listened to this one line at least ten or twelve times last night on MySpace.  ******* hilarious awesome.  Easily the highlight of the entire record for me.  Hopefully Axl goes with the Mexican vampire voice a lot more with the next album, which is currently due out in 2031.

there are people who are saying this album sounds dated.

With several of the songs originally written and recorded during the second Clinton administration, yeah, that's not too surprising.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2008, 11:02 PM by Matt »

Offline S_A_Longhorn

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle Gn'R Fan Club
« Reply #592 on: November 21, 2008, 12:14 PM »
Well, there is a strong rumor that the new GNR will perform this Sunday at the AMAs:

Is Guns’N’Roses Going to make a Surprise Appearance at the American Music Awards this Sunday?

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According to one well placed music industry Deep Throat, there is a very good chance you’ll see GNR onstage at the American Music Awards this Sunday on ABC

 
“Axl wants to be the conquering hero,” says the source who has worked closely with some of the biggest acts in the world including Guns’N’Roses. “The timing of the show on the night he brings out his masterpiece is too good for him to pass up. He knows it’s a good way to get in front of old and new fans in one swoop.”

In a heavyweight line up of Christina Aguilera, the reunited New Kids on the Block (both of whom are managed by Irving Azoff), Beyonce, Coldplay, the Jonas Brothers, Alicia Keys and Kanye West, among others, Guns’N’Roses would still emerge as the champion.

 
The band is likely to be introduced by Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry.

I seriously doubt it will happen.  As an ole GNR fan, whenever something makes sense, it usually doesn't happen.

But if they do, maybe we'll know who is actually in the band.
"WE HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE.  TODD WILL COOPERATE."
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Offline darth punkinhed

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle Gn'R Fan Club
« Reply #593 on: November 21, 2008, 01:42 PM »
I remember when appetite came out. I was hooked, had to see them play live. I bought tickets to see David Lee Roth because they were supposed to open and they canceled. At least Steve Vai playing that show made up for it. I bought tickets to an Iron Maiden show (would have anyway) and they canceled then too. At least Megadeth filled that void. Then finally they showed up at an outdoor Metallica show. Axel came out on stage, sang 1 song and then spent the next 15 minutes doing his primadonna act because someone in the crowd had a camera he demanded be handed over or he wasn't singing another line. I waited for their follow up and when Lies came out I was a bit put off by it. Complete 180. I haven't cared for anything they've done since. I agree on Slash's Snakepit, it wasn't GNR but it was better than what Axel was putting out IMO. Appetite is one of the few albums I can listen to from beginning to end but everything else they've done just isn't that appealing to me. I've heard one song from the new album and while I think it's better than most of the non appetite stuff it's still not that great.
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Offline S_A_Longhorn

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle Gn'R Fan Club
« Reply #594 on: November 21, 2008, 05:49 PM »
Copied from over on RS:

DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE FREE DR. PEPPER THIS SUNDAY!



Quote
Dr Pepper is making good on its promise of free soda now that the release of Guns N' Roses' "Chinese Democracy" is a reality. The soft-drink maker said in March that it would give a free soda to everyone in America if the album dropped in 2008. "Chinese Democracy," infamously delayed since recording began in 1994, goes on sale Sunday.

"We never thought this day would come," Tony Jacobs, Dr Pepper's vice president of marketing, said in a statement. "But now that it's here, all we can say is: The Dr Pepper's on us."

Beginning Sunday at 12:01 a.m., coupons for a free 20-ounce soda will be available for 24 hours on Dr Pepper's Web site. They'll be honored until Feb. 28.

http://www.drpepper.com
"WE HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE.  TODD WILL COOPERATE."
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Offline evenflow

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle Gn'R Fan Club
« Reply #595 on: November 21, 2008, 09:39 PM »
I got my album in the mail today from my Best Buy preorder  :o  ;D

This I Love is just an incredible track.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2008, 05:03 PM by evenflow »
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Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle Gn'R Fan Club
« Reply #596 on: November 23, 2008, 03:01 AM »
don't you know there ain't no devil, there's just God when he's drunk

Offline Sprry75

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle Gn'R Fan Club
« Reply #597 on: November 23, 2008, 10:34 AM »
I have to say, I like it.  Definitely more Illusion than Appetite, and some of the solos sound like they're trying a bit too hard to replicate an inimitable Slash, but overall I like it a lot.  Not a miracle groundbreaker, but a pretty good Axl record, which alone makes it better than 90% of what's out there.
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Offline Reid

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle Gn'R Fan Club
« Reply #598 on: November 23, 2008, 04:50 PM »
Picked up my copy of Chinese Democracy at Best Buy earlier today. I agree with the more Illusion than Destruction sentiments, and overall, I like it.

Offline Rob

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle Gn'R Fan Club
« Reply #599 on: November 23, 2008, 10:12 PM »
You might like this one a little better:

The New York Times reviews Chinese Democracy

Well, I'm not looking for bad reviews or what not... I'm just confused by the praise.  I just don't understand what you guys see in this album.


I think you guys are getting Episode I Syndrome.  You've been waiting for this for so long that you're looking at the album with your Axl Rose colored glasses on.