‘Good things come to those who wait.’ Certainly not always. Two things hit humanity this year that many thought would never see the light of day. And maybe they should not have.
Confusingous went to see the last Indiana Jones movie around his birthday in May. And for those of us who’s psychiatric defenses built walls around our memory, the last Indiana Jones movie was not ‘The Last Crusade.’ In fact, it came out in 2008 and was called ‘The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.’ To say it was disappointing is an understatement. Confusingous feels that if was a film in ‘The Mummy’ series or ‘National Treasure’ we would be equally disappointed. It was not the fact that it was an Indiana Jones film that made it substandard. It was the fact that it was not a good movie. It lacked a quality premise, the dialogue was unnatural and it was paced poorly.
Fast forward to November 20th. Our resident Fortune Teller received a package in the mail from Best Buy. He had previously pre-ordered the long awaited released from Axl Rose’s revamped Guns N’ Roses lineup titled ‘Chinese Democracy.’ Said disc was supposed to be released on Sunday, November 23rd. Perhaps because the cosmos valued his opinion, Confusingous received it early.
Now, we all know the back-story on this release. Seventeen years between new material and 15 years since any new studio release. Many members leaving and coming in and returning and leaving, etc. Confusingous does not wish to bore you with the details which you all know so well. However, for those of you not in the know, many thought this album would never come out and after many rumored releases, millions of dollars in production costs the album is finally (being) released (tracks are also available on MySpace and many have been around for years thanks to various ‘leaks’). This was certainly a case of, after a while, less people wondered ‘when’ and more ‘if’ it would be released.
Confusingous waited until he got home, changed, walked his trusty Spiritual Advisor, and settle in to dinner before he put it on his stereo. The album opens up with ‘Chinese Democracy’ which is the first official single from the album. It has been on the airwaves for a few weeks but does a good job in kicking it off. And the train rolls from there. After three listens, Confusingous feels comfortable to discuss the release:
The album is seems to be not as schizophrenic as one would think given how many people have worked on it and how many eras of music have come and gone since work started on it. It all seems to fit together. Songs move in interesting directions but it all seems to tie together by the end of the track. For instance, the song ‘Better’ has a cool groove in the beginning. Then, it moves to a heavy section that does not seem to fit at all. However, by the end, it all weaves into each other to make for a cool section and outro. The album moves like this. It features hard rockers and songs that at times seem more fitting for receiving a massage on Mykonos (something our resident Seer has experienced in search of enlightenment). Somehow it all works. And it seemed to improve with each listen (much like Confusingous experienced with the U2 works ‘Achtung Baby’ and ‘Zooropa’).
On a scale of five Devil Horns with five being ridiculously classic, Confusingous gives ‘Chinese Democracy’ a three. This is mainly because he could not keep the bias of the knowledge that the album took so long to come out that it almost became a joke. Listening to it, he was expecting something classic and epic. Perhaps that was unfair. But, give Black Label Society or Velvet Revolver (with a lead singer) two years and they could probably come up with something that would stand up to Axl Rose’s release. So, given the fact that it took so long to make it loses one Devil Horn. And the fact that it was not an epic, legendary release (like, say Appetite for Destruction) makes it lose another Devil Horn. So a three is a safe rating.
If you are in the mood for Sergeant Pepper, ‘Chinese Democracy’ will fall short. If you want to hear some hard rockin’ tracks with guitar solos up the wazoo, check it out. ‘Chinese Democracy’ will not disappoint!