A couple of days ago, I did something which I hadn’t done since I was a 17 year old teenager — I went out and bought a new Guns N’ Roses album. Chinese Democracy went through 14 studios, burnt millions of dollars in production and was made over a total of 13 years.
Axl Rose’s voice is as piercing as ever and he sounds in stunning form throughout the album. The album sounds pretty polished and the production quality is just great.
But the album is a complete let-down. The album art is stunningly bland, despite the fact that Axl Rose had more than a decade to figure out how the cover could look like. The music sounds badly, badly dated: hair metal is dead, grunge has come and gone, nu metal/rap rock pushed some boundaries but Guns N’ Roses were probably in some kind of deep frozen stasis mode to even notice.
And for a hard rock album, the tempo is just horrid. There are just no fast-paced tracks to be found; just ballads and other pieces of cheesy, passable music that have minimal melody and are completely hook-free. After listening to the album almost 10 times, I still can’t remember enough to hum a damn tune from this album that was made by the band which brought us classics like Paradise City.
No, wait… the ‘band’ is now just Axl Rose and a bunch of contract musicians. This band should really have been called Hired Guns N’ Axl Rose. And they should have put this album out in 1996, not 2008.
I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system to make sure the economy doesn’t collapse.
›› Outgoing US President George Bush making little sense (as usual)
An excellent read on the IHT about how an incubator for newborns was built out of new or used car parts for use in developing countries.
Three-dimensional plastic building bricks with graphics, the Block & Blockele toy looks like hours and hours of fun for any kid (or the kid at heart).
From one of the most useful Wikipedia pages…
Math rock band Battles‘ Mirrored album is not going to be the most accesible piece of music you will ever hear. While Tonto is a nice track and has a sweet video accompanying it, the Four Tet remix of Tonto that’s on this Tonto+ single is simply magnificent. It is one of those rare instances when the remixer successfully locates the lifeblood of a track and re-builds everything around that singular source of vitality. This remix alone is worth the sticker price of this single. Awesome work, Mr Kieran Hebden.
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we become morally and spiritually…
We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.
This might sound totally weird, but Microsoft just released an exciting line of graphic t-shirts. The designs are a little on the pretentiously hip and retro side, but I have to say some of the t-shirts look pretty sweet. This is gear from Microsoft I would readily buy. Heck, I’m already looking forward to upgrades.
Stephen Wiltshire is a British artist with an amazing gift. He can eyeball the moxt complex cityscapes and draw them from memory with amazing detail and in almost perfect scale. His panoramic hand-rendering of Tokyo is just hair raising when you realize it was all done from his photographic memory. It’s really no wonder he’s dubbed “The Human Camera”.