Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Hate Fanboys

"George Lucas raped my childhood."

There are few words that boil my blood more. Ok, maybe "There was no Holocaust" or "Pepsi is better than Coke" are a bit more dire, but people who are seriously mad at Lucas for the prequels, or who bitch that Optimus Primewas adorned with flames in the movie just need to get off of it. I realized it a long time ago, and wrote a monologue about it. It was called I Hate Fanboys. I performed it in college, and it got some laughs. I later distilled it into an article for another blog. Again, more laughs.

This year, I read an article by Devin Faraci over @ CHUD.com (I prefer this site to AICN, mostly because Harry Knowles frightens me physically and socially.) call I am not a Fanboy!

The Link to it is below. It is quite long, but correct.

Enjoy!

http://chud.com/articles/articles/14136/1/THE-DEVIN039S-ADVOCATE-I-AM-NOT-A-FANBOY/Page1.html

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Jim's Chinese Democracy Review

Ok,

So, last week, Chinese Democracy, the new Guns N' Roses Album, came out. I know people have been curious as to my opinion of the album. So, as a service, I have review the album, track by track.

Chinese Democracy - Good Tune, wish it had more of a straight up hook, but a good, simple riff. A rocker to say the least. Still a little too produced...

Shakler's Revenge - Hard to follow. Reminds me of badly done Eurotrash, but with vocals by Axl. I hate this song.

Street of Dreams - Sounds like a cross between Gn'R, Queen, and something from the musical Rent. I like it alot...alot.

If the World - Starts with the weird Casbah guitar and piano part right into an AWESOME funk riff. A HUGE departure fromGuns N' Roses. In many ways, the bravest track on the album...something COMPLETELY different...even once the crunchy guitar layers into it...What a good freakin' track!

There was a Time - I mean, really... the choir was a bit much, especially since it sounds like the choir was done on a casio...Over produced... Beside that, interesting song...I really like the strings. Interesting transition into the chorus... Unsurprisingly grandiose...It sounds like BOWIE... alot. And that's a good thing.

Catcher in the Rye - Queen meets Bowie...No wonder I like this album. This song really shows how much Axl has grown as an arranger.

Scraped - Annoying intro. Once it starts, the riff sounds like Soundgarden, or some other 90's Seattle band. I don't think I like it...

Riad N' the Bedouins - The intro sounds like it should be from Blade Runner...Kinda cool. Another very 90's sound. Like Chili Peppers or even Jane's Addiction. Very catchy. I like this song alot.

Sorry - Good Tune! A little Bowie-esque.

I.R.S. - Damn Drum Machine!!! Thank God it's only for eight measures. A Very 90's era Guns N' Roses song, once the techno babble ends. A really good song, that has nice transitions fromcool acoustics to crunchy guitars, to some soulful solos... All around, the best composition on the album. Probably the most straight forward song on the album...

Madagascar - Opens with some orchestral work, or is it a synthsizer??? You see, I know the answer, but that's only because I have read alot about making this album. A Really good tune WAY too produced (Yes, it's a theme for this album for me...) Awesome vocals...Axl almost sounds like Tina Turner, which, in case you are wondering, is a really good thing. The guitar work is very Gn'R. I really had no issue with the sound clips in the song...I like it, actually.

This I love - Need a razor, anyone??? Sounds like it should be the tragic centerpiece to some kind of Jim Steinman rock opera. A really good song. The Orchestra sounds...like an orchestra. The Orchestra and lone Piano opening the song is very effective. When the guitar does chime in about 2:25 into the song, it's muted and dark, very cool, until a really solid, bluesy solo. And when the drums kick in??? NO DRUM MACHINE!!! The song I have been looking for on this album!!!

Prostitute - Pretty good song. The opening verse seems a little all over the place, with the melodic guitar soloing behind the verse, which I hate for the most part. Good hook on the chorus. And wait, what is that, right behind the Drums, staring at about 3:15??? Could it be?? Could it??? Of course it is...IT'S A FREAKING DRUM MACHINE...Behind the live Drummer!!!! WHY?!?!? It's not like you have Steven Adler playing the drums on this album, and he can only play with the non stroke ridden half of his body, so he needs help!!!


Good Things
1. Fresh, new arranging. The songs definately show Axl's different influences. A Very telling album. I feel like i know a little more about Axl as a musician after listening to this album.
2. Axl's voice - Still spot on...If you liked his vocal stylings in the past, this album will not disappoint.
3. Departure - there are some really interesting departures from the Gn'R sound. And yet, with the exception of a few tracks, it sounds like it could have been a Gn'R record with the original members.

Bad Things
1. Drum Machine...Too often, there is a transition from drum machine to drums...It's annoying and not effective at all. And it's on almost EVERY FREAKING TRACK! Either that, or Axl and his engineers of doom have so over produced the drum tracks on this album, that they are made to sound synthsized. I don't know which would be sadder...It really draws away from some truly epic sounding music at times...
2. Too Many guitars. Alot of these songs are really good compositions. I feel like Axl felt bad for hiring so many guitarists and had to make sure they were put into every song. Songs like Catcher in the Rye would have benefited from less guitar layering, for example.
3. Shakler's Revenge - Have I mentioned that I hate this song???

In Closing
A Very Solid Album. Like all Gn'R Albums that followed it, there are a few songs I could do without. Was it worth the wait? Well, that really depends on how long you waited for it...