Monday, November 24, 2008

Currently listening: GnR, AC/DC and Metallica

Alright, so I haven't blogged about music for a really long time. There hasn't been much good rock music around for a good part of this year. In fact, I found myself guilty of listening to popular radio hits when I needed a break from 90's rock. Velvet Revolver fired Scott "that unstable rockstar" Weiland, and are looking for a new singer, while band members pursue solo careers on the side. Duff McKagan's Seattle-based band Loaded is supposed to be pretty good, but I have yet to check it out. Slash's upcoming solo effort should be super! It could be something in between a Santana album with guest vocalists and a Joe Satriani compilation of long guitar solos. Scott Weiland has a solo album coming out tomorrow as well, called "Happy in Galoshes," and the songs that I heard on his MySpace page were... lame, unfortunately.

Anywho, the last 4 months of this year seem to have a burst of old-time musicians returning to the scene with new material. First, Metallica finally releases a decent album after 2003's debacle, called "Death Magnetic." It is no "Black Album," but has some good tunes and lyrics that blend well together. I would consider this album to be the sane kind of metal music. I will hopefully post a proper review shortly. Smart enough, this CD is available in all stores that sell music.

Hard rock veterans AC/DC are back this year, and with a bang! Their new album "Black Ice" is their typical music, no improvising for the present generation, no techno/emo salt and pepper, just pure rock. And yet, they don't sound outdated one bit. Their first single "Rock N' Roll" train has hit the charts, and I enjoy listening to it every time. The rest of the songs in the album are decent too, except for one that goes all Keith-Urbanesque country. I guess they're targeting a certain crowd.

And finally, finally, finally, Guns N' Roses released their album "Chinese Democracy," which has been in production since 1995! Wait, I'm just going to go ahead and call this an "Axl Rose solo project" because like any other old-GNR die-hard fan and Slash loyalist, the real GNR had to comprise of Axl, Slash and Duff. The presently so-called GNR only has Rose from the original composition, the rest being a handful of free-lancers and a Nine-Inch-Nails has-been guitarist who quit GnR not too long ago. Everybody wins a free 20 Oz Dr Pepper thanks to the soda maker's promise regarding GnR releasing this album.

This GnR is different. Less classic/hard rock, more industrial and emo. Axl Rose's voice has obviously gotten older, and it's the only thing that identifies with the band name right now. Guitarist Bumblefoot and former leads Buckethead and NIN's Robin Finck contribute to the solos in almost all the songs, but none of them beat Slash! However, the songs are not bad, honestly speaking. I might even buy the album just to have something to listen to while traveling abroad. But, is this the best that Axl Rose can do after 13-15 years? Like, seriously? Best songs: Chinese Democracy, I.R.S. and Better. The last one made me laugh.

Note: Guns N' Roses is streaming the full album of "Chinese Democracy" on that link above.

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