That line is from a great review of one of the worst albums I have ever heard. I don't have the energy, nor do I think that anybody cares enough for me to go into what a hero of mine Axl Rose was in high school, and how Appetite for Destruction is still in my top ten albums of all time. I am sure Chinese Democracy will get its fair share of hilarious reviews.
This is a little like when that grizzly bear finally ate Timothy Treadwell: Intellectually, he always knew it was coming. He had to. His very existence was built around that conclusion. But you still can't psychologically prepare for the bear who eats you alive, particularly if the bear wears cornrows.
I just wanted to share a gmail chat I had with my friend Ari. We decided to listen to a few tracks, he from Maine and me in Doha, and jot down some notes on what we heard. The following is the transcript in its entirety:
9:03 PM Ari: i have just started listening to Chi Dem on myspace, so Rush
9:04 PM me: I remember hearing the leaked songs and being embarrassed
Ari: i am determined to find a gem. !!!i will spend however much time i need until one emerges. so far, so bad, however.
9:05 PM street of dreams. what! he is singing like a character in phantom of the opera. you have to hear it!!!!1
me: no way bob. I hated it.
It is a joke.
Ari: bob, you have to hear his vocal "inflection"
9:06 PM me: Although I think the song Better had a catchy melody after the stupid ass intro
Yeah it does. I am listening now.
What do you want me to listen to ?
9:07 PM Listening now, street of dreams
Ari: are you listening to his opening vocals on street of dreams?
what is that voice>
me: What a total loser,
Ari: you hear it right?
9:08 PM me: I am afraid so.
Ari: gnr went from theatrical to...um, i don’t it if this exactly correct, but they went from theatrical to Andrew Lloyd Webber
its over the top splash Broadway
9:09 PM they are not songs, they are "numbers"
me: Call me a purist but with Slash, Duff and Izzy, one axl does not make GnR
Ari: you purist, pig!
me: A one man show on Broadway staring the corn rowed bear.
9:10 PM How much do yo hate the song names?
Ari: bob lets listen to "this i love" together....i haven’t heard it yet
Ari: start now
9:11 PM Ari: why is he singing like meatloaf
me: Sounds like a Celine Dion song.
OHH MY GODDD!
I am laughing out loud.
Ari: i cant believe this !!!!!!
me: How was this released?
9:12 PM Ari: isnt this the refrain from miss Saigon
btw, i am NOT joking!!!!!!!
i got it. in his voice, you can hear that is not singing, he is acting
9:13 PM know what i mean?????
he is trying to ACT out his lyrics
i can hear him gesturing along with the lines
me: He is as crazy as Michael Jackson.
me: This guitar solo is making me sick.
9:14 PM Ari: bob can you hear how he is trying to act out his lyrics
me: He has made himself into another freak character.
Yeah I get the acting thing clam down.
This is not music.
Ari: forget the execution of the gutiar solo, lets just take a sec to recognize he actually has a guitar solo
9:15 PM omg, i just heard WIND!
me: He will sing this trash to sold out stadiums...
Mullets will a'bob!
9:16 PM One more. One more.
Madagascar, with a name like that how can we go wrong.
Ari: yes. "
if the world"???
okay start now
me: no no wait. I need headphones.
Ari: k. just paused it
9:17 PM me: yes it is like we are in NYC again
Ari: runn nun nun
me: By the way if you had the video thing set up we could just talk and listen.
it is 2008...ok ok. start
Ari: somehow this is better
9:18 PM me: Horn dirge with synth keyboards
terrible vocals seem to be constant
Ari: did coolio produce this???
as i walk in the shadow of death
9:19 PM me: He is singing the guitar riff. WTF?
Ari: do you hear the coolio thing
me: Oh yeah.
me: Its that staccato thing in the back.
9:20 PM me: Just keep in mind that a guy with a KFC bucket on his FUCKIN head is playing this.
Ari: this album is like equivalent of every 3 hour Kevin Costner movie
9:21 PM bloated by its epic intentions
me: oh shit MLK and Cool Hand Luke.
Ari: this is kind of cool
in a sound art kind of way
please axel don’t come back in
me: this is NOT cool.
9:22 PM Ari: martyr complex writ LARGE
axel is literally spelling it out for the listener
me: The path of most resistance.
9:23 PM One more. You pick.
Ari: k give me sec
me: Catcher in the Rye?
Ari: if the world
9:24 PM supposed to be like a bond song, according chuck klos
me: start now.
me: I think these are loops on Garage band
yes there filed under "Santana"
9:25 PM me: and lame funk
9:26 PM you have to admit, there is nothing else that sounds like this.
Ari: thats for sure
me: Is there a producer credited to this mess, or is Axl?
9:27 PM Ari: ?
me: Who produced this CD?
Ari: who cares?
its all very digital sounding
9:28 PM this song is sooooo bad
me: Catcher and the Rye go now.
me: Hello Elton John!
9:29 PM There are so many Vocal tracks.
me: Come on axl...get the fuckin chorus right! Give it to us.
9:30 PM There are still over 3 mins to this song.
Ari: omg he just did the November Rain thing
9:31 PM me: He has turned himself into a choir.
That also sings guitar riffs, bass lines, and drum beats.
Cut and paste that line and send it to someone please.
Ari: not a choir, "a cast"
9:32 PM Ari: why does he have his vocals flat with music, and not on top of them
me: How many Axls are singing right now?
9:33 PM There is so much noise, I can’t even make out the lyrics, but imagine how bad they must be?
Ari: he has his vocals sonically on par with the instruments
me: The guitar is just playing scales
9:34 PM WHAT THE FUCK!
Ari: he is singing in a strident screeching pitch but he has backed it into the instruments...so weird?
me: Oh the song Patience, which way is your tender perfection pointing tonight.
Keep going into scraped.
Oh my god.
9:35 PM ha!
axel sounds so white
9:36 PM bob!!!! how bad is the "timing" of this sound???? the time signature has reached a new low
me: This may be a new medium, because it is not music.
9:37 PM Ari: what’s up with this time signature?
there's no thread, of if there is one, it is worse than i could imagine
me: I can't take much more of this?
Ari: OMG, i found the time signature
he is doing "call and response"
9:38 PM with himself
do you hear it
me: what next. One more.
of course I am not deaf!
Sorry...let it roll.
Ari: lets do irs
me: OMG! there is the accent.
9:39 PM Ari: what song
me: No no stay on sorry.
Ari: what song
me: I am back at the beg go.
Ari: what song
run nun nun
9:40 PM sorry?
me: But I don't want to do it...
Side note, I now have 5 Shearwater cds
Okay one more and I am off.
you pick it.
Ari: lets let this song go
9:41 PM me: ok
Ari: wind and a vampire accent! what!
me: I am sorry for you, but not sorry for me. Oh axl so so wrong.
9:42 PM he doth protest too much
how is this chorus supposed to be engaging
me: Bluesy guitar that doesn't make me want to slash my throat.
9:43 PM I'll kick your ass like I said that i would.
He is the cookie monster!
I got to go.
Ari: klosterman is right. every song tries to be an epic with w0 diff genera
me: Bye bob.
one more song
9:44 PM IRs?
me: got to go.
this was fun.