Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Some more thoughts on Guns 'N Roses

Sometimes, of course, I feel like I am the only person who knows what "filler" is. There are probably about 5 good double-albums in the history of music, but with every 74-minute CD being reviewed with a very blind eye turned towards about 30 of those minutes, "filler" seems like a dirty word for reviewers and fans to throw around. Filler is really the elephant in the room, though, which is really evident if you buy vinyl and not just cds or mp3s. 

Now, the most filler-stuffed albums of all time are the double-double Use Your Illusion LPs. Over 140 minutes! What's bizarre, though, is that the filer works in precisely the opposite way that one would expect. "Sure," you are thinking, "Appetite for Destruction was a great album, but once they turned to all those piano-ballads and 8-minute songs, they just couldn't hack it."

The opposite is true. There is only one really long song on Use Your Illusion I. It is the best song. What really goes wrong wrong wrong is the number of Aerosmith-y, hard-rockin' tunes that precisely try to conjure up the first Guns 'n Roses album. In other words, their "experimentation" works, and their "sticking-to-what-they-know" does not work. The problem is not that the band "lost their touch" but that they did not go far enough. 

This is not an important point, but as more and more people just don't listen to albums or don't know what they are talking about, the real character of "artistic objects" becomes veiled by circulating idle-talk with no clue. 

(These albums are bad, still, though. Everyone is right about that.)

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