Thursday, April 01, 2010

CD of the Day: ‘Use Your Illusion II,’ Guns N’ Roses (1991)

If “Use Your Illusion I” qualifies as mediocre, then “Illusion II” is just plain bad. Only four of the 14 tracks are worth going back for (I’m discarding the “Don’t Cry” repeat).

“You Could Be Mine,” the single from “Terminator 2,” leads the way and can hold its own against the band’s best work; “Yesterdays” is more than satisfactory, even if it feels a bit like a “Sweet Child O’ Mine” retread; “Estranged” is overlong but is carried through by an outstanding core riff; and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” is another excellent cover choice from this set.

The rest ranges from barely passable—extended jams “Locomotive” and “Breakdown”—to forgettable. Axl Rose’s lyrics are particularly terrible on this record, whether it’s the sap of “14 Years” and “So Fine” or the inane political rants of “Civil War” and “Get in the Ring.” Compare the latter’s “commentary” on the media to Eddie Vedder’s far superior work on 1993’s “Blood” if you want clear evidence of just how bad some of this crap is.

On second thought, don’t.

Grade: D+

Favorite Track: “You Could Be Mine”

Least Favorite Track: “My World”

No comments: