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Use Your Illusion, Vol. 2

Guns N' Roses

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Album Review

Use Your Illusion II is more ambitious than I, but it's also more pretentious. II is heavy on epics, whether it's the charging funk metal of "Locomotive," the antiwar "Civil War," or the multi-part "Estranged,” which are balanced with corrective lighter moments. "14 Years" may have a lean, Stonesy rhythm, and Duff McKagan's Johnny Thunders homage, "So Fine," may be entertaining, but GNR goes off the rails with ridiculous "Get in the Ring," where Axl Rose threatens rock journalists by name because they gave him bad reviews; a misinterpretation of Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"; and the bizarre paranoid closer, "My World." Yet there are numerous strengths to Illusion II, particularly those epics that play like a cross of Elton John and Freddie Mercury.

Biography

Formed: 1985 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

At a time when pop was dominated by dance music and pop-metal, Guns N' Roses brought raw, ugly rock & roll crashing back into the charts. They were not nice boys; nice boys don't play rock & roll. They were ugly, misogynistic, and violent; they were also funny, vulnerable, and occasionally sensitive, as their breakthrough hit, "Sweet Child O' Mine," showed. While Slash and Izzy Stradlin ferociously spit out dueling guitar riffs worthy of Aerosmith or the Stones, Axl Rose screeched out his...
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