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G N' R Lies

Guns N' Roses

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Album Review

Once Appetite for Destruction finally became a hit in 1988, Guns N' Roses bought some time by delivering the half-old/half-new LP G N' R Lies as a follow-up. Constructed as a double EP, with the "indie" debut Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide coming first and four new acoustic-based songs following on the second side, G N' R Lies is where the band metamorphosed from genuine threat to joke. Neither recorded live nor released by an indie label, Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide is competent bar band boogie, without the energy or danger of Appetite for Destruction. The new songs are considerably more problematic. "Patience" is Guns N' Roses at their prettiest and their sappiest, the most direct song they recorded to date. Its emotional directness makes the misogyny of "Used to Love Her (But I Had to Kill Her)" and the pitiful slanders of "One in a Million" sound genuine. Although the cover shrugs them off as a "joke," Axl Rose's venom is frightening — there's little doubt that he truly does believe that "faggots" come to America from another country and that "niggers" should stay out of his way. Since he wasn't playing a character on the remainder of the album, there's little doubt this is from the heart as well. And what makes it harder to dismiss is the musical skill of the band, which makes the country-fried boogie of "Used to Love Her," the bluesy revamp of "You're Crazy," and the tough, paranoid fever dream of "One in a Million" indelible. So, you either listen to the music and are satisfied or else listen to the lyrics and become disturbed not only by Rose's intentions, but by the millions of record buyers that identified with him.

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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