EP182: Meet TV Critic Alan Sepinwall
4 hours ago
"Chinese Democracy comes close to fulfilling the absurdly impossible expectations…[because] the final truth is this: He [Axl Rose] makes the best songs."The album was #1 in the world in terms of sales the week of its release (Source: Global Track Chart) [note: this is the first actual source ever to appear on my blog--I can't speak for Mark's.], but the album is, so far, a commercial disappointment. It reminds me of an album that came out about two decades ago, sounded like nothing else around at the time, was hated by the record company ("Where are the singles!!??" they cried) and landed with a loud, anonymous thud, and was greeted by a chorus of yawns. But one year (to the day) after its release it was the #1 album in America. That album was Appetite For Destruction. Even the Illusion records got off to great sales starts, fizzled quickly, and were saved 10 months later by the release of 'November Rain' as a smash single. So Guns N' Roses albums have a slow burn, long term track record. We'll see where this album is commercially one year from now.
...every time your boss got on the stump and said, "It's time for the rich to pay their fair share", I hid under a couch and changed my name. I left my last job making $400,000 a year, which means I paid twenty-seven times the national average in income tax. I paid my fair share, and the fair share of twenty-six other people. And I'm happy to because that's the only way it's gonna work, and it's in my best interest that everybody be able to go to schools and drive on roads, but I don't get twenty-seven votes on Election Day. The fire department doesn't come to my house twenty-seven times faster and the water doesn't come out of my taps twenty-seven times hotter.So I guess what I'm saying that, all "that's just Axl being Axl" talk aside (an argument I know for a fact you despise), the album is good—possibly even great—but it's not "fourteen years" great. It's not fourteen times better than 808s or Day and Age or Viva La Vida (actually, maybe…). So while I'm pleased that it actually did come out and even happier that it's actually good, I can't help but be, even if ever so slightly, still a bit disgusted.