Today, Rolling Stone posted the first official review of Guns N’ Roses’ (choose your adverb) delayed Chinese Democracy, due out finally and officially and exclusively through Best Buy on November 23. (That’s 12 measly days from now.) The author is, unsurprisingly, David Fricke, and the review is, surprisingly, gushing. Up until this juncture, and with only leaks of varying reliability to go on, the reviews from fans have been mixed to positive. Still, we assumed the logical conclusion to the Chinese Democracy saga would be the arrival of a disappointing record overstuffed with guitars, techno experimentation, and abandoned ideas (though we’ve never been a GNR fan-boy, so our views may be biased).
Well, according to Fricke, it is all of those things and more… and yet the disc rocks. As The Frickster says, paraphrasing Axl’s approach, “Restraint is for suckers.” “Most of these songs also go through multiple U-turns in personality,” Fricke goes on. “As if Rose kept trying new approaches to a hook or a bridge and then decided, ‘What the hell, they’re all cool.’” And yet, “If this is the Guns n’ Roses that Rose kept hearing in his head all this time, it is obvious why two guitars, bass and drums were never going to be enough.” A single listen to the officially released title track, would seem to confirm Fricke’s diagnosis. Though we’re not so sure all that bombast makes for all that great a listen. I suppose we’ll have to wait till the 23rd…
In other GNR news, our old friend Kevin “Skwerl” Cogill—the 27-year-old who leaked nine-tracks from Chinese Democracy on his blog, Antiquiet, last June—has pleaded guilty to one count of copyright infringement, according to rolling stone.com. This reverses Cogill’s not-guilty plea from last month. At the time, the blogger faced three years in prison, and five if it had been proven that Cogill leaked the tracks for commercial gain. Instead, with the charges reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor, the guy may only face a maximum of 12 months in prison, this on top of the six he’s already served. Back in June, before Cogill arrived in jail, he told rollingstone.com that, “if legal proceedings come my way, I’ll face them 100 percent. I’m not afraid of that. I did what I did, and I’ll face the music if I have to.” Guess a few months in jail will change anyone’s tune.
And there’s no word yet whether Cogill will be forced to reveal the source of the leak—info the FBI claimed was the real motive for their harassment of the blogger in the first place.