Sorry about that last one.

If there’s anything that reminds me of my own mortality it’s the fact that Appetite For Destruction was released in 1987. Twenty-one years ago. It’s probably the album I’ve listened to most, although seeing as it predated the iPod and its handy count function, you’ll have to take my word for it.

In 1991, Guns N Roses released the Use Your Illusion double header that was, at best, iffy. Some great, some shite.  Critics and fans agreed that there was probably one great album hidden amongst its over-indulgence and repetition.

So now, in 2008, some seventeen years later, we have new Guns N Roses material. To illustrate the magnitude of this event, seventeen years before 1991 (ie, 1974) we were in the realms of The Joker, Seasons In The Sun, Band On The Run, Cat’s in The Cradle and … would you believe … Kung Fu Fighting.

The long and short of it is, the record is a strong 8 out of 10. It’s not brilliant. It’s not flawless. The world is not going to embrace it in the same way it did with Brothers In Arms or Thriller or, even, Appetite For Destruction.

And stalwart fans of AfD who never bought into UYI 1 & 2 may have a bit of a problem with CD. There are elements of Nine Inch Nails in there. There’s synth work and prog influences. With an open mind, though, it’s relevant and timely and just how a hard rock album presents itself toward the end of the first decade of the 21st Century.

It’s mostly good but in places it’s very good. The title track, IRS, Better and There Was A Time are all highlights and there are a few others — Prostitute, Catcher In The Rye — that may grow in time to become exceptional. It’s never less than interesting.

Today, though, I listened to all 76 GnR songs from Appetite For Destruction up to Chinese Democracy. The former is unbeatable. Maybe the point is not to try.

The bottom line, though, is if Sebastian Bach is to be believe, this is the first in a trilogy of new material. I’ve already started the stopwatch. Axl — you’ve got 17 years to beat.

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