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Use Your Illusion II

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  • The quiet-loud fury of “Civil War” opens Use Your Illusion II, a record which despite its more experimental, weirdly unengaging ditties (“Get in the Ring” and “My World”) contain some gut-wrenching rock and roll classics.”You Could Be Mine” drips with power and venom, Slash’s blues-metal guitar sounding as furious as ever and Matt Sorum’s drum attack establishing him as Guns N’ Roses’ best drummer; “14 Years”, with Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin’ sharing lead vocals, is a sleazy but involving kind of swing; “Yesterdays” has ringing guitars with one of Rose’s lost-innocence lyrics; and “Estranged” contains a volley of Slash’s best guitar melodies, all of which can rival the immortal intro to “Sweet Child O’ Mine”.The “blue album” was Guns N’ Roses’ last great album. Short-lived as the band was, its instrumental skill, unusually keen songwriting ear and ambition harkened to an older time when rock and roll could still claim to be larger than life…and deliver on the threat.

    Posted on February 24, 2010