Guns N' Roses Album - Use Your Illusion 2
|Album Information :|
||Use Your Illusion 2
Review - Product Description :
GUNS N ROSES USE YOUR ILLUSION II
Review - Amazon.com :
Had Use Your Illusion II been combined with Use Your Illusion I, keeping only the best material while dropping the filler, it would have been one of the best rock albums ever recorded. Instead, great songs like "Civil War," "14 Years," "Estranged," and "So Fine" compete with the inexcusable "Get in the Ring" and the well-intentioned but off-target cover of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door." There's no point to the second version of "Don't Cry," either. On the other hand, when Guns N' Roses were good, they were very, very good, and some of the material on this album is unsurpassable. --Genevieve Williams
126 of 145 people found the following review helpful:
- The Epic to end all Epics
Easily tied with some other albums for "Greatest of All Time", "Use Your Illusion II" is the one review I kept putting off, not thinking I could ever be in the proper state of mind to give this piece of music the justice and worship that words can never express. Well, I've obviously started typing, so let's see what happens...
(Oh first of all let's get the "Appetite" and "My World" issues out of the way; yes, Appetite is wonderful and there's no reason to let any sort of comparison between these two albums impede the immense praise that is deserved by both. And yes, "My World" is an example of "WTF, Axl?????". HOWEVER, you have over 70 of the most well spent minutes of your entire existence to experience from this album before the final two minutes, so how DARE anyone let "My World" affect the reaction towards "Use Your Illusion II.")
Ok here we go. This album is epic (did I mention that?). When you are down and out, ready to give up, think all hope has gone, etc., etc..... you do NOT go to Nirvana. you do NOT go to Britney Spears. No, my friends (and enemies), you go to this album, track 11. There you will find the reason music exists. Heart and soul, blood and guts, tears, catharsis, anger, rage, emotion of the highest form, a purging of all of your demons: THAT is what will be injected into your veins when you listen to one of the greatest songs ever, "Estranged." Unfortunately, songs like this were a major reason for the sad (and painfully slow) breaking of the fellowship that was known as the mighty original Guns. Axl was (and is) a control freak that dictatorially directed how the music was going to be. His grand schemes exhausted and frustrated his cohorts, who felt they were losing their voices in the band. As tragic as the break has been, I will offer up the condolences that if an album's creation pays that very highest price that can be paid (short of death), atleast the album created is "Use Your Illusion II", and atleast it contains the song "Estranged."
If you liked Guns N Roses after 1993 (such as I did), you were CRUCIFIED by the public. There's a lot of moral wrongs in society, and I'm not going to start comparing Nirvana fans to terrorists, but I will say that the nineties gave us blatant evidence as to why not enough people are open-minded and think for themselves. The music of Guns N Roses - the very music that was irrationally chastised for being mindless, talentless and overblown - is some of the most gut-wrenching, fist-clenching, serious and thought-provoking music out there. Just LISTEN to what Axl's actually ranting about. Just FEEL what Slash's Les Paul is really doing to your soul. It all comes together with this album. I love the Beethoven 9th as much as the next guy, but the grand finale to "Estranged" is the most emotional music I've ever heard. It may be from a rock band, but the point is, it's from THIS rock band. Learning "Estranged" on piano is what made me what I am today - instead of quitting piano, I majored in it. Instead of laying down to die in front of the door of the past decade of musical B.S., I vowed to go to my grave defending the music that really reaches out to people, trendy or not.
More than the already unsurpassable amount of blessing must be given to the fact that this is not an album with just one sound. Guns pulled off the project of pure human emotion with diversity! "Estranged" itself winds around into different keys, with different themes, and different moods. A real journey of body and mind. But just about every other song is of the same ilk. "14 Years" was just as influential on me, schooling me on some serious blues rock. I've never felt more conviction from any band's live performance than from the studio recording of this song! The entire band really seems to be letting off some serious steam in this one, so make sure you let it get into your blood! And speaking of letting off some steam, how about "Get in the Ring?" This is THE quintessential anger song. While a simple punk band can only really ever deal with anger in one dimension, Axl and co. really let you into a web of emotional complexity with their ability to actually PLAY their instruments (sorry, some of you might not know what that is). Granted, some of the lyrics are more blatant than a sledgehammer ("When you're talking 'bout a vasectomy..." ), but these lines are always offset by more crafty, if intense, ones ("I sense a smell of retribution in the air"). It should be noted that if you're one to be offended at times, the skip button was invented for the song "Get In The Ring". Everyone else... rock on!
100 paragraphs each also go to "Civil War," "Breakdown," and "Locomotive," (not to mention the epic-ifying of a pretty basic Dylan tune, "Knockin' On Heaven's Door," and the alternate [better] lyrics for "Don't Cry," and don't forget Arnold ["You Could Be Mine"]!!!)...but I've made my point and Amazon only allows 1000 words. Just imagine "Estranged" done 10 times over and you've got the album...the MASTERPIECE.
Bottom line about the timelessness to these wonderful songs, this album is FRESH. While some bands' music does sound dated and stale, nomatter how many times I start up "Civil War," I feel myself taken to a new dimension. The songwriting, playing, band-chemistry, recording, mixing, timing.... it all comes together on this album better than just about any other. If you are in need of therapy, and/or if you like rock music, and/or if you are human, "Use Your Illusion II" is the all-purpose pinnacle.
If you find these opinions to resemble your own, you are highly encouraged to email!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
Is normal to hear that Appetite for Destruction is one of the best rock albums ever made. It is also normal to hear that is the best album ever from Guns N'Roses. But one thing is for sure: This album is as good(and maybe better) than Appetite. Use your Illusion II is full of excellent, unforgettable songs. Starting with Estranged, a nine minutes masterpiece with a killer guitar work by Slash, and remarkable lyrics by Axl. No other person has ever written so good about the feelings related to the fact of losing the one you love and understanding that your relationship just fell apart. Yesterdays is a simple but beautiful song. Really easy to hear. When i run out of words is when i try to explain how i feel about hearing Locomotive. What a song! Slash is just from another world. Hard and fast riffs combined with Axl's powerful voice are just amazing. The last three minutes of this song are maybe the 3 best ever recorded by a rock band. Only comparable to Stairway to Heaven, Estranged, and the last 3 from Rocket Queen (also from Appetite). So fine is a gentle song, with an excellent balance of piano and guitar sounds that allowed Duff McKagan to show that GN'R is not just about Axl and Slash. He can write good songs too and sing them with high quality standards. Get in the ring, the song that defined the name of their world tour is pure rock and roll. Excellent intro guitars and following riffs by Izzy and Slash. Axl's honesty about his feelings for magazine's columnists and editors resulted in a really powerful song. Its really contagious rythm makes impossible not to sing and jump with these song. Civil war is another classic with an excellent wah-wah pedal work from Slash. Then we find 14 Years, with excellent lyrics and vocals from Izzy Stradlin and powered backing vocals from Axl. And one after another you get through the best group of rock and roll songs ever put together in one album. This one is an album to remember. An album to hear for years to come, because what the gunners accomplished here is just to great and beautiful to be forgotten. Maybe we are lucky and we can have them together again, making really simple, powerful rock and roll, just as they only can do.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
I still have my original copies of UYI 1 and UYI 2 that I bought some 12 years ago at midnight when the record store opened so they could be sold. I still cant decide which of the 2 is best, 2 just might be a little better. While the 2 albums together have some filler, there is less on 2. We have the ass-kicking tunes YOU COULD BE MINE, PRETTY TIED UP, CIVIL WAR, YESTERDAY,14 YEARS, KNOCKIN ON HEAVENS DOOR. The songs SO FINE, ESTRANGED, LOCOMOTIVE are a little slower, but they are also great songs. The weak link on this album is MY WORLD, this is a song that we dont need. DONT CRY, with alternate lyrics we possibly could have done without, but it is still a good song so I guess thats cool. While I love both albums, and they still find there way into my stereo after 12 years, I agree with some of the reviewers that we might have been better off with just one double album. Like I said before, I consider these albums to be their EXILE ON MAIN ST., and shows the promise this band had before all the internal conflicts ripped them apart. Yes I think they could have been as big as the ROLLING STONES, but we will never know. I highly recommend adding this album to your collection.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
- Lose Your Delusions, Axl
Okay, I can admit that out of 14 tracks, there are 3 skippable songs (Get In The Ring, Shotgun Blues and My World).
But when a band like G'n'R puts together 11 songs as unbelieveably diverse, and consistently excellent, as these tunes, you have an instant classic on your hands. The sleaze from Appetite and UYI 1 have almost disappeared, leaving some epic songwriting and awesome guitar work from the superlative-defying duo of Slash & Izzy.
1 Civil War: 10/10 - Whoa. What an opener. From the Cool Hand Luke excerpt to the wonderful guitar virtuosity, to the genuinely touching lyrics, this is an epic unlike any other anti-war song.
2 14 Years: 9/10 - A great little blues rock, honky tonk number, giving Izzy room to shine.
3 Yesterdays: 10/10 - A lovely ballad, with some nice harmonies and a great video.
4 Knockin On Heaven's Door: 9/10 - Overplayed, over-rated and SO much better live, it still merits a 9/10 for turning a mediocre Dylan number into an incandescent glam rocker.
5 Get In The Ring: 4/10 - Embarrassing lyrics, hilarious rant, actually quite good music, but still near unlistenable.
6 Shotgun Blues: 4/10 - Like a bad rash, the embarrassing lyrics just wouldn't go away until...
7 Breakdown: 10/10 - Nice banjo intro! This is a genuinely beautiful song, if you ignore the weird deep voice in the chorus, which is totaly out of place.
8 Pretty Tied Up: 9/10 - Izzy wrote this one, and it rocks the bells! A verse on S&M, a verse on the decline of the band and a verse on the dangers of fame, all "tied up" (sorry) to a hard-rockin classic.
9 Locomotive: 10/10 - In no way overlong. The lyrics are actually wonderful, the music is funky, almost reminiscent of Rocket Queen in that regard. The piano outro is gorgeous.
10 So Fine: 10/10 - Duff, take a bow, my man! This is a beautiful piece of balladry, interspersed with great blues rock. Written for Johnny Thunders, but listen to it with a special someone in mind, and it makes so much sense.
11 Estranged: ?/10 - How high can you count? An awe-inspiring piece of work. Music as art, art as catharsis. Too many highlights to number, but special mention to THAT guitar solo, after Axl sings 'And what for?' Axl and Slash prove they've got the goods to rival any frontman/guitarist duo, ever. That means Page/Plant, Jagger/Richards, Tyler/Perry etc. I really can't put into words how impossible it is to over-rate this song. It is pure emotion on a little shiny disc, perhaps only matched by Hunger Strike by Temple of the Dog for sheer beauty.
12 You Could Be Mine: 10/10 - A classic hard-rocker, sleazy, arrogant and brilliant for it. If you liked You're Crazy, this goes even further into pure sexed-up glam rock.
13 Don't Cry: 9/10 - The original would get 10/10, because I prefer the lyrics, but as long as that solo is still there, I'm not complaining. A truly excellent power ballad, I could do without the strange extended 'toniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight' at the end. But if you think that's bad...
14 My World: 0/10 - I refuse to consider this a G'n'R song. Axl, if you think going in this direction is going to top what the boys have done with Velvet Revolver, you're sadly mistaken. No one wants to hear another lame rap-rock crossover act.
So, with G'n'R losing control over Axl, and the birth of grunge, this was the last classic album from the boys as a whole. Of course, everyone who has released an album since has managed to recapture some of the glory. Snakepit, any Stradlin solo LP, and of course, Velvet Revolver are all glorious rock records, and I can say from experience that VR are a top-notch live act. So Axl, get your act together fast, or you will lose all the status uo rightly deserve.
Fly (Canada) - November 24, 1999
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
First off yes I am a fan of Guns N' Roses. Having said that I own all the there albums and this one is my favorite....because it is long and jam packed with "epics"...songs like Civil War..Estranged...Knocking on Heavens door...yesterdays and especially you could be mine...are some of the best songs that I've heard and many havn't gotten the credit they so richly deserve! This is a great album...it has surprisingly little filler for an album this long...this is worth it for sure!