Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Guns N' Roses: G N' R Lies [Geffen, 1988]
Axl's voice is a power tool with attachments, Slash's guitar a hype, the groove potent "hard rock," and the songwriting not without its virtues. So figure musical quality at around C plus and take the grade as a call to boycott, a reminder to clean livers who yearn for the wild side that the necessary link between sex-and-drugs and rock-and-roll is a Hollywood fantasy. Anyway, this band isn't even sex and drugs--it's dicking her ass before you smack up with her hatpin. (No wonder they want to do an AIDS benefit.) "One in a Million"--"Immigrants and faggots/They make no sense to me/They come to our country/And think they'll do as they please/Like start some mini-Iran/Or spread some fucking disease/They talk so many goddamn ways/It's all Greek to me"--is disgusting because it's heartfelt and disgusting again because it's a grandstand play. It gives away the "joke" (to quote the chickenshit "apologies" on the cover) about the offed girlfriend the way "Turn around bitch I've got a use for you" gives away "Sweet Child o' Mine." Back when they hit the racks, these posers talked a lot of guff about suicide. I'm still betting they don't have it in them to jump. E