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Guns n' Roses - Chinese Democracy

 13 milioni di dollari spesi per un progetto che pochi credevano sarebbe stato completato. Registrato in 14 studi differenti tra Las vegas, LA, Londra e New York. 17 anni di attesa da Use Your Illusion.15 da Spaghetti Incident. E si potrebbe continuare con il numero strabiliante di musicisti pretesi e poi rinnegati dal capriccioso, maniacale e leader incontrastato nonche' titolare del marchio di fabbrica Axl Rose, 46-enne icona dell'hard rock.

Il tastierista Dizzy Reed e il bassista Tommy Stinson devono essere stati i piu' tolleranti della megalomania del leader, essendo presenti sulla maggior parte dei brani. In alcuni pezzi sono presenti addirittura cinque chitarristi (Robin Finck, Buckethead, Paul Tobias, Ron "Bumblefoot Thal e Richard Forus).

Circa meta' dei brani possono essere catalogate come ballads, mentre il resto sono pezzi ritmati e potenti, ma quasi ognuno contiene inattesi cambi di stile. L'effetto e' teatrale, con le parti vocali e gli arrangiamenti che prendono il sopravvento sui riffs, facendo di Chinese Democracy qualcosa di piu' vicino a una rock opera che a una scaletta da concerti nelle arene.

Non e' un album facilmente accessibile: gli amanti di progressive e alternative lo troveranno troppo melodico e radicato nel blues, mentre gli ascoltatori di fm rock non ameranno i continui cambi armonici e di tempo.

Il disco si apre con il pezzo omonimo, caratterizzata da un'introduzione epica, un riff incisivo e la voce raschiata e inconfondibile di Axl, in ottima forma. Segue poi la traccia più debole dell'album, "Shackler's Revenge", canzone molto commerciale non a caso inserita nel videogioco "Rock Band 2".

"Better", prossimo papabile singolo, è invece uno dei momenti migliori dell'album: inizio con voce filtrata stile hip-hop per trasformarsi poi in un'ottima miscela di rock vecchio stampo e melodia, con i classici toni di Axl, a meta' tra urla da vittima di torture e jet in decollo.  "Street of dreams" (conosciuta come il titolo The blues) è una piano ballad pseudo November rain.

 Ancora contaminazioni (chitarre flamenco e andamento hip-hop) in "If The World", inclusa nella soundtrack di Body of Lies. Segue "There was a Time" ,canzone fra le più apprezzate dagli internauti: dura oltre sette minuti e lascia ampio spazio al virtuosismo chitarristico di Buckethead, il quale sbroglia un assolo di quasi due minuti. "Catcher in the Rye" è un'altra canzone molto sentita in rete negli anni passati, che comunque nella sua versione definitiva suona un po' troppo commerciale. Anche "Scraped" e' un pezzo hard poco originale, che, voce a parte, riporta alle sonorita' del rock anni '80, genere Blue Oyster Cult.

Dopo "Rhiad and the bedouins", a metà tra il punk e il metal, arriviamo al gran finale, con la lenta e malinconica "Sorry", che ospita la voce dell'ex front man degli Skid Row, Sebastian Bach, seguita dal tono classic rock di "I.R.S", suonata spesso nel live tour del 2007 e "Madagascar", il pezzo piu' elaborato ed ambizioso, con campionamenti tratti dal discorso I have a dream di M L King, una bellissima linea di piano e una grande performance vocale di Axl: una super ballata di oltre cinque minuti.

In "This I Love" Axl dimostra ancora una volta la sua straordinaria potenza vocale. Inizio da ballad anche per l'ultimo pezzo, "Prostitute", che poi si trasforma in un pezzo rock potente, che riporta alle atmosfere tipiche dei Gun n' Roses d'annata.

Complessivamente un bel disco, che dopo qualche ascolto forse potrebbe diventare il vostro favorito del 2008.

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in effetti...sta diventando il mio favorito 2008....
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