Every Sunday The Hard Times likes to take a trip into its extensive music vault, pick out a classic album, and review it for a modern audience. This week we look at the Guns N’ Roses classic “Use Your Illusion II.”
When I was handed this assignment I asked my editor “will I understand ‘Use Your Illusion II’ if I haven’t listened to ‘Use Your Illusion I?’” My editor laughed and with tears in his eyes he said ‘good one, I’m going to miss this,’ and then walked back to his office, drew the curtains, made an announcement over the office intercom saying “I’m sorry, I can’t do this anymore.” That’s when I heard a single gunshot. I had no time to investigate–I had an assignment.
The first thing I do whenever I review an album is press play. And right from the start, I knew I was in trouble. “Use Your Illusion II” starts with a sound clip of a man talking about “a failure to communicate” and then Axl Rose starts whistling. This is when I knew I was absolutely fucked. I had no idea what was happening. I kept thinking that this must be a plotline from “Use Your Illusion I” and I’m just sitting here looking like a meatball trying to piece together this complex puzzle.
That’s when I went back to my boss to ask for help. He had locked his door and wasn’t answering no matter how loud any of us yelled. I kept thinking maybe he couldn’t hear us because that gunshot messed up his hearing. After a few hours of kicking at his door, it was time for me to go home. I didn’t sleep that night because I kept thinking about this review looming over me. I called in sick for the next four days so I could clear my head, and that’s when everything changed.
When I got back to the office it smelled like the Devil shit in his hands, put it on a George Foreman grill, and then glazed the shit with the smell of low tide in Boston harbor. I asked some of my coworkers what the smell was and they had no idea. Long story short, it turns out my boss killed himself, his decomposing corpse stunk up the joint, and I’m still forced to review an album I listened to less than 37 seconds of. If you like soundbites from old movies and whistling this album is for you.
SCORE: 1 out of 5 dead editors.