I like a whole range of music. I listen to different styles of music depending on what mood I'm in (like most people). I can't just listen to one
type of music, otherwise the music just becomes dull. A person should always diversify their taste no matter what it is. I can't stand "POP-ular"
music, or Country - nothing is worse then someone singing with a fake southern accent, which is MOST of them. I don't even consider POP or Country a
category of music.
There really are only a few categories of music, everything else are just sub-categories. I think Rock and Roll, Hip Hop, Electronica, Classical, and
a few others are the main categories of music. Techno, Grunge, Goth, Country, Folk, Blues, POP (which is made up of many sub categories in of
itself), Acid, Native, etc.... those are all sub categories of the main ones. Country is just a crappy form of rock. And a lot of music is put into
the wrong category in the first place. I still don't know why Johnny Cash is almost always in the Country section - his stuff is real and shouldn't
even be compared with the trite that is most Country.
Led Zeppelin has some good stuff, as was said though, they are overrated. I also think the Beatles are overrated. Their stuff just isn't that
"timeless" in my opinion. It's played so damn much your ears begin to bleed. And how many times do they have to play John Lennon's "Imagine"
on the radio? I do like the song, but I could also imagine it not being played (or I could stop listening to the crap that is FM radio and get
There are only a few musicians that I can listen to over and over and over without getting sick to my stomach. I can listen to Queen all day long,
now that was some creative shiite. The perfect voice of Freddie Mercury never ceases to amaze me.
I like Seal - his stuff is very creative, and the man writes his own stuff as well as plays the instruments, which gives you a thumb-up in my book.
The Cure is another killer band to listen to. Robert Smith's haunting voice accents the music being played.
Tupac is one of the few hip hop artist that doesn't come off as being fake to me (RIP - if he really is gone). I like the stuff he talks about and
he's a damn fine poet. Busta Rhymes is another, his stuff is smoothly original.
Say what you will about Sting and the Police but they created some damn fine work. Sting has even put out some pretty good stuff in his solo career -
although some of it gets played too much.
Trent Reznor (AKA Nine Inch Nails) has also added greatly to the music world. I can say I like about 95% of the stuff he has made. There are only a
few groups where I can say I like all of their music, or even 50% of it.
There is an Electronica (sub-cat as Techno) group I like thats big in Europe called Scooter. A lot of their stuff is pretty simple but its the way it
sounds and plays in your ears that makes it great. Its also fun to listen to and most of it can be great dance music.
Another musician I like is Nick Bracegirdle (AKA Chicane). He wonderfully composes his music via real instruments and synths.
Brian Transeau (AKA BT) also makes very similar music to Chicane, but his is much more diversified - and in my opinion is one of the best musicians
out there today. He's known as the Maryland wonderboy for a reason.
As far as that studio made band Evanessence goes - pure crap. The news media and MTV (which I see on rare occasion to see the next batch of music
idiots) talk as if they invented the music and that its the first time there has been a female lead singer to a rock band. That singer can't sing,
she can't even hit a high note properly. Most of the singing sounds like one of those phone sex operators. As far as the musicianship goes, 1, 2,
3, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3.
Lacuna Coil (an Italian export) has been around since 1996 and would be categorized as being the same type of music. Difference is: The female
singer, Christina Scabbia, can sing, really sign. The band can write music, and really play their instruments. They have a sound all their own.
Again, like Evanessence, they aren't the first band to do this - they just perfected it.
The Smashing Pumpkins is another great band.
Sarah McLachlan is a great singer/songwriter/musician.
Bach was a wonderful composer.
Pavarotti can sing.
Tears for Fears second album "Songs from the Big Chair" - pure genius.
Jerry Goldsmith is probably the greatest modern composer - very diversified in what he can create, without it sounding the same. James Horner and
Vangelis come a close second, Elliot Goldenthal a third. Although Howard Shore has made some great stuff. Hmm, maybe I'd put Gustav Holst at the
top. They're all great - I guess you can't really rank musicians that all create wonderful music.
I could talk about music all day. I've got a library of hundreds, even thousands of musicians in my head and the music they have made.
I still think the most underrated band of all time is Guns N' Roses. Their material is still the most original rock material to have ever come
around - I have not heard anything like since. Its hard to copy something like Guns N Roses, heck, almost impossible. I won't even explain my own
thoughts about them, I'll let one of the reviewers on Amazon.com do the explaining for me (his thoughts are my thoughts, exactly):
The Strongest Pain Relief Money Can Buy, January 15, 2004
Reviewer: Douglas Rausch (see more about me) from Doylestown, PA United States
There is an energy in this album (along with the other pre Spag. albums) that can not be replicated. The stars lined up just right for a handful of
times in the past 50 years, and included in the list of those to benefit is the GUNS N ROSES beast from 87-93. Although contemporary times always make
the past look tame, there is still no denying the ferocious, controversial beauty that will probably always be associated with GNR.
I'm not in the generation that's supposed to listen to Guns. I was 11 when the Illusions came out, so that meant that while everybody was telling me
that Kurt Cobain was the only thing that was cool, I was just discovering the TRUE POWER of music, which is highly inclusive of the mighty Guns. Also
a classically trained pianist, let me say I am very open-minded. But regardless of society's pressure to keep up with the times, I still haven't
heard anything since the Illusions that can offer such a profound release of anger, tension, stress, and hurtful emotion. Fans ferociously guard
"Appetite..." as the definitive album, and there's obviously a whole host of good arguments for that - but although it was at the expense of the
band's unity, I maintain that the Illusions pulled off every epic human goal that music can provide, justifying Axl's egocentric addiction to
perfectionism. Here's the review of 1, which although it doesn't pull off the "greatest album of all time" -ness of 2, it is the biggest pack of a
punch that good hard rock has ever been able to muster.
The songwriting, performing, attitude, musicianship - EVERYTHING - came together with "Appetite" - but now, with a few more dollars in their
pockets, the Gunners could take that same vision and get the recordings polished to perfection. I conceed that that is "for better of worse," in
that many people prefer a raw sound, and that appeals to many Appetite heads (and I'm one of them!) But during the Illusions recordings, magic
happened; a very spiritual (partially demonic) soul got trapped into the tape, making these recordings transcend all laws of recording techniques, and
when you listen to the metallic blues of "Dust N Bones", the more obscure "Bad Apples," or the bone-crunching epic "Coma," you can't help but
bleed out all of your internal toxins. Music exists for a release (among other things), and no album has you dealing with your demons more intensely
than Use Your Illusion I. Axl's lyrics read like a psychiatric report, which as I mention down below, wouldn't make sense if indeed they were a
shallow party band. Indeed, this band was put here with a purpose.
Okay, so they weren't the BEST musicians around, but they weren't bad. And the group dynamic made up for the lack of technique many times over.
Afterall, a strong element to the foundation of the band is punk, where attitude is all that matters. The fact that Guns had/have attitude PLUS other
things to offer makes me say that that is the best thing you could try to get from any musician.
Which leads me right into the high compliment to this album's effective diversity. I play piano for a living, and Use Your Illusion 1 is like
Appetite + piano and a few other things, which is why I hold 1 just a notch higher (not worth arguing about though). I could listen to the bluesy
headbanging of "Dust N Bones" (and even more, 2's 14 years) all day long, jamming along on piano, and never want to go do anything else. The
hypnotic electricity of this band should come in a bottle. Then there's "You Ain't the First," a really cool acoustic ditty, a royal
"Queen-like" cover of Sir Paul's "Live and Let Die", the staple ballad "Don't Cry," the monstrously screaming metal of "Back off B@#$%", and
the smash epic that needs no description, "November Rain." I put on a piano recital which, after the Beethoven was over, included a full
orchestration of this epic, strings and all. A pretty bold move for a conservative music school. With regards to those saying that if 1 and 2 were
combined into one solid (though how much more solid do you want?) album it would be much better... I'll concede only as far as "Double Talkin Jive"
and "Perfect Crime," are concerned, which are the closest to filler that is on the first album (Slash's tasteful classical guitar licks
notwithstanding). This album, especially when coupled with 2, has it all. Dave Matthews and Phish may open up their jams more, but they still leave
you needing your Prozac.
It's funny how documentaries try to establish grunge as a return to seriousness after the partying of the 80's bands - but I never fell for grunge,
and I've needed a boatload of musical anti-depressants in my life (who hasn't?). No, kids, Nirvana never really offered that much other than a
meeting place for disillusioned teens. The magic of Guns was MUCH angrier, much more MUSICAL, and much more PROFOUND. [Why even mention the N word?
Well as you should well know, "N" made it not cool to like GNR, which was a sad sad day for the future of the record industry.] But I digress... The
characteristic style of randomly chosen subjects, let's say "The Garden" or "Dead Horse", holds up UNBELIEVABLY well today, and still tastes as
fresh as it did a decade ago. And when it's all over, that is the true test.
The Epic to End All Epics, January 23, 2004
Reviewer: Douglas Rausch (see more about me) from Doylestown, PA United States
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
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. Thanks for reading.
Anyways, music doesn't suck today - you just have to know where to look for good music. Expand your taste -don't stick to one category/subcategory
of music. If all you listen to is top 40 crap, then thats all you're gonna get, crap. Don't get me wrong, some stuff in the top 40 is good, but
most of it is just studio made material for the masses. The "song of the week." The stuff that people don't remember the lyrics or the music to
months/years later. We all have different taste, but bad music is bad music.
And it is possible to create a new sound in music that is all your
own - just make it well enough that other people can't copy it or the copy it poorly (the smart people will be able to tell the real from the fake),
like my favorite band of all time, Guns and F'n Roses.
True music can never die.