Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Guns N' Roses, "14 Years"

Margaret recently asked me for New Year's songs, and there are always two I can think of--young U2's still-thrilling "New Year's Day" and the Breeders' sleek "New Year." But for 2014 especially, I'll be blasting "14 Years."

Use Your Illusion I & II is the closest that metal comes to the White Album, a sprawling, double disc mess of ragers, ballads, studio experiments and enough curveballs to get more dizzying with every listen. But on "14 Years," GNR sounded more like rock music's other great classic double album, Exile on Main St. Perhaps that was a conscious move on Izzy Stradlin's part, letting the world know that he (and not Slash) was the band's Keith Richards, the indispensable songwriter who could drop a hook as well as the frontman. Axl steals the chorus, but it's Izzy's song, a perfect barrelhouse rocker that conjures up the Mick and Keith's chemistry, if not their ability to put aside their differences.

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