Sound — 9
The first half of the album hits you full on in the face, with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer with a breeze block nailed to the end of it. Machine gun style drum intros followed by gut wrenching guitar riffs. An interesting point to note is the fact that at this time Slash was still using his BC Rich Mockingbird, so these tracks have a very 80's contemporary feel, but with the intensity we associate with GN'R. A great way to see how GN'R developed, even though two of these songs are covers. The second half is a much more relaxed feel, giving me the impression of a few chilled out writing sessions with some beers. A great contrast to the "Live" (yes, it was faked) feel of the first half, this feels like they are sitting in a room with you playing. A great mix of acoustic and electric guitars, showcasing the versatility and willingness to try anything that GnR possessed.
Lyrics — 8
Lyrically this album isn't quite what the others in the GN'R catalogue are, but this is understandable considering it was only a stop gap album, and two of the songs of the eight are covers. Having said that, Patience shines through as a love song, with Axl's delivery adding an intensity to the song which takes the gently stroked guitars to a whole new level. I can't talk about lyrics without touching on One in a Million. A song full of venom and hate, this song was taken to be an attack on homosexuals, black people and immigrants. Attack or no, this caused a storm of controversy around the band. If you look at the song as a whole however, what you are given is a pretty gritty account of how scary a big city is if you're not used to it, and a telling slice of Axl's life.
Overall Impression — 10
This was the last GN'R album I got, and although it couldn't compare to appetite or the illusions (obviously), it did enough to hook me to the point of listening to it non-stop for a few days. For a GnR fan, I would say buy this after the better known albums as a nice change of pace from guns' heavier material. A must buy.