Sound — 9
Well, this album sounds a lot more meaty than Appetite for Destruction. Maybe it's because Guns N' Roses, now the globe-trotting megastars of the early 90's, could afford more studio equipment. OK, that was a joke. Truth is, Axl Rose & Co. explored vast, never before seen territory. They were exploring a far more decadent sound. This album, being the first in the "Illusion" duo, was the first Guns record to feature classical instruments, such as piano. November Rain is an excellent example of this. All this points to an ever evolving/maturing group of musicians, eager to find what "clicked".
Lyrics — 10
Axl Rose has improved upon himself once again. His lyrics are now much deeper than previous efforts, showing how he has evolved as a person. Lyrics in the ballads like Don't Cry and November Rain show what he is all about on this CD. But then you have the odd rant/rave like he has on Don't Damn Me and Garden of Eden, both are good songs, but also show that Axl hasn't lost his crzy side. Dead Horse is an excellent way to show they still stick to their hard rock roots. Axl still posesses the demonic scream of old, so nothing lost on the vocal quality end either. In fact, his singing skills are better than those on previous albums, with a far bigger emphasis on his deeper singing, showing off his huge vocal range, especially in the 10 minute epic that is Coma, showcasing all his different styles in one go.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, I would hardly call this a masterpiece in the same vein as Appetite for Destruction, it hardly breaks new ground, but seeing as it breaks new ground for Guns N, I guess I could call it innovitave. The most impressive song without doubt, has to be November Rain, it shows such depth to be bands songwriting skills. I don't really hate anything on this album, apart from You Ain't The First, GN'R should have packaged that on GN'R Lies, it would have been far better received. Finally, if mine was stolen/lost, I would definitely consider buying it again, but mostly because I think Guns N' Roses are kickass.