Music criticism usually lands somewhere between snark and self-indulgence—neither one of which is that compelling—but every once in a while, the stars align and someone writes something so great it justifies the whole enterprise. And hopefully, it has a few jokes about Axl Rose’s corn rows.
The long-delayed Gun and Roses album Chinese Democracy is currently making the review circuit, and fate brought it into the pale hands of one Chuck Klosterman, an occasional Esquire essayist and all-around metal savant. In other words, it’s a dinosaur rock critic reviewing a dinosaur rock album, and they’re both giving it all they’ve got.
It might be the best record review we’ve ever read. You get the feeling that Klosterman spent a solid week listening to the album on repeat and drinking enough coffee to kill a horse. In his own words, “I've thought about this record more than I've thought about China, and maybe as much as I've thought about the principles of democracy.”