After 17 years of false starts and whispery rumors, no one was shocked when Chinese Democracy, Guns N' Roses' (well, Axl Rose's at least) newest and much-delayed album, was finally released last week. Except for the, well, Chinese! As if they were living under some sort of all-the-way-around-the-world rock or something, this is apparently the first the Communist-y supernation has heard of the album. And they are not happy about it. The album's title is "venomously attacking China," according to national Chinese newspaper the Global Times. The album is laden with commentary on the Chinese government, referencing the banned spiritual practice of Falun Gong and featuring the 1989-y lyric: "if your Great Wall rocks blame yourself." (If you're Great Wall's a rockin', you're probably doin' the knockin'! Of boots! Chinese boots!) But, c'mon, we've known the title of this thing for years, and the Chinese are just now getting mad about it? They could have been raging about this since, like, before the internet even existed! Where were the pamphlets about how the album is a Western tool meant to "grasp and control the world using democracy as a pawn"? I mean, it's true! And it's also about rockin' out! Their reaction, though resoundingly nationalistic and scary, is probably kind of what Axl and his newish bandmates were hoping for here stateside. Instead all they got was a deliciously side-winding review by Chuck Klosterman, and sad opening day debuts at Best Buy. So, I guess it just goes to show that the world has changed a lot since last we Used Our Illusion, but China hasn't noticed. Because, you know, they've been focusing on slightly bigger things. China State Media Blast New Guns N' Roses Album [AP]
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