Guns N' Roses
Use Your Illusion II


4.0
excellent

Review

by Humor99 USER (14 Reviews)
May 28th, 2005 | 93 replies | 28,339 views


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist


3 of 6 thought this review was well written

Use Your Illusion II
-----------------------------------------
The second half of the 'Use Your Illusion' albums contains more softer bluesy tunes compared to the more hard-rocking Use Your Illusion I. The line up for this CD is:

Axl Rose - Lead/backing vocals, piano
Duff McKagan - Bass
Slash - Lead/rhythm/acoustic guitars
Izzy Stradlin' - Rhythm/acoustic guitars, vocals, sitar
Matt Sorum - Drums
Dizzy Reed - Keyboards, piano

Civil War - [5/5]
Probably one of the best songs on the album, and one of the best GNR has ever written. It's change in dynamics and blend of acoustic and electric guitar provide great energy to the song. A protest against the cost of war on humanity, this song delivers its message in a strong, powerful way.

14 Years - [3/5]
An Izzy/Rose composition, this song is about suffering through a 14-year relationship. It's not their best, but certainly not their worst either. Izzy sings it, which adds an interesting twist with his voice while Axl moves over to the piano. It has a nice momentum to it, with a nice piano lick, but again, nothing special.

Yesterdays - [3.5/5]
A lighter tune about moving on away from the past. Axl returns to vocals with his high-pitch voice, which gives it a more heartfelt feel. Slower, and more soft rock, but overall better than 14 Years (which seem to be of similar nature).

Knockin' on Heaven's Door - [5/5] (a Bob Dylan cover)
This song is amazing. Most rock fans have heard it probably, and it takes a Bob Dylan classic and gives it a new energy that is totally rocking. The guitar is perfectly done for the song, and the light distortion interludes give it a stronger presence. Axl's voice is in top shape as he cries out "Knock knock knockin' on heaven's door - hey, hey, hey hey hey." Some people complain about the little phone break after the second chorus - it really doesn't detract from the song, but then again it doesn't really add to it either. But this Bob Dylan classic has had an extreme makeover, and is so awesome.

Get in the Ring - [3/5]
This track is a chance for Axl and GNR to get back at all the critics who didn't believe in them. Cheering at the beginning, then a blues guitar intro, which eventually leads into the fast tempo for the rest of the song. Halfway through, Axl takes a moment to address all the critics in a tirade that is good for a laugh at the very least. Nothing totally special (they said most of it in "Don't Damn Me" on UYI I), but still good for a jolly.

Shotgun Blues - [2.5/5]
This track seems more like a hard-rock song than blues. Not a very good hard rock song at that either - lots of repetition and it doesn't really go anywhere. It sounds like a generic hard rock song, but maybe even a little worse.

Breakdown - [3.5/5]
A nice ballad-type song with a banjo intro and a good mix of guitar and piano. Moderate pace with blues electric guitar in the background, piano and acoustic guitar carrying the main melody. It's about finding that special person in your life and making everything is okay. By the second verse, it picks up a little bit with a more frantic tempo, reaching a peak during the guitar solo which is frantic and bluesy at the same time.

Pretty Tied Up - [3.5/5]
This song was written by Izzy Stradlin' about living a rock 'n' roll lifestyle and getting caught in all the perks. It starts off with an Arabian sounding intro and keeps that sound throughout. This is one of the more hard-rock tracks and includes Izzy playing the sitar. Averagely good song.

Locomotive - [4/5]
Clocking in at almost 9 minutes, this is one of GNR's longer songs - and it's intensity the whole way. With a solid drumbeat kicking it off, joined in by distorted guitars carrying on the tempo. The percussion section really keeps this song moving as Axl sings his way through of dealing with relationships and the crap that comes with them. It slows down for a more bluesy, slower piano and guitar solo that takes the song off its strong pace to a more wandering feel to it.

So Fine - [3/5]
Duff wrote this song and it's another one of the lighter tunes with a nice, light piano part and eventually gets faster paced towards the middle. The piano throughout keeps the melody going, and eventually it slows down again until the blues guitar solo. However, right after, it picks up once again to slow down once more for the last chorus.

Estranged - [5/5]
I've heard this song called 'November Rain' Part II, and it's easily as good of a song, if not better, as 'Novembera Rain'. This song simply delivers the goods - and at 9.5 minutes, it should. It's about being lonely, love, and moving on. It starts out soft, then kicks in with the blues guitar (again) and moves into a stronger verse. It slows down again (props to the percussion section of Duff and Matt for keeping it together) and picks up several times to reflect the mood. The guitar and piano keeping it together and offering a wailing blues sound to it.

After a few more blues interludes on the guitar, the piano kicks in for its solo. A slow, cresendoing solo that gives the image that maybe the clouds are parting on this story and the sun is coming through. It becomes more hopeful as Axl goes on about moving on and trying again. Another blues guitar solo (more wailing, and envoke a more painful emotion) and then the song picks up a little as Axl begins to wonder why it's got to hurt. A piano solo mixed with some guitar wailing gradually picks up and continues the dynamic through the end.

Simply a wonderful blues song with great piano and guitar parts, not to mention beautiful lyrics and steady, forceful drumming that keeps it all together.

You Could Be Mine - [3.5/5]
One of the more hard rocking songs on the CD with high-paced drumming and rhythm guitar as the song kicks in. Axl almost like raps his way through this song, but at the same time it's more like singing. Something he did quite often on Use Your Illusion I. And just to pull out the lyric that stands out in my head: "With your bitch slap rappin' and your cocaine tongue, you get nothing done."

Don't Cry [4/5] (alternate lyrics)
Same music from the original "Don't Cry" on UYI I, but with different lyrics. A slow, melodic song with heartfelt lyrics and good music to match. A solidly good effort.

My World - [1/5]
Pure shit. A mix of techno, rap, and god knows what makes this catastrophe the worse song I've ever heard by GNR. Seriously, it needed to be left on the cutting room floor. There are no redeeming features to the song, except that its less than 2 minutes. Thank GOD.

Overall - [4/5]
Probably my second or first favorite GNR album (along with Appetite for Destruction). Songs like "Civil War", "Knockin' On Heaven's Door", and "Estranged" alone make it good enough to be bought. The blues rock on this album is terrific, Slash is an amazing guitarist and so is Izzy. Axl and Dizzy do wonders with the piano as well. If you like GNR's slower, blues-ier stuff like "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "November Rain", you'll definitely like this album. It's also got plenty of hard rock songs like "Civil War" and "Locomotive" to keep you satisfied. It's too bad Axl felt the need to include "My World" at the end, it really does suck the big one.



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user ratings (1102)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Matthijs van der Lee (4)
More mellow and laid-back than its red brother, Use Your Illusion II is just as excellent, although ...

goneshootin22 (3)
This is a decent album from a decent band. Some good and bad aspects of this album can be seen....

Andrew Barr (MM8) (4.5)
...

Mark Stebbing (5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Morvit
May 29th 2005



71 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wow finally some1 reviewed the album, i petty much agree with your ratings

EdwardTheGreat
May 29th 2005



57 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent review. If you look at all the scores for the songs it may not seem like its a great album, but for some reason it is? I've got to agree wiht the 4 stars.

Humor99
May 31st 2005



16 Comments


Some of the songs are lackluster, but a lot of them are generally good to strong. The album as a whole is pretty decent, save a few down spots.

barosjn
August 13th 2005



501 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The first Use Your Illusion was better, but most of the songs on this album are beautiful and good to relax to. "Get In the Ring" kinda disturbs the mood and "My World" sounds like the outro of a Limp Bizkit album, but other than that this shows GNR's mellower side.

Priestmetal
August 13th 2005



542 Comments


Civil War is the best GnR song IMO.This Message Edited On 08.13.05

Hugh Jass
September 1st 2005



92 Comments


4/5- Check Out Locomotive and Civil War they're top notch.
You Could Be Mine is no way 3.5 more along 4.5.

No Matter how good Velvet Revolver are GnR will always be better- Contraband is a good album


Rudd13
September 20th 2005



952 Comments


[quote=Turdopholis]This is a good album but I think UYI1 is their best.

Note: Duff McKagan sings So Fine and provides backing vocals on several other tracks.




P.S I hate Velvet Revolver![/quote]


In same Order-

The Use your Illusion albums are great and include lots of variety, there really is no beating Appetite. N00b as it may sound, it's 100% true.

Yes, Duff is a "good" backup singer, but I dont think I'd put it like that, unless that is, youre not a man.

And P.S.- Velvet Revolver is amazing stuff. It's a rebirth of possibly some of the best musicians to ever hit the genre in decades. I love the band, but you're right, they're no GNR.

No attitude intended or anything, but that kind of comment just makes me post again and post my own view of the matter.
CHEERS :thumb:This Message Edited On 09.20.05

Hugh Jass
September 20th 2005



92 Comments


Just checking on my post- I swear I've had some deleted.

P.S I agree with the issue concerning Velvet Revolver but it's not AMAZING but decent.



Rudd13
September 20th 2005



952 Comments


[quote=DouchebagAFewPostsUp]P.S Velvet Revolver are an insult to GnR.[/quote]

Hahaha, Well, no shi[/b][b]t. The band is basically a big "Fuc[/b][b]k You" to Axl. Hey, I guess you're supposed to be insulted, and you being a total ignorant prick is just normal.

Well, nice job on that.
I guess if it's anybody who deserves that FU salute about now, its you.

So uhhh. CHEERS :thumb:This Message Edited On 09.20.05

Hugh Jass
September 20th 2005



92 Comments


Wow things are really hotting up!

NEDM
September 20th 2005



1113 Comments


Turd should shutup unless he wants to taste "owned" for a week.

Hugh Jass
September 20th 2005



92 Comments


Now this is entertainment!!! I can't wait for Rudd13 to reply!

Hugh Jass
September 20th 2005



92 Comments


No.

Rudd13
September 20th 2005



952 Comments


Hahaha, Well, I'm glad this is entertaining someone at least.

Well, I'm generally not mean on this site at all, and usually get along with people, but if I post a comment answering yours and it says "no attitude intended" which means, no more Fireworks, then just knock it off, and thats the end of that.

I cant say much else other than I'd dig a chick who likes GNR. :smoke:

EDIT- Sorry, Dead, but as much I appreciate your opinions on things, this just had to die on a good note at least.This Message Edited On 09.20.05

Rudd13
September 20th 2005



952 Comments


Ouch. Tough Love??

Med57
Moderator
September 20th 2005



1001 Comments


You guys would do better to listen to Grateful Dead and if you're going to argue, try and do so without coming across as being really intolerant. That's not aimed at any one of you, but just raise the standards of argument a bit, OK? Debate=good. Shouting "NO, I'M RIGHT" isn't. That's it, basically.

Hugh Jass
September 20th 2005



92 Comments


Oh, bull.shite I was reallying enjoying that. Couldn't you just go on a little longer? Please! My life depends on it!- Sorry! Thats a type-o, but it was quite amusing from an outsiders view.

NEDM
September 20th 2005



1113 Comments


You could of said you just didnt like Scott Wyland instead of bashing the whole band. Other than that, IMO, Scott is a great singer.

Rudd13
September 20th 2005



952 Comments


Sorry there Med, but hey, it was a BIT like a debate. (If you remove the cursing and raunchyness.)



NEDM
September 20th 2005



1113 Comments


My apologies also Med, that is if you think I started it a little :upset:



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