First the Beastie Boys went pro-Tibet. Then Bjork. Now Guns N’ Roses have come out with a critique of China that is somehow so much more bare-knuckled and ill-defined at the same time. The band’s latest album is called Chinese Democracy, and since its release last week, media attention has focused almost exclusively on this being their first new album in 17 years.
The best clue to what this release actually has to do with Chinese democracy, and virtually the only discussion of this, is online. Exhibit A has to be the title song’s official music video, at www.gunsnroses.us. It opens, oddly, with a sequence recalling the mood of recent Hollywood fare such as Syriana and The Kingdom, using gritty documentary footage of some nameless war in the Middle East.