Given that Guns N’ Roses could probably release an album of Baptist hymns at this point and go platinum, it would be all too easy to dismiss G n’ R Lies as a sneaky attempt by the band to throw together some outtakes and cash in on the busy holiday buying season. After all, half of Lies was released in 1986 (as the EP Live Like a Suicide), and one of its four new studio tracks is simply an acoustic version of “You’re Crazy,” from Appetite for Destruction. The arithmetic is simple: hungry fans plus any new product plus hordes of holiday shoppers equals one profitable little stocking stuffer.
The good news is that Lies is a lot more interesting than that. Serious fanseven those who might have missed the previously released trackswill want to concern themselves with the new side of the album first. The calm folk-rock melodies of these four acoustic songs reveal yet another welcome facet of Guns n’ Roses. They should also end any further mutterings from the doubting Thomases out there who are still making snide comments about the band’s potential for longevity.
The lyrics are typically controversial. There’s “Used to Love Her” (“But I had to kill her”), a hilarious countryish number that will probably have feminist hot lines jammed across the country, and “One in a Million,” a beautiful ballad that attacks nearly every minority group in existence; its lyrics are patented Axl Rose venom tempered with something that sounds oddly like compassion. “Patience,” a song familiar to fans who’ve seen the band live, and “You’re Crazy,” in its original laid-back form, serve as added bonuses.
If you were expecting another Appetite for Destruction, this recordor at least its acoustic halfmay disappoint you. But if you’ve been looking for proof that Guns n’ Roses aren’t just another thrash in the pan, G n’ R Lies is what you’ve been waiting for. And much more.