The first 4 tracks open the album with a much more gentle approach that this album's predecessor. Civil War and 14 years, whilst giving a rock edge, are slow tempo, with the latter having a great swing feel to its progression.
Yesterdays has a great atmosphere to it - almost a ballad but not quite. Still, excellent vocals and solid beats.
Knockin' on Heavens Door didn't need to be covered, and it one of the album's low points for me. It does nothing better than the original, and just feels like filler.
At this point, the album truly steps up several gears. Get in The Ring is another Axl-Vs-The-Worl affaird but the ultra-sexy guitar intro has you hooked from the first minute. That familiar bpm gets the foot tappin', and when the dual vocals kick in, you know this is an angry song. A full on slander-fest mid tune from Mr Rose really gets the grimmace on the face and this is the turning point on the album.
Shotgun Blues - more aggression, more sleaze. I used to listen to this song so much growing up, brings back excellent memories for me.
Breakdown starts with a return to that country feels, and really develops into one of the album's star pieces. Soulful, progressive, great song. Crafted and all the elements sit together so well.
Pretty Tied Up and Locomotive are more examples of fine hard-rock song writing at its best. Bass-led and story-telling, PTU see's Axl spin some more of his excellent lyrics, with the song perfectly crafted between verse and chorus.
Locomotive, with its drum into (which was a favorite of mine when learning to play the drums as a teenager) and great rhythmic riff pounds along well, but suffers from a whiney approach by Axl. There are several outstanding solos in this song too, and at 8:41, is one of the longest songs on the album.
So fine is gentle, so much so that you could dance to it at a wedding. Stripped down so far with multiple vocalist, has an excellent feel and more story-in-song execution from Guns. Piano heavy, this shows the band's more mellow side.
Estranged is another guitar-fest, dipping in every emotion going. The longest track, it can sometimes feel like its gone too far, but really holds itself together well.
You Could Be Mine, featured on the T2 Soundtrack, is GNR hard commercial rock at its best. Driven, solid riffs, great tempo, stunning delivery through the verses and epic chorus by Axl.
We then come to Dont Cry, with alternative lyrics to the one featured on Part I. Along with My World, a bizarre, sample/indrustrial finishing piece, are a dissapointment at the end of what is an amazing ride, especially when playing both albums back-to-back. This version of Dont Cry isn't needed, and My World is poor.
However, this album is DEFINATELY worth a purchase, along with Part II, as the 2nd best project GNR ever did. The first, of course, was Appetite for Destruction. Go buy that, too.