The horrifying leaked songs
Over the years, several tracks from the Chinese Democracy sessions have surfaced on the Internet — and they sound like a direct continuation of the nauseating new-metal direction of “Oh My God,” filled with electronic flourishes, processed guitars, industrial beats, and non-existent melodies. “Better” crosses the line into humiliating, dad-thinks-he’s-cool mega-squareness — what we’re dealing with here is the sonic equivalent of Axl’s pathetic “I’m not bald!” cornrows. Worse yet, Buckethead’s unwieldy, inappropriate technical leads are shoehorned into most of the tracks; he’s funny as a concept, but God help us if we have to listen to him play. Maybe the saddest part is that the tracks aren’t even funny-bad: they’re just stupid, forgettable, and outmoded. If I were you, I’d cross “desire to hear the album” off your give-a-shit list.

When it’s released, the fun’s over
What’s more amusing: a colossal dud of an album by a long-irrelevant artist or a never-ending saga of wasted money, acrimonious firings, disastrous tours, awful Internet leaks, and unchecked egos? Now that all hope of a decent record has long since faded, I think most of us would gladly give up our Dr. Peppers for 10 more years of this incredible soap opera.

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