God, "It's So Easy." You put on Appetite for Destruction (in, like, 1987), cranked up "Welcome to the Jungle" and believed that no finer specimen of pure, vicious, exhilarating rock-and-roll hedonism could ever exist, and then came track two, "It's So Easy."

It's an objectively perfect song, and though objectively perfect songs aren't effortless per se, they sound that way — the effort, craft, forethought, money, time and personnel they require are the least interesting and prominent things about them.

Democracy is the inverse: a hilariously painstaking attempt to synthesize that lightning, a lost cause taken to delirious extremes, a fascinating catastrophe inspiring equal parts awe and pity. A would-be Hollywood blockbuster upstaged by its own credits.

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