Chinese Democracy Review

artist: guns n roses date: 11/24/2008 category: compact discs
guns n roses: Chinese Democracy
Released: Nov 23, 2008
Genre: Geffen Records
Label: Rock
Number Of Tracks: 14
17 years after their last original album, Guns N' Roses have finally released "Chinese Democracy". Is there any way the album can live up to all of the lofty expectations?
 Sound: 7.9
 Lyrics: 8.3
 Overall Impression: 7.9
 Overall rating:
 7.7 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.1 
 Users rating:
 7.2 
 Votes:
 839 
reviews (26) 435 comments vote for this album:
overall: 7.3
Chinese Democracy Featured review by: UG Team, on november 24, 2008
24 of 47 people found this review helpful

Sound: Outside of the Beach Boys' Smile, no other album in rock-n-roll history has inspired the kind of legend that Chinese Democracy has in the last decade or so. Soon after their atrocious covers album, The Spaghetti Incident hit stores, GNR mainman Axl Rose has been talking up Chinese Democracy. Little did anyone know but the album would take nearly 20 years to see the light of day. Much has been written about the making of the record so we'll spare you all of the already well-documented details and instead will focus on highlighting the end results here. If you want to see the gigantic list of musical collaborators on the project, seek out the liner notes online. Below is a song by song breakdown of the album. // 7

Lyrics: GNR's best work was always a sum of all of its parts. If Slash and Izzy (or Gilby for that matter) were volleying off each other and Duff and either Steven Adler or Matt Sorum were locked in to the groove chances are whatever song they were playing would be rivaling or even topping anyone else that came before them. But the extra kick in the ass was Axl Rose. When the gifted yet troubled singer was on his A game, the competition had no chance. On this comeback album, Rose is surrounded by a cast (and a long one at that) of musicians so a lot of the old GNR charm rests on his shoulders. While the guys backing him on the tracks do a formidable job, that specific magic of the old days is lost. Either way, the singer delivers one of his strongest performances. He utilizes every facet of his wide range throughout the 14 tracks. We get the high-pitched wailing of Out Ta Get Me, the softer tone of Patience, and the steamrolling mid-range found in classics like You Could Be Mine throughout this collection. Like an old-friend, Rose's familiar voice is welcomed and even though the classic line-up isn't around anymore, the songs have that extra spark only someone like this legend can lend them.

01. Chinese Democracy: after an unnecessary long intro, the album kicks off with an over-processed guitar sound that has more in common with the industrial informed sounds of Nine Inch Nails than it does with the blues based hard-rock of their early material. It's not all that surprising since former NIN six-stringer Robin Finck plays on the track. Rose's vocals are double-tracked on the verses so you get his low and high register at the same time lending the song a sinister vibe throughout. The middle section features some blistering guitar solo work supercharging the song right when it needed it. Choosing to start the album with this track was a wise move and our fears are somewhat relievedfor now at least. // 7

02. Shackler's Revenge: the first riff in Shackler's Revenge sounds like something Static-X would concoct and unfortunately for the listener, things don't really veer away from that for the remainder of the song. The mechanical rhythm track only accentuates the song's lifeless feel. The guitars and bass sound like they are coming out of walls of solid-state heads making you long for the warmer, analog sounds of their classic output. The only thing that could have saved this one from its own mediocrity would have been a gigantic chorus but that never came. This one isn't even good enough for b-side status. // 4

03. Better: almost from the get-go, Better hooks you in with one memorable melody after the other. Rose's tremendous mid-range is utilized for the majority of the song and the production pulls back leaving it to shine without the effects and processing found on Shackler's Revenge. Throughout the remainder of the track, Finck and Ron Bumblefoot Thal take turns soloing showcasing their explosive yet tasteful styles. Some of their licks will even remind you off former GNR axe-slinger Slash in spots. After the colossal letdown of the previous song, Better is a beaming example of why the world was waiting for this album with baited-breadth. // 8

04. Street of Dreams: Elton John's influence is all over Street of Dreams. From the gorgeous piano sections to the stadium-ready orchestration, this track sounds like the English singer's early 70's work like Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Tumbleweed Connection. It's not that Street of Dreams apes every move from those albums but it definitely has their sonic fingerprints all over it. The band even had John join them on a version of their song November Rain back in the early 90's so their ties go back for years. Outside of the obvious textural influences, Street of Dreams contains Axl's unmistakable vocal flourishes making it a GNR song in the end. The climactic guitar solos are a highpoint and the pretty piano melodies are abundant so this one will definitely find its way onto the band's live sets for years to come. // 7

05. If The World: everything about this song misses the mark. From the light-jazz percussion to the go-nowhere vocal parts, If The World is an utter waste of studio time. How this disaster made it onto the album is a complete mystery. With the exception of a few interesting guitar parts, the song is devoid of anything worth further exploring. // 2

06. There Was A Time: here come those drum loops again. It seems like Axl is totally infatuated with the electronic side of music these past few years and certainly during the making of Chinese Democracy. It doesn't serve the material well here as they seem like afterthoughts more than organic parts of the songs they're found in. At the core of it, There Was A Time doesn't have a compelling enough song to help propel it over its sonic weaknesses. // 4

07. Catcher in the Rye: this one gets off to a winning start with bluesy guitar licks and country-rock pianos. The verse melody is reminiscent of Use Your Illusion era GNR. The chorus explodes with huge guitars only to give way to a quieter interlude and then back into a classic-rock solo section. Some of Rose's vocal cues have a Paul McCartney-esque charm about them etching themselves into your head after the first listen. Just when you started losing interest the record gets a jolt of energy. // 7

08. Scraped: a straight-ahead rocker in the mold of the title track, Scraped isn't going to have you dying to reach for the rewind button. For another band this song would have made an OK album cut but for a band that had their fans waiting for so many years, it comes off as a big letdown. // 6

09. Riad N' The Bedouins": this one has a shuffling guitar main refrain that wouldn't have sounded out of place on Appetite For Destruction but there are elements in the arrangement that hinder the track. For one, Axl's high-pitched vocal delivery doesn't mesh well with the rest of the instrumentation. After a while, his singing starts sounding like a wall of shrieking; shifting your focus away from the muscular guitars. How this mess got past the production team of Rose and Caram Costanzo really boggles the mind. // 5

10. Sorry: the song immediately starts with Rose's singing echoing the bluesy overtones ringing in the rhythm section and guitars. Something in the reverb-drenched guitars reminds this writer of David Gilmour's (Pink Floyd) mid-period work. The dramatic chorus seems tailor-made to bounce off arena walls. One of the band's biggest strengths is their ability to pull of sweeping epics like this and this song is proof they should have explored that side of their arsenal more. // 7

11. I.R.S.: another track that doesn't really warrant its inclusion here. The riffs and Axl's melodies are sub-standard, the kind of stuff any bar-band would come up with. Is this the same songwriter who wrote Rocket Queen? // 5

12. Madagascar: this is one where Rose really aimed for the rafters. It's the type of grandiose musical statement a younger band wouldn't probably even try writing let alone record. There are majestic string orchestrations and dramatic guitar lead runs that echo the singer's vocal lines at key points. A speech from Martin Luther King Jr. gets thrown into the song's crescendo for added effect. This one is the vein of Civil War or Estranged but neither the lyrics nor the arrangement help get the song into that club. The nuances in this one might grow on you with time but at this point, we're left a bit underwhelmed again. // 6

13. This I Love here's Chinese Democracy's most potent moment. Rose is accompanied by a piano, a string section, and a Robin Finck guitar solo that pushes and pulls into the of the album's most impassioned performances. Some of the more interesting bends recall Michael Schenker's most thrilling work with U.F.O. in the late 70s. Who would have guessed that a guy who made a name for himself in an industrial-rock band would have such classic-rock blessed chops in his pocket? Another great choice by Rose was to keep this one short and sweet insuring the extraordinary melodies and guitar solos don't get suffocated by a busy arrangement. // 9

14. Prostitute: Prostitute goes from hushed verses to a towering chorus washed in guitars and theatrical orchestration making it a fitting closer. It's not clear who Rose is directing the lyrics to when he sings, Oh, I saw the damage in you, my fortunate one, the ending of you, but the intent is there, seething right below the surface. There is some whammy-bar assisted bombast towards the final seconds that comes out of nowhere but somehow works in the scheme of the song. So just like that, Chinese Democracy comes to and end. // 7 // 8

Overall Impression: Does the album live up to the lofty expectations the public has showered it with? No, but then again, how could it have anyway? If Chinese Democracy would have come out 2 or even 4 years after their last studio album, it would have been examined in a whole other manner. There is enough great material here to make the album a worthy fit into your music collection but is it essential as an entire piece, no. But then again, how many full-lengths released today are? There are 6-7 powerful tracks here and they prove Rose is still a vital songwriter and frontman. Hopefully he can get back into the studio and bang out another collection sooner than it took this time. // 7


- Carlos Ramirez (c) 2008

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overall: 10
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: dgme92, on november 25, 2008
13 of 31 people found this review helpful

Sound: Guns N' Roses has been moved to the 21st century in style, as Axl Rose & Co. have released an album of stellar material. Sure, you will get the old-school fans who will say "It's not GnR", or "It doesn't sound the same". I say to those people, free up your mind and listen a little more before you make up your mind. I used to think the new Guns N' Roses sucked hard, until I saw 'Better' performed live, which totally changed my opinion on the band. Axl's proven to the world that he is an amazing song writing talent, composing some of his best work (and GnR as a whole) on this album. Tracks such as "There Was A Time", "Better" and "This I Love", stand up among GnR's best. The production is stellar, and is a real strong point on the album, with every instrument and factor getting the spotlight at some point in the album, with no flaky sound, but all crisp and clear. New guitarists Bumblefoot, Richard Fortus and Robin Finck (not forgetting Buckethead, even though he has left the band, some parts still remain on the album) have a great chemistry, both live and in the studio, where their respective parts seem to melt together in an incredibly smooth fashion. 01.Chinese Democracy: the title track, surprisingly, is one of the album's weaker tracks. It's got some great guitar work, and I am loving Bumblefoot's fretless rhythm guitar during the verses, however the chorus doesn't jump out at you with a catchy hook to keep you interested. Great guitar solo courtesy of Buckethead, and Axl sounds great. My only real issue is with the lyrics, they are definitely the weakest point. No catchy chorus section, and an odd reference to masturbation in the middle. Good track, but not the best. Good opener and first single though, in my opinion. 8/10 02.Shackler's Revenge: ever since the track was leaked in demo form before it's official release on Rock Band 2, Shackler's Revenge has come on in leaps and bounds. The audio is far crisper, with a nice crunch in the guitar, with Axl's voice totally dominating the track, which isn't that bad, seeing as this is one of Axl's strongest vocal tracks on the album. The chorus is stadium-worthy mega rock at it's finest, with some fantastically catchy singing. The solo seems to fly off to nowhere in the first few seconds, but then it tidies up and sounds nice, with a brilliant sweep to tap run in the end. Not the best song on the album, very avant-garde with an industrial flair, great if you're into that kind of thing. I think it rocks though. 9/10 03.Better: the best raw rock song on the album, no doubt. If you're looking for a song to bring you back to the sheer punch and drama of old Guns, this is it. Axl is amazing, just simply amazing on this track, with a fantastic rhythm section, a wall of guitars, bass and drums that hits you hard. Some awesome sweeps and shred runs in this song by, and Bumblefoot has put some licks into the verse and chorus, to add a 4th dimension to an already brilliant track. This is one incredible song, easily one of my favourites on the album. The two bridge sections are defiantly catchy, with an amazing, blues ridden solo in the final section by Robin Finck. A solo worthy of the massive gap Slash left in the band, no doubt. 10/10 04.Street Of Dreams: the first ballad of many on album. Axl's wail is present and correct on this one, hitting some notes we long forgot he could hit. The rhythm guitar accompanies the piano perfectly, with a lovely crunch and some riffs in there challenging the crashing piano for dominance. A track renamed from it's old codename "The Blues", the blues really does ring out in this one, with sped up blues licks, an excellent solo ringing out between verses, and some great vocal melodies. A great all rounder, some good lyrics. Gorgeous melodies, and a huge Elton John influence can be heard in this song. Loving this one. 10/10 05.If The World: a slick song, totally fit for a modern soundtrack to city life. The bass line is infectious, a simple "ba dum, ba dum ba dum" ringing through the whole song. It's sounds like a kind of mix between Audioslave and Rodrigo y Gabriela, with some fantastic Middle Eastern/Spanish guitar from Buckethead to complement the bass and distorted guitar. There's a surprisingly energetic solo in there too by Buckethead. Couple the instrumental section with Axl's soaring vocals and this one's a winner. Especially check out the la, na na na bridge. You'll be hooked. 10/10 06.There Was A Time: the song opens up with this weird choir style bit at the start, but once Axl's voice kicks in it's a brilliant track straight away. Right from the word go, there are guitars matching the notes Axl is singing and the bass and drums are the perfect fit and lend the song a tense, edgy and modern feel. The whole thing is one massive wall of sound that attacks and keeps you immersed in the music, and is one of the best tracks on the album. The guitar solos are amazing, with some of Buckethead's best work he has ever done, (yes, that's including his solo material) and the outro solo is an orgasmic wah wah, clean sound behemoth that I cannot get out of my head! Seriously, it's so catchy it will stick with you. This song is worth it for the guitar alone, but add Axl, and the rest of the freaking band, and you have an instant, unforgettable, smashing classic. 10/10 07.Catcher In The Rye: this song blows my mind. If they had re-mastered Brian May's guitar solo of course it would have been even better, but still, this track is good anyway, with Bumblefoot's newly added solos taking up residence. Axl is on top form here, hitting all the right notes, with some fantastic melodies, the rhythm guitar is suitably thick but not over done, with some fantastic blues chords and licks played during the course of the song, lending it a real old school, classic rock tone. It's one great track lyrics wise too, e.g "How a body took a body and gave that boy a gun... " really stands out. One of my favourites on the album, and shows that no matter what anybody says, Axl Rose can still craft great songs. 10/10 08.Scraped: the opening harmony is cool, although it threw off most of my friends, who are hardcore GnR-heads, but straight after that harmony there are some bone crunching riffs, the heaviest song so far on the record. I see this song as a spiritual successor to Out Ta Get Me off the Appetite for Destruction album, although it's superior in every way. The lyrics contain the same rebellious f*** you connotations, with the same crunch on the guitars, and a fantastic solo. The drums have a 'Dom Howard from Muse' feel to them, which is no bad thing. It's clear to see that Axl's been paying close attention to the modern rock scene and how he can adapt himself to that style of hard rock around nowadays, some bombastic drums and riffs. Overall, good track, but compared to most of what follows it pales it comparison. 9/10 09.Riad N' The Bedouins: odd title, you say? Nothing odd about this song. One of the most straightforward rocks on the album, albeit with a rather drawn out intro. As soon as the main riff kicks in, the song demands that you take it seriously, and Axl soars over the mix, with a screaming Aaaaaaaaah that sounds so definitive of an overblown rock track. The solo simply screams Slash! too in the first few seconds, and then Bumblefoot melts your face with a stupidly catchy lick towards the song's closing moments, and Buckethead provides the outro. Overall, one of the albums great rockers, certainly better than the title track anyway. Very strong vocals, which took me a bit by surprise, I have to say. The high rating is mostly for those awesome, awesome vocals that accompany the main riff though. 9/10 10.Sorry: this song is the much lauded epic Sebastian Back was on about. "It has the rawness of Appetite, but the scale and grandiosity of November Rain". This song is a great reminder of what Axl set out to do, and that was to carry GnR intact to the modern age, which I think in this track more so than others, he does with a great flair. It really is a new Guns N' Roses epic, and easily stands up with songs on the ballad-heavy Use Your Illusion albums, in my humble opinion. Buckethead here proves to the world he is a unique talent, and can do any and every style. On this track alone, he shifts from blues, to classic rock, to metal, to classic rock again. Possibly (whisper it) the best song on the album. I don't know. 10/10 11.I.R.S: the weakest song on the album, which says a lot, seeing as it's not half bad. It's the only song on the album to even nearly sound like old GnR too, so it'll please old school fans too. I long for raspier vocals on this one, if we got that it might have been up there with Better as a classic track. As it is, the vocals are a bit weak, with Axl almost like he's trying too hard to get those notes he got back in the day. If he re-recorded it in mid-2007, there's not a doubt in my mind it would have been one of the best tracks vocals-wise. Cracking solo from Robin Finck and Buckethead, which add a lot to the song, but that alone can't solve the disappointment that was the vocals. Some really great lyrics though. It's a tough track to rate, I'm stuck between a 7/8 out of 10. 12.Madagascar: the dark horse of the album. It's the first one to be played live, and is the song that should take the blame for haters calling Guns N' Roses a hip hop band. However, this does not make it a bad song. It's got an extremely catchy synth hook at the start, and the hippity hoppity drum beat is awesome, no matter what the haters say. Also, Axl's vocals suit the song to a tee, but they are a bit weak. Nonetheless, I like it. Buckethead adds some great solo guitar in the verses, which pairs up with Axl's voice fantastically. The Martin Luther King Jr. speech and excerpts from Cool Hand Luke and Seven are a bit much, but they add so much to the album's already overly dramatic sound that I find it hard to dock points for this. The speech sections drown out a lot of the guitar work put on at the same time, which is a shame. Not my favourite song on the record, but it's deserved of a solid 9/10. 13.This I Love: for me, this is the best song on the entire album. It's the closest to Axl Rose we have ever gotten, opening with just Axl and some piano, singing some truly heartfelt lyrics. You can hear from Axl's voice that he really means what he's singing. Fantastic song, and a great showcase for his talents. It's pure ballad of Freddie Mercury proportions up until roughly two and a half minutes in, where Robin Finck lets fly with a distortion riddled, fabulous solo that echoes previous work by Slash on November Rain, with a great hook to reel the listener in. Some great vocal harmonies, innovative melodies, and a really stripped back track that puts truth to the phrase, less is more. 10/10 14.Prostitute: a heart warming album closer. The song kicks off with a little riff and unusual vocal melody, and seems like an immediate letdown as the closing song. From here on in though, the song is packed full of rich layers of sound, with Chris Pitman's finest synth work on the album, and some great piano from Axl, and two great solos from Buckethead. Axl's vocals are sharp and tight, with some simple yet effective rhythms from Richard Fortus and Finck. The solo is a face-melter courtesy of Buckethead, and the way Axl's piano fades out in the closing moments is perfect. Really great song, one of the album's best, and the perfect closer to an album such as this. 10/10 // 10

Lyrics: Axl's singing on the record is far better than most had anticipated. Sure, he doesn't have the same old sound he had back in the 80's or early 90's, but that's what age does to you. He has aged. Even though it shows at parts, he still retains some most of the growl and scream that made him famous, and some of the vocals on this album are among the best in his entire career, when he adapts his voice to keep up with the frenetic music. Great vocals overall, especially on tracks like Better, Shackler's Revenge, This I Love, and There Was A Time. On This I Love's vocal track he sounds as good as if not better than he did in 1991, he's really that good. You won't find vocals as atrocious as the 2002 VMA awards ceremony, I can tell you that much. The lyrics as a whole are quite good, and certainly reflect Axl's odd experiences of the past 15 years. The lyrics fit with the music quite well, something a lot of people didn't see coming due to the new change in musical direction, which I see to be a big credit to the various musicians that have worked on the album, that they crafted something to fit Axl's vision for the lyrics and music. Lyrics get a 10 out of 10, with some greatly insightful lyrics detailing every day of the agonising past 15 years. Axl has written some fantastic lyrics, especially on tracks like "Sorry" and "This I Love", and shows he can still write an intelligent song, a fun party song, and a blast out rocker, and pick and choose words to suit each one. Fantastic. // 10

Overall Impression: OK, it's been a long and hard 15 years for every GnR fan. The simply unbearable length of time it took for Axl Rose to finish Chinese Democracy hurt. Blows have been dealt (tentative release date of March 6, 2007, for example), and gifts given (Shackler's Revenge on Rock Band 2), but in my humble opinion, it's all been worth it. The long wait is finally over, and I have never heard such a satisfying result. The new songs are fantastic, and easily stand up to the great Appetite for Destruction, GnR Lies and Use Your Illusions albums. Well worth checking out, and as a music fan you almost owe it to yourself to hear the myth that is Chinese Democracy. I can safely say there is at least one song for everybody on this album, of that I am sure. Ever since I bought it on launch day, it has been on repeat in the car, on the bus, walking, in my bedroom, everywhere I have a CD player or some headphones. If you do buy the album and you are not satisfied, take Axl's advice give it "some more Patience". It'll grow on you. // 10

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overall: 4.7
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: King Krapp, on november 26, 2008
8 of 20 people found this review helpful

Sound: Allow me to come right out and say that this album has been produced very well. Frankly, after an 8-bajillion year wait, it bloody well ought to be. Each instrument shines clear in the mix, whilst not overpowering the others, except perhaps for the bass, which could benefit from a tweak in the upwards direction. This, however, is all undone by what can only be described as a very poor guitar tone. Think Linkin Park kicking Buckethead in the balls while Satriani gets drunk and plays with his effects. From that comparison, it should be obvious that it sounds far too digital, as if "Generic Axl-Supporting bandmate #1" is trying as hard as he can to emulate Slash, through studio tweaking. Axl's voice, too, whilst never exactly angelic, has sunk to new levels of stupid. His trademark "mnyaaaawh!" is still there, but it is sullied by what appears to be an attempt to sound more "gritty." It does not work. For most of the album, he is simply tolerable, but on songs like "Street Of Dreams" it becomes a nightmare. // 5

Lyrics: Having already disussed a lot of Axl's sound, it is now time to evaluate his technical skill. And it's not there. He sounds, at best, mediocore, hitting easy notes, and not trying anything beyond his new baritone. But then he remembers Appetite for Destruction, and tries to hit those wonderful high notes, and ends up sounding, well, old. The lyrics, too, are unimaginitive, right from the opening verse of the title track, which says: "It don't really matter You're gonna find out for yourself No it don't really matter You're gonna leave this thing to somebody else" There is the occasional stab at political or social commentary, but it comes off as trite and forced, leading to an overall poor impression of the lyrical properties of this album. But, it IS a metal album, and what do you expect, Chaucer? // 6

Overall Impression: This is by no means Guns N Roses' worst album, but it's nowhere near their best. The whole album screams of Axl and Co's valiant attempt to create an album that is an instant classic, whilst appealing to the electronic-humping pop community. With every song I listen to, my desire to never listen to this album again rises. It is a mediocre album from a band that should be stratospheric. In 2750, when their next album will probably get released, I sincerely hope they lay aside the dearth of effects, give Axl a wedgie, and stop him listening to November Rain. It worked once, but trying to do a soulful ballad with pro-tools and r'n'b influences on every second track does NOT work. The technical skill of the guitar is admirable, the production is good, but the rest is simply unsatisfactory. // 3

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overall: 9.7
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: woodsy_gnr, on december 01, 2008
3 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: I didn't quite know what to expect from this album - 17 years since the last original material from Mr W. Axl Rose and the Guns N' Roses that I had grown up adoring. We'd all heard the leaked tracks, but who knew what Chinese Democracy was really going to sound like? Even the members of the new Guns N' Roses probably didn't know how Axl would put everything together from the past 14 years. So then came release day - I eagerly went into HMV and bought the album I never thought would see the light of day. Sadly I had to work all day before I could go home and listen to it, but it was the first thing I did when I got home. It took a few listens to get used to it, because quite simply it is not the same Guns N' Roses that I knew, but it is growing on me... 01.Chinese Democracy: the long-winded intro builds the suspense and keeps us all waiting just that little bit longer (well we waited since 1993 so what difference does another minute make?! ). Axl's thunderous scream kicks off proceedings and this is when you realise that although Slash, Duff and co may not be around anymore, this band still features the main man. Axl's voice sounds reminiscent of the Use Your Illusion days. A great song to start the album with - full of kick-ass attitude. Let's just hope the rest of the album doesn't disappoint... - 9 out of 10 for this song 02.Shackler's Revenge: I really can't decide whether I like this song or not. The music just doesn't sound like what you would expect The Most Dangerous Band In The World to sound like. I like the arrangement, but at the same time I don't! Very difficult to say realy - still I give this song 7 out of 10 03.Better: one of the "Better" songs on this album (sorry I couldn't resist). It's different to what I'm used to from Axl, but still it has a cool, rocky feel to it. Some cool guitar playing in there too. Overall, I give this one 8 out of 10. 04.Street of Dreams: this is one of my favourite songs on Chinese Democracy. It's got Elton John written all over it, but at the same time it is a typical Axl song. It wouldn't have sounded out of place on Use Your Illusion II with the likes of Estranged and Breakdown. Street of Dreams has a happy feel to it, and Axl's voice sounds as good as it ever did. 10 out of 10 without a doubt. 05.If The World: hmmmmm. Drum loops? Axl, Axl, Axl! Why did you follow the brilliant Street of Dreams with drum loops?! Notwithstanding that, the song itself is quite catchy. I hated it from start to finish when I first heard it, but now I find myself sitting at work hearing it over and over in my head. The synth sounds pretty cool. 7 out of 10. 06.There Was A Time: I've read some reviews where people think this is the worst song on the album, but I think it's pretty cool to be honest. OK, so musically it's fairly straight-forward, but I enjoyed the solo and I think Axl's voice compliments the song well. 7 out of 10. 07.Catcher In The Rye: another happy, catchy tune. It's a shame Brian May's guitar parts were cut out, but to be honest the song still sounds great. Not much more I can say really, I just like this song! 8 out of 10. 08.Scraped: one of the less memorable songs on the album. It's pretty heavy from the word go, but I just don't think it has anything special about it. 6 out of 10. 09.Riad N' The Bedouins: another cool rock song, but again I don't see anything that makes it stand out as one of the best on the album. So far, so good for the album as a whole, though. 6 out of 10. 10.Sorry: this is where the album starts to pick up again and begins to earn it's epic status. Whether this song is a dig at people like Slash or whether it's just a song about an ex-girlfriend, I guess only Axl knows. Still, if it is about Slash, maybe it rules out Sebastian Bach being the next singer of Velvet Revolver, seeing as he provides backing vocals! The chorus takes a much heavier turn than the verse, and I think it suits the song perfectly. Great track. 9 out of 10. 11.IRS: a decent song, but I can't really work out whether I like it or not. It's a pretty cool track, but everytime I listen to this song I just find myself trying to understand what Axl is on about! 7 out of 10. 12.Madagascar: some people touted this as Axl's big song for the album. The more I heard about this song, the more excited I got about actually getting to listen to it. It's a slick track, with interesting yet cool bits from Cool Hand Luke and a Martin Luther King speech. For me, this song gave a subtle reminder that this is still Guns N' Roses, despite the numerous member changes - the "what..we've got here, is, failure..to communicate" helped to cast my mind back to Civil War. I loved Madagascar from start to finish. This will be a classic Guns song for years to come. 10 out of 10. 13.This I Love: the best song on Chinese Democracy... by a long, long way. A ballad that is on a par with November Rain, dare I say it maybe even better than November Rain, This I Love really shows what is in Axl's heart. This is the one song on the album that I can imagine took 14 years to write - Axl must have played around with this for years. A beautiful song. 10 out of 10. 14.Prostitute: a good song to close the album, but it has almost a pop-rock feel to it. It still sounds great though, and by the end of it I was just hoping that it doesn't take another 14 years for the next album... or maybe a reunion? 8 out of 10. // 9

Lyrics: Axl has always been one of the great lyricists in rock, and his work on Chinese Democracy is no different. This I Love is the stand out highlight of his lyrical work on the album, you can really tell that it is from the heart. Street of Dreams is another great song with great lyrics - typical GNR. Overall, Chinese Democracy is a perfect example that no matter how long it is since Axl released any material, he still knows how to write some classic rock lyrics. // 10

Overall Impression: Was Chinese Democracy worth waiting so many years for? No, it wasn't. Is this Guns N' Roses? In the truest meaning of the name, no, it isn't. But what this is is a great album, made by one of the greatest frontmen of all time and a group of very talented musicians. If it had been released 2 or 3 years after the Spaghetti Incident, then I certainly feel more people would have warmed to the album. If it had Slash, Duff and Izzy on it, more people would buy it. The people who call themselves true GN'R fans just because they think Guns N' Roses has to be Axl, Slash, Duff, Izzy and Steve really need to change the record. OK, I really wish that the original five did reunite and conquer the world again, but the chances of that happening are slim. But what we still have is Axl Rose, and whether people view this album as a Guns N' Roses album or an Axl Rose solo album, it is still great and is definitely worth listening to. True GN'R fans will go out and buy Chinese Democracy, because after all, Guns N' Roses did originally contain a Mr W. Axl Rose as well as the rest of 'em. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: de-fexxx666, on november 26, 2008
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: It doesn't matter what you think of Guns N' Roses; old or new. One of the things that Guns N' Roses is known for is an incredibly crisp and deep sound, and Chinese Democracy is no exception. Before you even start to judge the songwriting on the album, you can't help but be amazed how great it sounds as far as the engineering goes. It has one of the best sounds on any album I've ever heard, and the mix is fantastic. There's no sense explaining the history of the album; everyone knows the history, and remembers it however they want to, be that Axl worked his ass off to put together a new band and record albums upon albums worth of material, or he sat around all day eating roast lamb, throwing partys in which he played the album which "had been done for years" and occasionally fighting with security guards to keep his badass reputation. However you remember the background of the album isn't important, what is important is Axl Rose is back and doing what he does best; blowing peoples minds. The album is more diverse than even the Use Your Illusion albums, and has something for everyone. From balls out rockers reminiscent of Appetite For Destruction (albeit heavier to appeal to a new generation) like Better and Scraped, to the grandiose, melodramatic songs common on the Illusions with songs like Street Of Dreams and This I Love, the album has it all. I'm not one to usually break an album down song by song, but it's really impossible to not do it with this album: 01.Chinese Democracy: it's a classic album opener, and will likely stand as such for years to come in live shows. A slow build up with Chinese being spoken and soft, eerie guitars explode into a riff that hits you harder than any GN'R riff to date. Axl double-tracked the vocals, really adding a cool dimension to it. 02.Shackler's Revenge: a very peculiar rocker, it has a heavy Buckethead influence. It sounds more like Axl guesting on a Buckethead song, with a complex drop-d riff and a great solo. Axl growls the lyrics, gradually building to one of the album's catchiest choruses. A weaker point on the album, but still great. 03.Better: by far the best rocker on the album. Starts with cringeworthy, yet still melodic riff, a falsetto vocal line and a hip-hop drum beat; it kicks into Axl singing mid range with great emotion over a classic GN'R chord progression. The bridge is super heavy, with lots of layers. Very cool song, probably will appeal to AFD lovers the most. 04.Street Of Dreams: it's the first epic song on the album. It's got everything you expect from a ballad; the grand piano, acoustic guitar and a truly beatiful solo (Which will make you do a double listen to see if it's Slash! ) and Axl singing about a love lost. The last minute will give you shivers, if that's the sort of song you're into. 05.If The World: the most out there song on the album. It features acoustic flamenco guitar and a gritty wah guitar which will make you feel like you're listening to the soundtrack to a low budget porno. There's a ton of layers to this song, it takes 3 or 4 listens to even take everything in. But it's not overdone at the same time. 06.There Was A Time: it's very much an "Axl" song, it's it's got everything that makes such a song good: a choir, beautiful orchestration, powerful guitars and innovative lyrics. The first solo is a toss back to the first solo in November Rain, and the second solo is really sort of a throw back to the third November Rain solo. Absolutely classic. 07.Catcher In The Rye: it's the only song that's truly overproduced. It represents what could have become of this album. The demo featuring Brian May had a very special magic, which has dissappeared in the 9 years of Axl's tinkering with it. Sad to see such a great song go to hell. 08.Scraped: another song that would fit on a 21st century AFD. Really powerful guitars, and Axl giving the world a big f--k you with lyrics like "Don't you try and stop us now, cause I just won't let you". 09.Riad N' The Bedouins: it really sounds like Zeppelin-gone-industrial. It's got a funky riff, with a great solo and Axl screeching over the top of everything. one of the low points, but it still rocks. 10.Sorry: it's an interesting song, with mellow verses and a super heavy chorus. It's got a very dark vibe, and the solo is reminiscent of David Gilmour's style ala Comfortably Numb or Time. Very catchy song. 11.IRS: the last real rocker, it's also the weakest. It's a mid tempo rocker, but it sort of drags on... and on. It's got a great Buckethead solo however. 12.Madagascar: it's a synth ballad, if there is such a thing. It's the only song to really use Axl's raspy voice, and damn does it sound refreshing to hear once again. The bridge of this song is very intricate, taking lines from Martin Luther King Jr and "Cool Hand Luke" (Civil War, anyone? ). 13.This I Love: if you love the overblown, beautifuly haunting Axl songs like Estranged and Don't Cry, this is the song which will shine for you. It dates back to 1993, and is almost exclusively Axl singing and playing piano, with a breif, but sad guitar solo in the middle. My personal favorite on the album. 14.Prostitute: another "Axl" song, it's very vocally driven, with little else going on except for punching chords in the chorus and a cool piano part. The bridges are very heavy, with synchronized hits during 2 of Buckethead's shredding solos over double bass drum. The last 2 minutes gradually fades away to nothingness. The perfect end to a near perfect album. // 9

Lyrics: Axl Rose will go down as one of the great lyricists of our time. The man is a genius when it comes to lyrics, and is up there with the likes of Pete Townshend, Robert Plant and Freddie Mercury. While the rockers on the album aren't among his best work lyrically, the other two thirds of the album more than make up for it. The lyrics compliment the music with great success, and in some cases, incredible intricacy. The album makes use of Axl's full vocal range, so much more than any other album to date. He sings some of his lowest notes in Shackler's Revenge, in a voice which he's never really used before. He also hits some of his highest notes ever on songs like This I Love and Prostitute. He also uses his rasp once again on Madagascar, a voice which is welcomed back with open arms. // 10

Overall Impression: The album is definitely their most solid effort since Appetite For Destruction, with zero filler, unlike the Use Your Illusions. Stylistically the album ties in very well with the Illusions; in fact despite the 17 year gap Axl could have named the album Use Your Illusion III. My favorite songs of the bunch are This I Love, Prostitute and Sorry, though all songs are gold and everyone will have their own favorites. I'd buy this album again in a heartbeat if it were lost/stolen. My last comment is, this album really deserves a chance with everyone who likes Guns N' Roses to any extent. It really does sound like Guns N' Roses, that is, unless you consider Appetite For Destruction the only GN'R album ever made. Many of the songs could have been included on the Illusions, and a lot of the guitar work is just as memorable as anything Slash did in the band. Oh yes, and if you want to argue Guns is dead because Slash is gone, you're wrong. If they ever died (Which they didn't) it would be when Izzy quit. // 10

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overall: 6.7
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: Rocker_94, on november 27, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: To begin, I have not yet had the chance to buy this album and have only listened to the album on the band's MySpace page. It started off with the title track. I must say the intro is a little long, almost long as it took to make the album, but sure does build the intensity. Then, in comes a killer riff that sounds like it had been played on Line 6 Spiders rather than Marshall Tube Amps. The sound of the album is very digital. The sound of the guitars is a very good example. Another example would be the sound of the drums, that sound more like a drum machine more than anything else. There's also way more synthesizers, keyboards and other effects than we've seen in the past. The arragements of Madagascar and the Buckethead-sounding effects on Shackler's Revenge are very good examples, and there's nameless others. I'll get to Axl in a bit also. // 6

Lyrics: Axl sounds pretty good in this album, especially considering his age. Obviously it will never be like it was on Appetite for Destruction, but he still has it. On a few tracks it tends to sound a little scratchy, especially in the higher range. The lyrics seem very personnal to Axl and what he's been through. He really is a great lyricist. I'd reccomend to read them if you get a chance. It's really hard to describe. // 8

Overall Impression: This is a descent album, but about midway through the thing, it gets a little boring. I'm sure I'm not the only one, but by the time There Was A Time comes along, I feel like pulling out my hair and scream, and when I hear the intro to Scraped, I feel like going one step further. It's not like Appetite, where I could listen to it over, and over, and over, and over again. It's safe to admit Guns N' Roses without 4/5 of the band isn't the same. Some songs on Chinese Democracy are killer, but it's just not Guns N' Roses. In general, way too many Elton John influenced songs, synthesizers and guitar effects. It's certainly different, but for good or bad? // 6

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overall: 5.7
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: aedmiston, on december 01, 2008
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Alright, the first thing I have to say about this album is this: Axl, lose the Appetite for Over-Production. After a 398275 year wait, this record finally drops, and frankly it's weak. I'll break it down track by track. 01.Chinese Democracy: the title track starts with an intro that takes almost as long to get through as the album did to produce. After a painful minute of waiting, it goes into some really crunchy power chords. Axl comes in, and it's great. The lyrics are cool, the solo is great, and the track is pretty solid. 9/10 02.Shackler's Revenge: dear God how I hate this song. From the wannabe Tom Morrello licks to the annoying vocals, this track is rubbish. 2/10 03.Better: this song shines. After you get through the squealy guitar and the annoying falsetto of the intro, it launches into a straight rocker. There are some crunchy power chords providing the rhythm and some sick sweeps in the melody. The first solo is solid shred, and the second one is straight up blues-rock. I can picture Slash playing that second solo, and the rhythm is reminiscent of Izzy. 10/10 04.Street of Dreams: formerly known as "The Blues", this track is a winner. From the "November Rain" piano intro to the tight solo in the middle to Axl's perfect vocals, this song is gold. My favorite on the album. 10/10 05.If the World: this song is annoying. It was released as the closing credit song for the film "Body of Lies", and it feels almost as though it was written for that purpose. It's over-produced, and it's lame. 5/10 06.There Was A Time: this song is saved by the solos. Whoever wrote the chorus should be hanged, it sounds like it was written in a different key than the rest of the song. However, some excellent solos make this song pretty decent. 6/10 07.Catcher N' the Rye: fantastic song. I would not be surprised to learn that this song was written for the Use Your Illusion albums, it's classic Guns all the way through. From the bluesy solos to the wailing of Axl's voice, this track is a winner. 10/10 08.Scraped: this song annoys me. It's a weak attempt at an "Appetite" like rocker, and it doesn't come anywhere close. The lyrics are similar in message to the classic, "Out ta Get Me", but it falls way short. Sorry Axl, you lose. 4/10 09.Riad N' the Bedouins: another weak track, after listening to this I had to go back and listen to "Street of Dreams" and "Better" again to keep myself from shutting off the CD player. 4/10 10.Sorry: Axl's obsession with Pro Tools is more apparent here than anywhere else on the album. His voice is so processed it sounds like another person. The lyrics are really stupid, and the wall of sound drowns out the really tasty guitar licks prior to the solo. However, the solo is tight, it's got a really slow, tense feel to it, and the outro is really cool. Think Alice in Chains, but over-produced and with more complex guitars. 5/10 11.I.R.S.: once more, Axl is trying to live in the past. This one is attempting to recreate that first part of "Estranged", with the really dark and heavy tone. Sorry Axl, the magic's gone and you're left with a mediocre song once again. A screamin' solo towards the end of the track keeps this one from being a total flop. 6/10 12.Madagascar: cool track, until the clips in the middle. Look Axl, the "Cool Hand Luke" thing worked once, but it's not going to work again. Especially because you replaced the part of the song that should be an epic guitar solo with these lame ass clips. Sorry, this track is just really really lame. 4/10 13.This I Love: starts with a really mellow piano-orchestra piece, and Axl comes in over it with a nice ballad. Which is fine, until we're 2 minutes into the song and it gets repetitive. Finally, the guitar solo starts, and we get a nice "Don't Cry" like solo, and everything is right in the universe for a minute and a half. Then Axl comes back with his annoying chorus and shatters our little paradise. Then there's an outro that's pretty weak and has no guitar. This track is without a doubt Axl's attempt at "November Rain" Pt. 2. However, he left out a major part of what made the song great in the first place: Slash's blistering solo at the end. I'm starting to wonder if Axl even understands what made GNR great in the first place. 6/10 14.Prostitute: another weak track, this one is again saved by it's solos. Axl, no matter how much you process your voice, you cannot get away with bad choruses. Sorry dude, this one isn't up to par. 6/10 This album starts off strong, coming off as a hard-edged rocker, like it should be. But the problem is, it descends into a collection of ballads from hell. I honestly think that if Axl & Co. put the tracks in a differnet order, it would be a much better album. The end of the album is saturated with weak ballads, and it's impossible to get through the entire record in one sitting. // 7

Lyrics: The lyrics are, for the most part, decent. Sure, there are the shining diamonds in the rough like "Better" and "Catcher N' The Rye", but for most of the album the lyrics are meaningless noise coming out of Axl Rose's mixing console... I mean mouth. Nothing special here really, though the record would make a good demonstration for Pro Tools. Not since N'Sync have voices been so processed. // 5

Overall Impression: This album is a total disappointment. It pales in comparison to the other GNR albums, as well as anything Izzy, Slash, Duff, Steven, Matt, or even Gilby have done in the last 15 years since Guns fell apart. The only songs on this album worth listening to are "Chinese Democracy", "Better", "Street of Dreams", and "Catcher N' The Rye". It's really really really mediocre. Since I pirated it in the first place, I wouldn't buy another to replace it. Actually, I don't think it's even necessary to ask this question since nobody in their right mind would try to steal this album from you. It's not worth buying and Axl doesn't deserve the money for this massive let-down anyway. // 5

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overall: 7
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: reddbaron12, on april 07, 2009
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound of Chinese Democracy is clearly over-processed, crunchy guitars (Chinese Democracy, Shackler's Revenge), random little things thrown in, such as spanish-sounding licks (If The World), strange noises that could or could not be guitars or even musical instruments (Better), and pianos. (Street of Dreams, This I Love) You can tell that Axl Rose really has put A lot into this album, so many unheard things that make the sound so much richer, and fuller, the album is put together very carefully. Although in theory, this could make it perfect, it doesn't all fit together, Axl doesn't seem to have a specific direction he wants to go in. // 7

Lyrics: Chinese Democracy. Bold statement eh? Nay. One song dedicated to that ideal, the first track, seems to insult China (it was banned there, of course), although he barely touches on this subject, my theory is he ended up wanting to abandon the idea of Chinese Democracy, and couldn't, because he was so deep in the media, and all that. Chinese Democracy (song) is for the common man, the one who isn't an avid fan of Guns N' Roses, this merely says "Here it is, Chinese Democracy", but after that song, he delves deeper. What exactly is he getting at? It's hard to say, he has heartfelt slow songs, rockers. In the end, the lyrics have no central theme, although no one said it was a concept album, all great albums' songs seem have some undefineable quality that links them together. He wrote this over such a long period of time, he obviously tried many song ideas, and picked the ones he liked best, so obviously the songs don't exactly fit together. Perhaps we'll see what he goes into the next album. (In 2026 possibly.) // 6

Overall Impression: Compared to other Guns albums, this shouldn't be compared. It should not be called Guns N' Roses, it's Axl Rose. Sure, he's got his slew of random guitarists with no particulraly great skills, but it's him. Some of the best songs include: Chinese Democracy, Better, Street of Dreams, This I Love. What I love about the album is hard to say, it's got undeniable charm, his songwriting has not dulled. What I hate, is the songs sound all different, and the album is long. It's almost impossible to listen to in one sitting. If you love Guns, pick it up. If not, it's worth a look. // 8

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overall: 8.7
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: iron_maiden97, on november 25, 2008
0 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: After a 15 year wait, Chinese Democracy has finally come out. Does it live up to the hype? For the most part. Although, I don't think it should have been called a guns n roses album and more an Axl Rose solo album(which it is essentially), it lives up to it's name. // 8

Lyrics: It's a very different sound for this band. They went from the classic rock roots to more of an industrial metal band. 01.Chinese Democracy: after what I think is an unnecessary intro, the guitar kicks in and you can hear for the most part what kind of album it will be. Axl recorded 2 sets of vocals for the verses, giving him a high and low register vocal line, showing his wide range. Overall, this song has the GNR kcik in the face kind of sound with an industrial metal twist. Shackler's Revenge: Personally, I think that this song could have been omitted from the tracklist. it's a decent song but probably the furthest from a GNR song you can get. 02.Better: starting off with a catchy guitar riff and a high vocal line, the rest of the band kicks in for a very punchy verse and chorus. This is very good song, and possibly one of the best on the album. 03.Street of Dreams: this is one of my favorites. It is a piano driven song with deep lyrics by Axl, who goes back to his old raw, raspy voice which is something I love. Great guitar solo making the song complete. 04.If The World: a very different song. This shows the diversity of the band(particularly the guitarists)as it is very different from not only old GNR but the newer line-up as well. The spanish guitar in the beginning is very catchy. An overall good track. 05.There was a Time: this song didn't really catch me. it's lyrics had potential for a great kickass song, but the music changes it completely. Wasn't very impressed by this one. 06.Catcher in the Rye: good Track. Starting off with blues guitar over a piano track. Probably one opf the best songs on the album. 07.Scraped: well... I love Axl's voice and every one of his screams, but I think the ah's in the beginning were pointless. Otherwise a decent song. Reminds me of something that might of been on Use Your Illusion II. 08.Riad and the Bedouins: almost a return to the Appetite days. Very punchy and pissed off song. Pretty decent song. 09.Sorry: this one sounds as if Axl was broken up with and is feeling very down on himself. I like how it is a piano song other than the very angry chorus. Very good song. 10.IRS: this is a song that sounds like it should have been written back when GNR was just starting. Axl's vocals are a little weak on this track unfortunatly. 11.Madagascar: if I had to pick one word for this song it would have to be: EPIC. It starts off with a synth progression that lasts most of the song. The recorded voices over the breakdown/solos make this song so much better. My absolute favorite off the whole album. 12.This I Love: another very good song. A mostly piano song again but very far away from the GNR ballad genre. Almost bluesy vocal line. Robin Finck blew my mind with his solo. Who would have thought that someone who plays guitar in Nine Inch Nails and made such heavy riffs on earlier songs could do such a soft passionate solo. I truely can't decide on one favorite part of this amazing song. 13.Prostitute: another one of my favorites. Starting off with a catchy riff, it goes into a heavy chorus. The lyrics are very deep and some of my favorites from the album. Overall great song. And with that Chinese Democracy is over. // 9

Overall Impression: I don't really think you can compare this to any other GNR album, simply because this is not guns n roses. As an Axl Rose solo project, it is amazing. If he had released this ten years ago, it would have changed the face of the music world. The most impressive songs on the album in my opinion are Better, Street of Dreams, Madagascar, This I Love and Prostitute. If this was lost or stolen, I would most definatly buy a new one, mostly because I love cd's but still this is an overall good album. It's too bad that the old line-up is not still together, but then I am happy that they broke up becuase otherwise, this would be a very different album. Albeit there would probably be three or four other gnr albums by now, I am very proud of this album. // 9

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overall: 9.7
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 25, 2008
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Let's get right to it: The first Guns n' Roses album of new, original songs since the first Bush administration is a great, audacious, unhinged and uncompromising hard-rock record. In other words, it sounds a lot like the Guns n' Roses you know. At times, it's the clenched-fist five that made 1987's perfect storm, Appetite for Destruction; more often, it's the one sprawled across the maxed-out CDs of 1991's Use Your Illusion I and II, but here compressed into a convulsive single disc of supershred guitars, orchestral fanfares, hip-hop electronics, metallic tabernacle choirs and Axl Rose's still-virile, rusted-siren singing. If Rose ever had a moment's doubt or repentance over what Chinese Democracy has cost him in time (13 years), money (14 studios are listed in the credits) and body count including the exit of every other founding member of the band he left no room for it in these 14 songs. "I bet you think I'm doin' this all for my health," Rose cracks through the saturation-bombing guitars in "I.R.S.," one of several glancing references on the album to what he knows a lot of people think of him: that Rose, now 46, has spent the last third of his life running off the rails, in half-light. But when he snaps, "All things are possible/I am unstoppable," in the thumper "Scraped," that's not loony hubris just a good old rock & roll "f--k you," the kind that made him and the old band hot and famous in the first place. Something else Rose broadcasts over and over on Chinese Democracy: Restraint is for suckers. There is plenty of familiar guitar firepower the stabbing-dagger lick that opens the first track, "Chinese Democracy," the sand-devil fuzz in "Riad N' the Bedouins" and the looping squeals over the grand anguish of "Street of Dreams." But what Slash and Izzy Stradlin used to do with two guitars now takes a wall of 'em. On some tracks, Rose has up to five guys Robin Finck, Buckethead, Paul Tobias, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal and Richard Fortus riffing and soloing in broad, saw-toothed blurs. And that's no drag. I still think the wild, superstuffed "Oh My God" the early Chinese Democracy track wasted on the 1999 End of Days soundtrack beats everything on Guns n' Roses' 1993 covers album, The Spaghetti Incident? Most of these songs also go through multiple U-turns in personality, as if Rose kept trying new approaches to a hook or a bridge and then decided, "What the hell, they're all cool." "Better" starts with what sounds like hip-hop voicemail severely pinched guitar, drum machine and a near-falsetto Rose ("No one ever told me when/I was alone/They just thought I'd know better") before blowing up into vintage Sunset Strip wallop. "If the World" has Buckethead plucking acoustic Spanish guitar over a blaxploitation-film groove, while Rose shows that he still holds a long-breath vowel part torture victim, part screaming jet like no other rock singer. And there is so much going on in "There Was a Time" strings and Mellotron, a full-strength choir and Rose's overdubbed sour-growl harmonies, wah-wah guitar and a false ending (more choir) that it's easy to believe Rose spent most of the past decade on that arrangement alone. But it is never a mess, more like a loud mass of bad memories and hard lessons. In the first lines, Rose goes back to a beginning much like his own "Broken glass and cigarettes/ Writin' on the wall/It was a bargain for the summer/An' I thought I had it all" then piles on the wreckage along with the orchestra and guitars. By the end, it's one big melt of missing and kiss-off ("If I could go back in time... But I don't want to know it now"). If this is the Guns n' Roses that Rose kept hearing in his head all this time, it is obvious why two guitars, bass and drums were never going to be enough. It is plain, too, that he thinks this Guns n' Roses is a band, as much as the one that recorded "Welcome to the Jungle," "Sweet Child O' Mine," "Used to Love Her" and "Civil War." The voluminous credits that come with Chinese Democracy certainly give detailed credit where it is due. My favorite: "Initial arrangement suggestions: Youth on 'Madagascar." Rose takes the big one "Lyrics N' Melodies by Axl Rose" but shares full-song bylines with other players on all but one track. Bassist Tommy Stinson plays on nearly every song, and keyboardist Dizzy Reed, the only survivor from the Illusion lineup, does the Elton John-style piano honors on "Street of Dreams." But Rose still sings a lot about the power of sheer, solitary will even when he throws himself into a bigger fight, like "Chinese Democracy." In "Madagascar," which Rose has played live for several years now, he samples both Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech and dialogue from Cool Hand Luke. And at the end of the album, on the bluntly titled "Prostitute," Rose veers from an almost conversational tenor, over a ticking-bomb shuffle, to five-guitar barrage, orchestral lightning and righteous howl: "Ask yourself/Why I would choose/To prostitute myself/To live with fortune and shame." To him, the long march to Chinese Democracy was not about paranoia and control. It was about saying "I won't" when everyone else insisted, "You must." You may debate whether any rock record is worth that extreme self-indulgence. Actually, the most rock & roll thing about Chinese Democracy is he doesn't care if you do. // 9

Lyrics: hings kick off with the title track. Already heavily previewed on radio, it opens with a montage of sirens and Chinese dialogue before bursting into life with a riff of speaker-endangering proportions and Rose's trademark falsetto squeal.It's followed by the pounding Shackler's Revenge, whose heavily distorted guitar shows Rose has been paying attention to the innovations of Tom Morello and Matt Bellamy. Several of the songs have been previewed in concert over the last five years. In just three and a half minutes, it shoots off in hundreds of different directions, encompassing growled, paranoiac verses, off-kilter digital squeals and an anthemic chorus. This is a trick that Rose repeats over and over on Chinese Democracy. Almost all the tracks have a scattergun approach to song structure, incorporating a vast array of movements, themes and motifs. Along the way, we get choirs, brass bands, hip-hop beats, mellotrons, found sounds, pulsing synths, film samples and something rather ominously called "sub bass". The credit list for one song - the Bond theme-esque There Was A Time - runs to 33 lines on the CD booklet. A total of six people play guitar on the track. Two of them get solos. It is a long way from the scrappy garage band formed in Los Angeles three decades ago. What's surprising, however, is that the songs survive intact despite this surfeit of ideas and contributors. By rights, Chinese Democracy should have been an unholy mess. But Rose seems to have learned his lesson after the sprawling self-indulgence of 1991's Use Your Illusion. Songs like IRS and Raid N' The Bedouins are lean and compact, edited down to the bare essentials, packing the maximum punch per pound. But, let's be clear, this is by no means the equal of the 28 million-selling Appetite For Destruction, nor does it contain anything as radio friendly as Paradise City or November Rain. Indeed, if initial reactions are positive, that's partly because expectations were so low after the record's troubled gestation. On the downside, there is a surfeit of cheesy ballads, beginning with the terribly overwrought Street Of Dreams. The opening piano chords bring to mind nothing more than Sir Elton John, while Rose oversings lines about "stardust on my feet" in a voice that would make an X Factor auditionee cringe. Sorry, another break-up song, aims for grandiose but ends up sounding ridiculous - like Pink Floyd covered by Metallica. And, for all of it's ambitious bombast, there's no disguising the fact that There Was A Time veers dangerously close to becoming Bon Jovi's Blaze Of Glory. // 10

Overall Impression: Rose has already predicted the reaction to these songs. "I'm trying to do something different," he told Rolling Stone in 2006. "Some of the arrangements are kind of like Queen. Some people are going to say it doesn't sound like Guns N' Roses." Actually, he's wrong about that. This does sound like a Guns N' Roses album, but it's a sadly compromised one. The filthy swagger is gone - perhaps understandable now that Rose is 46. But Chinese Democracy also misses the clean, tuneful riffs that Slash and Izzy Stradlin used to provide. Too often, guitar lines sound like technical exercises - fingers running up and down the fretboard at the expense of melody. And when several songs plump for "na na na" backing vocals, you find yourself wondering why no-one had time to finish off the lyrics. Ultimately, however, there is nothing here that will irrevocably tarnish the Guns N' Roses name. Had it come out directly after the band's last album, 1993's The Spaghetti Incident?, it would have been hailed as a triumphant return to form. Or - just perhaps - it would have been branded irrelevant in a world where grunge, hip-hop and industrial rock were in the ascendancy. In 2008, the cogs of the musical world have turned full circle, and Axl Rose has released his long-awaited opus just as games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band (which features Shackler's Revenge on it's tracklisting) bring hard rock back into people's living rooms. All the heartache was worth it. // 10

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overall: 8.7
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: Dave Frenzy, on november 25, 2008
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Sound: Ok this being my first reveiw im warning you all now there will be some bad grammer/spelling in here. This is a very controversial Cd so im going to try not to add any opinions of axel or past members of this band. The sound of the Cd isnt what i expected, its a cross between old GNR and Pendulum and the NIN inuluence is noticable. The drumming is good and has good beats throughout all the songs. The Guitars are where it starts to go down hill. The rythem guitars are good but on some songs it seems like whoever is playig the solo goes crazy and tries to be a slash/morello crossover and it doesnt always work but after listening to the songs a few times you accept that this is the new GNR sound and its not that bad. // 10

Lyrics: lyrics are good, classic GNR. I wouldn't want to go on and on about the significance of line after line so here it all is in a nut shell. It has been well mixed with the old style Axel vocals on all the songs, the only dodgy vocals are in the intro to Street Of Dreams where he sounds like the frontman of a bad A7X tribute band but wierdly it seems to fit with the song. // 8

Overall Impression: To be totaly honest it's an album that I wanted to hate but I just cant, it's too catchy. the best tracks on the album (in my opinion) are "shacklers revenge" for it's modern aproatch to the intro, "better" it's an epic song I can't describe it, you will understand when you hear it. The thing I don't like about the album is on the cover, the part by "chinese democracy" that says "Guns N Roses", this isnt GNR that made this album, it's a new band that just happens to have axle rose and dizzy reed from guns n roses in it. Axle would have done better to have left that band name behind. overall the time spent making this album and all that has gone on in that time has been worth it, we have had 2 great bands out of it; velvet revolver and Guns N Roses. // 8

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overall: 9.7
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: mercurymay, on november 25, 2008
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Sound: I don't think I need to take you through the story of Chinese Democracy, considering the staff here at UG have made sure that any development on this album is reported on. Being a hardcore GN'R fan, I held a grudge against Axl for arguably being the chief cause of the original lineup disbanding, and I thought it was a travesty that he got a new band under the name of Guns N' Roses. With this background, I was listening to the Internet leaks a couple of years ago with a critical mindset, not an open one. The first song I heard was "Better." I thought it was... ok. Kind of ok. But when you listen to the album as a whole, you can't help but appreciate every song, and be blown away. It's hard to pigeon-hole "Chinese Democracy" into a genre. It's got elements of Pop, Punk, Rock, Blues, Ballad, Metal and Industrial. When GN'R came out with "Appetite For Destruction" in 1987, Rock N' Roll changed a lot. It was a groundbreaking record, and "Chinese Democracy" has the same effect. We're surrounded by mediocrity in the form of Green Day, and other iffy bands that appeal mostly to 14 year old girls while they flip through their music on their pink iPod nanos, and "Chinese Democracy" is an effort to redeem the reputation of Rock N Roll. 13 out of the 14 tracks in the album are mindblowing, save "Riad N' The Bedouins," which seems to me like a chaotic cocktail, or better put, a clusterf--k. The production quality on the album as a whole is excellent, with every instrument and sound easily distinguishable. // 9

Lyrics: 01.Chinese Democracy: the title track of the record. It begins with vague conversation in an unintelligible language to someone who speaks only English. It then turns into some brief instrumental noodling, and bursts into a huge, overdriven, AC/DC style powerchord riff, and becomes a solid Rock song. The singing style of Axl Rose with the original GN'R lineup has been likened to a strangled cat, but in this song, he sounds much more mature, fuller, and more impactful. A good song to start the album with. 02.Shackler's Revenge: quite an Industrial song, with multi-layered vocals, ranging from a Marilyn Manson-esque drone, to the Axl Rose wail we've known to love/hate. The lyrics are quite simple, but since when was that a bad thing? Fans of "Appetite For Destruction" and people who don't like bands like Nine Inch Nails probably won't like this song, but will most probably like the shredfest of a solo by Buckethead/Bumblefoot/Robin Finck. 03.Better: starts off with a guitar intro with a wah pedal fixed on the "toe" position with the vocal styles of a shy five year old girl, but then explodes into a great rock song with exceptional vocals by Axl, syncopated powerchord riffs, sweep picking, and general headbanging rock. Great song. 04.Street Of Dreams: better known as "The Blues." Put quite simply, a beautiful song, with lyrics such as "What I thought was beautiful don't live inside of you anymore." Very true to the original Guns N' Roses sound, and would fit quite well on either of the Use Your Illusion albums. Axl's voice is reminiscent of the old days, but sounds different at the same time. 05.If The World: a really cool funky song with a Spanish/Middle Eastern acoustic guitar and wah based guitars. Very different from any other song I've heard, but maybe I haven't heard enough songs. The lyrics are slightly clichd, but sometimes it's satisfying to hear lyrics that you're familiar with. The drums are pretty loose, but keep a good steady beat, and change enough to keep you interested. 06.There Was A Time: an incredible song. It starts off quite delicate, then evolves into a stadium rock chorus. The vocals are pretty shoddily sung. Axl was probably too focused on perfecting the instrumentals to deliver as well as he could have. 07.Catcher In The Rye: a really pleasant song to listen to. If you've had a tough day, lie down on your couch, light up a cigarette, pour yourself a cold glass of beer and listen to this song. It's not a song that you have to concentrate too hard on to appreciate, and is anything but boring and generic. You'll enjoy this if you're a fan of Aerosmith ballads, or even "November Rain," and you're sure to enjoy the guitar solo. Unfortunately, Brian May's work isn't featured in the album as originally planned, and Bumblefoot doesn't deliver the emotion of a guitar player that Brian May could have. 08.Scraped: begins with kind of an acapella harmony with an Axl Rose shriek as a vocal solo, then breaks down into a fast rock song. The lyrics are somewhat along the lines of "Get In The Ring" without being as comical. "Don't you try to stop us now" is a lyric heavily featured in the song, probably a message to all the cynics in the world who doubted the album would be released. A cool song, solid badass rock n roll. 09.Riad N' The Bedouins: a fast, mishmash of unnecessary layers. Probably the only truly weak track on the album. The instruments and the rhythms they play don't seem to work together. If it was a jam session, it would be a pretty decent jam. We all know that Axl wouldn't release something until he thought it was perfect. I guess he didn't give this song a good enough listen. It's a little bit like one of the filler songs in the Use Your Illusion albums, but the guitar solo is worth listening to. 10.Sorry: a slow, mellow, slightly spooky song. The lyrics are pretty interesting. With a title like "Sorry," you might think that it would be a generic power ballad, like the one done by "Buckcherry," but it's a message of superiority. "I'm sorry for you, not sorry for me," implies that he doesn't feel like he's in a position of weakness and is patronizing those who are. My favorite feature of this song is the guitar solo. It sounds like Eric Clapton or David Gilmour are playing it, so you know you won't be disappointed. Apparently, Sebastian Bach sings backing vocals on this song, but he's a bit buried and you can't really make it out. This is unfortunate because Axl and Bach compliment each other well when they sing together. 11.IRS: the album has reportedly cost over $11m to produce, and Axl is gonna have to pay his taxes sometime. This is probably a song about his fear of having to pay his dues. Jokes aside, this is a really cool, gripping song, with lots of layers. There are about five guitars playing in this song, and each of them has a different texture. 12.Madagascar: this song has a really cool groove, with a beat from a slower hip-hop song and a nice synthesized rhythm section and big guitar sounds. The bridge of the song features MLK and dialog from "Cool Hand Luke," previously featured in the intro to "Civil War." This song is easy to listen to and will keep you interested from beginning to end. 13.This I Love: yet another ballad. Despite having a title that sounds like Yoda suggested it, this is truly an incredible song. It's got a very delicate piano part, and Axl sings in a tone that can only be described as anguish. The lyrics are exceptional, with lines like "I searched the Universe and found myself within her eyes." 14.Prostitute: a good song to end the album with. It's got a lot of layers, with synthesized orchestras, drum machines, and multilayered vocals. At the end of this song, the only thing I could think was "Damn, I've got to listen to the album again." // 10

Overall Impression: You can't really compare "Chinese Democracy" to any other album. To me it sounds pretty groundbreaking and revolutionary. There are a few rare albums which can only be listened to as albums. I couldn't imagine playing only one song from this album and then moving on to Iron Maiden or something. To fully appreciate this album, listen to it from beginning to end more than once. I've been thinking about which songs are the most impressive on this album, and I don't have a concrete answer for you. Each song leaves a different impression on the listener, except for "Riad N' the Bedouins," which would probably win the "WTF Award" at the Grammys. What I love most about the album is how it really is an example of Axl Rose's artistry. You hear stories about his perfectionism, and it shows in this album. It's a good reminder to the listener that Guns N' Roses are nothing short of original. There are a couple of things I hate about the album: 1. Why did I have to wait so long? 2. Forum posters on UG who use unintelligent lines like "This isn't a Guns N' Roses album, it's an Axl Rose album." Shut up. The Dr. Pepper jokes became boring after a week. Stop it. 3. There aren't more songs. I could easily listen to this album non stop all day and forget about other things I have to do like eat or go to University. If this album were stolen or lost, I'd be pissed. Then I'd take the bus to HMV and pick up another copy. // 10

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overall: 9
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: hawkdude9, on november 27, 2008
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Sound: This album is seriously underrated for many reasons. No, Slash is not on this album. Yes, it is a more modern album than traditional guns n' roses. Yes, the new guitarists' way of playing has influenced this album. Buckethead and the guitarist for Nine Inch Nails are on this album, among others (I know you're all gonna be like, "Buckethead?????" but his soloing isn't the focal point of the soloing or the songs, thankfully) But I hate how people say this is a bad album. People need to get over the fact that the old Guns n' Roses is gone. None of the original members of the band are in the modern GNR except for Axl Rose, which, strangely, I don't mind. there are many songs on the album that sound like old GNR just more modern. There are also songs that sound like the whole (original) band is there. this is probably because the new members know it needs to sound at least a little like the old GNR to get the album sold. Before I start reviewing the songs one by one, I would like to say this: The songs are the progressive style of songs. They get better as the song goes on, and that can be a good thing and a bad thing, but I will talk about that more in my overall impression. I will now proceed to rate and review the songs. 01.Chinese Democracy: the title track, what the album is supposed to be summed up in. After about a minute of background noise, which sounds like a chinese market or something, the guitar blasts in with a very processed, over drive, start-stop riff that builds up to create the riff for the whole track. Axl does one of his really high screams and the rest of the band comes in. Axl is singing with his layered vocals (low tone singing with a little high singing on top). after 2 verses and 2 choruses, the first guitar solo comes in (I can't remember who does this one) and then buckethead comes in with his solo, which, strangely, suits the song. after soloing into the next chorus, the song ends with a chord closing and some eerie wind in the background. after this song, I couldn't wait to hear the second song.//9.5 02.Shackler's Revenge: this song is definitely the hookiest song on the album. The song comes in with a strange start-stop buckethead riff and the rest of the band comes in. Axl is singing very low in the first half of the verse, but does the layering at the second half. the song gets slightly happier at the pre-chorus, but blasts into buckethead soloing over the chorus with the powerchord rhythm guitar and axl screaming as high as he can. the song at this point is very hooky and makes you want to sing along. after two of these, buckethead does a riff and stops suddenly. the band then goes right into a solo that sounds really weird and goes all over the fretboard. they then break into a prechorus, and then the chorus with buckethead soloing over the whole thing with his coolest solo on the album, they repeat the chorus twice, and end the song.//10 03.Better: this is the point in the album where it gets mellower and starts with a melancholy guitar riff and an electronic beat (strangely) with axl singing very softly to the tune of the guitar. The band then blasts into the verse with a clean start-stop guitar riff. Axl's singing sounds like he had his heart broken. they then go into the chorus with very heavy guitars. this sounds almost exactly like slash was writing it, and axl starts yelling. the song continues and strangely feels sadder with some keyboard in the background, almost not loud enough to hear. in the end of the second chorus, Axl yells like his cat just ripped his arm off of it's socket. They then break into a brief but sweet guitar solo. A bridge then ensues with axl singing really high, like a standard GNR song. Buckethead goes into his own riff as they go into the third chorus. After this, one of the guitarists does a very bluesy, sad solo to the melody of the vocals. The rest of the song goes on with Axl singing no, no, no, no. With that in the background, Axl sings another verse, and the band stops except for the guitarist and axl, as they do another riff and end the song. the chorus is a little too heavy for the verse, but it's still freaking awesome.//9 04.Street of Dreams: this is one of the more keyboard driven songs of the album, clearly inspired by Paradise City. The guitar then boosts into it with a few power chords, but stops as axl starts singing the beginning of the first voice. this is axl's best song on vocals, I think. It's very mellow, but powerful at the same time, and has a swing feel to it. It's really a pretty happy song, and at the same time very powerful. There is a very driving guitar solo in it, and the band does a very good job of preventing the song. There isn't much buckethead influence in the song, so those of you who don't like him very much will be happy.//8 05.If The World: this is not a standard GNR song. It has many elements of funk, spanish, and other types of other music. The guitar has lots of wah pedal in it. It's a really cool groove. there is keyboard in the background. The guitar then breaks into the chorus riff which is the funky wah riff in the verse but distorted and without wah. after a few verses there is a solo that sounds very pink floyd-ish to me. There is also less Buckethead on this song, too.//8 06.There Was a Time: it starts off with something that sounds like choir chants, and breaks into an eerie guitar riff playing to the melody that axl is singing. the keyboards play a false string part in the background, and the drums slowly progress to the chorus. which is very, very heavy. It sounds like appetite for destruction guitars. The song progresses on to the second chorus getting louder as it gets there. then there is a standard piano part under axl singing a bridge/verse(? ). The song then goes into a slow guitar solo that progresses as it goes on. and after a chorus, The guitar does a solo into another bridge by axl and then there is a very simple effect driven solo that gets more complex as it goes on. The song is very good, but, like a lot of the other songs on the album, it gets better as it progresses, which sometimes takes a lot of unneeded time.//8 07.Catcher In the Rye: this song is another keyboard-starter. After the keyboard opens, the guitar plays one chord after another that ring out, and the bass guitar hits notes every time the bass drum hits. a soloing guitar is going on in the background to the melody of axl's voice. after the next heavy chorus, the keyboards come in with another piano-driven part. Another chorus comes in with the heavy distorted guitars, and then goes into a bluesy guitar solo worthy of Slash. The song then goes into another 3 unneeded verse/choruses while soloing into the last chorus the song ends. I don't like this song very much because of the endless verses/choruses/brides or whatever. It just takes too long! //6 08.Scraped: this is definitely one of the heaviest songs on the album. It starts off with some screams by axl in melody and harmony but breaks into the same thing but with heavily distorted guitars and drum fills. The chorus enters, and there is very heavy guitar in the background that reminds me kind of of My Michelle off of AFD. In the end of the chorus there is a crazy guitar riff by Buckethead and then they go into a verse and another chorus. The clearly buckethead guitar solo enters with wah pedal and many pull offs. The rhythm guitar in the background is going to the tune of the solo. The song goes into the pre-chorus and chorus with a solo in the background. The song ends with axl screaming and the guitar making a sudden stop. this is a very brief, but exciting song. //9 09.Riad N' The Bedouins: this song has a lot of left turns in it. I think it's the only song with a swear word in it ("Had a plan, and thought they'ed win, but I didn't give a f--k about them.") this is another heavy song with mellow rhythm guitar in the background of the chorus. there is funky wah in one of the riffs after the chorus. It goes into the buckethead guitar solo, and, like a standard buckethead solo, is crazy as hell. Another guitar solo ensues after another chorus, again by buckethead, with axl singing over it. This is another brief, but memorable song off the album.//8 10.Sorry: this is another song with a reasonable amount of funk in it. It starts off really slow and stays slow. This is definitely a late 80's power ballad, which is cool with me. The chorus is very mellow. and very watery. The part where he goes "I'm sorry for you" has really heavy guitars in it. All in all, a pretty good song by GNR.//8 11.I.R.S.: this song starts off with acoustic guitars and a bit of country in it, but goes on to deliver. there are some heavy guitars in the chorus, and in the verse it goes back to the acoustic, and it goes back and forth. The song has an average guitar solo, and the guitar riff is totally 80's GNR.//8 12.Madagascar: the song starts off with some orchestra music that sounds mournful and epic, but goes into a somewhat funky song with the false strings keyboard. There is a good bassline in the verse, but it gets pretty stale after a while. the distorted guitars come in about a minute and 15 seconds into the song. To me, this song is just too slow, and is the kind of old song that old fans will definitely hate. //6 13.Tis I Love: te song starts off with a melodic keyboard intro with Axl doing some of his best lyrics on the album. The song is really sad (in a good way) altogether, and isn't a cheesy sad song bands do to make people think they are emotional. About 2 minutes into the song, the guitars literally come in (it's only keyboard and bass up till that point) and starts soloing. It isn't too crazy, but it definitely fits the song. The drums come in about half way through the solo and axl sings a little more over the ending of the solo and the guitar rings out. There is a brief stop and the keyboard continues and so does Axl's singing. Axl sings his last note and the song fades out. a very ground level and emotional song.//9 14.Prostitute: I always think every album needs to have this: a strong opening song, a strong second song, and a strong ending song AT LEAST. I think this song is a good way to end the album. With a name like "prostitute" it reminded me of kid rock or some other artist with songs like that. There is a slow intro, but the song then kicks into a very strong riff that really moves you. The song is very good and while it isn't really a great ballbreaker, it is definitely a good way to end a record.//9 All in all, The sound of the album is good. The extremely good songs make up for the ones that aren't as good. // 9

Lyrics: Axl Rose has one of the best voices in Rock/metal music. This statement basically sums up my opinion on his "singer skills" and now I will go into more detail. People say that Axl Rose is narcissistic and stuff all the time, and that is all they remember him for. I remember him as this, and one of the best singers alive. Even 30 years since Appetite for Destruction, Axl Rose's voice is still going strong. There are songs where it sounds like he got kicked in the groin, his voice is so high, and in others it sounds like he's about to burst out crying. In others he can have a bass sound with his voice. It's just amazing. In the song "Chinese Democracy" (and others) he uses a technique where he sings low as the base of the vocals and then adds a smaller layer of higher singing over that, which I think is genius. The lyrics never really struck me as anything groundbreaking, but they can speak to you on emotional levels. This is useful since most of the songs on the album are soft in the beginning (the intro/verse) and heavy in the chorus and end of the song, which works better there. // 9

Overall Impression: If you're a fan of old GNR (like me) it will definitely take some time to warm up to this album. When I heard Chinese Democracy (the song) for the first time, I didn't think the album was going to live up to expectations. But you kinda have to get used to it, first. Then you can enjoy the album for what it is. The most impressive songs off the album are definitely the first few ones, and some at the end. Which brings me into what I like the least about the album: the fact that most of the songs are progressive (with a few exceptions). Some of the songs just take to long to listen to. It takes just too long to get to the point of it. I think this came out of GNR wanting the listeners to get more out of listening to it. But that worked and failed at the same time. This definitely shouldn't be your first GNR album to buy because it doesn't represent them in their entirety; it only represents what the past 10 years have held. I really love this album and have listened to it almost 6 times all the way through since it came out. I hope this has changed your mind about the album and you give it a chance. Before I close, I would like to answer the last part of this: If this was stolen/lost, not only would I buy the CD, I would also buy the Vinyl (record) version of it and get my turntable fixed just to listen to it. Rock on! // 9

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overall: 5.7
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: schmurnan, on november 28, 2008
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Sound: Any album that has been closely monitored and scrutinised for the better part of 2 decades is never going to live up to the expectation, no matter whose album it is or how good it is. So to ask whether this lives up to the hype is extremely unfair. But that's not to say I think this album is particularly worthy of the hype it has received. From start to finish, this album screams over-production. It is adventurous at times, it is unique at times. But for the most part, it's a bit too much. Axl's voice still sounds great, considering the amount of abuse his vocal chords must take with his method of singing (and the fact that he's now 46 years old). It's bound to dither with age, but it still stands up and it's still recognizable. The guitaring throughout the album is pretty good and it's clear that many different players performed on 'Chinese Democracy' - there doesn't seem to be a distinct style across any of the tracks... which isn't necessarily a bad thing. After all, you only have to look at the production notes to see just how many people were involved in this record. As a huge fan of Slash I've refrained from jumping on the "it's nowhere near as good as Slash' bandwagon because I don't think it's intended to sound like Slash. The apparent reason for Slash's departure from Guns (apart from finally getting fed up of Axl's growing need for control and erratic behaviour) was down to musical direction: Slash wanted to keep making records that oozed raunch and sleaze like Appetite For Destruction; whereas Axl wanted to experiment a little more, see what other sounds could be achieved, get into the electronics a bit more (as unsuccessfully portrayed in Use Your Illusion II's 'My World'). If Axl Rose were to come out and produce an album that sounded very much the same as the old Guns N' Roses, he'd pretty much be a hypocrite. Thankfully he hasn't done that; he's stuck to his guns (excuse the pun) and released an album of material that differs from anything Guns N' Roses fans were used to. But at the end of the day, maybe it's just too different. // 6

Lyrics: One of Axl Rose's greatest attributes for me has always been his ability to produce fantastic lyrics. But I have to agree with some of the other reviewers that his lyrics are a bit hit-and-miss on 'Chinese Democracy'. Considering the amount of time this album has been in the works, I think many people expected really profound content. Unfortunately, it just isn't there. I think the lyrics, as with everything else on this album, have been over-produced. And this is more of a personal preference than anything else, but I used to love the old Axl Rose lyrics that were "f**k this" and "f**ck that". It suited his personality. But that has all but gone. There are only one or two explicit lyrics so far that I've picked up on in 'Chinese Democracy'. I'm not saying I condone potty-mouthed lyrics, but I think they fit perfectly with Axl Rose's demeanour and style. Sorry, Axl Rose's OLD demeanour and style. // 5

Overall Impression: Some tracks on 'Chinese Democracy' have been around for so many years now that it seems Axl's had too much time to make "refinements" to them. A lot of the earlier versions of some of these songs were much better, in my personal opinion. However, the more I listen to this record, the more it grows on me (at the moment, at least). Maybe if I were to write another review in 2 months' time my rating would be considerably different. There are a lot of people out there who are slating this album - comments like "this isn't a classic GN'R album it's an Axl Rose album" and "it's nothing like Appetite" are all over the Internet. To a certain extent I agree with these statements, but not entirely. If this album is compared to Appetite For Destruction or even the Use Your Illusion albums, then yes it is a long way away from the band we used to love. But this IS a Guns N' Roses album, albeit a different incarnation of Guns N' Roses. Having seen this particular version of the band perform live, I feel that I'm qualified to say that Axl Rose is the only remnant of the former GN'R left, and beyond that this is a new band producing entirely different material (Dizzy Reed isn't an original member of GN'R so I'm including him as "new"). There is a lot of talent in the new version of the band (particularly Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal), but I don't think they quite work as "Guns N' Roses". There have been too many personnel changes to really call this a band anyway, you might say. But if this album is considered as a standalone piece, nothing to do with "Guns N' Roses" then it has sparks of really good potential. Some tracks do leave you wondering "how the hell did this take 17 years to produce?!", tracks such as 'Shackler's Revenge', 'If The World' and 'I.R.S.' are poor songs by anyone's standards, not just Axl Rose. But then we have songs like 'Better', 'Street Of Dreams' and 'This I Love' which are, at times, brilliant. I'm still confused as to why 'Sorry' was ever written and recorded, because for me it doesn't really fit with anything else on this album. I like it, it's a good song, but it just doesn't fit well. I think overall, 'Chinese Democracy' has moments of ingenuity and potential, but none of the ponce and swagger that has previously been associated with Axl Rose and "Guns N' Roses". There are too many poor songs for the good ones to save. Rose has constantly been seeking 'the perfect album', but perfection is a matter of opinion. And in my opinion, 'Chinese Democracy' is some way away from perfect. // 6

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overall: 8.7
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: the1967mustang, on december 25, 2008
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Sound: I have been a Guns N' Roses fan for years now, and I have everything from Appetite for Destruction to Use Your Illusions, (everything in between) and when I was very excited for this album, even thought Axl was the only person left. At first, I didn't like the album very much at all. but after listening to it anywhere I went, I really started to like it. It never will sound as good as the original Guns, but they are still Guns n roses and they still made a great album. // 9

Lyrics: To start off, Axl Roses' voice is still just as good as it was, if he uses it right. There are songs on here that definitly show how good he is. He does experiment a little, but in a good way, usually. His lyrics are very good, and he did a very good job. 01.Chinese Democracy: easily one of my favorites off this album. It starts off with a good riff, and and also shows that Axl can sound just as good as he used to. 02.Shackler's Revenge: a lot of people, I have noticed, don't like this song. I, myself, like this song alot. The only thing that I noticed was that it sounds way too much like modern rock from the 2000's, not the good old 80's GN'R. The guitar is pretty good, but, doesn't sound like GN'R. 03.Better: this song could fit in with with earlier GN'R stuff really easily. Axl is very good on this song vocals sound different, but good. the guitar was very good on this track, in my opinion. 04.Street of Dreams: people were saying how this was one of the best songs on the album, but I don't think it is. The song itself is very good. But, I don't like Axls first voice tone when he starts the song. I like the second one, the screaming, raspy one. But this song is very good, nonetheless. 05.If The World: this song was so weird when I first heard it. I just thought, "This isn't GN'R!." But after listening to the album alot, I have come to love this song. If you listen to it after awhile, you will come to like the sound of the song. 06.There Was A Time: pretty good song. This song is a lot like If The World, GN'R experimented with their sound. It turned out pretty good. Axl did a good job singing. 07.Catcher In The Rye: one of the suckier songs on this album. Maybe if Brian May's part was left in it would be a little better, but doubtful. I don't like Axls voice on this one. It just doesn't sound like him. He did a good job, but I want different from him. 08.Scraped: one of my personal favorites. Starts with Screams from Axl, then some booming riffs, all put together to make the heaviest song on the cd. Sadly, it is the shortest song on the cd, but it is one of the best. 09.Riad N' The Bedouins: the other sucky song on this cd. I don't like this song, it doesn't sound very good. There isn't much to say except, not a good song. 10.Sorry: a very good song on this album. Axl sounds great, and his lyrics rock. A new sound for GN'R, but very good. Great slower song. 11.IRS: this is another song that is good. Lyrics are good, but would have been better if he had a little more emotion, well more screaming. Very good song though. Guitar riffs and solos pretty good. 12.Madagasgar: a completely different sound for GN'R, but it is a good song. Later on in the song, it gos into quotes and such, which do last a long time, but oh well. Axls tone is pretty good, just have to get used to it. 13.This I Love: very good ballad, but I had to get used to it before I liked it. As with all these songs, they have to grow on you. Guitar sounds a little to distorted for a ballad, but still good. 14.Prostitute: last song on the cd, and a good one at that. Axl rocks, and it shows here. Perfect closer to a great cd. // 8

Overall Impression: This album sounds like it came right after the Use You Illusions. I can't believe it took around 17 years to finish. I just hope it doesn't take that long for the next one to come out. Chinese Democracy showed that they are a good band with the new members, and can do a good job. Hopefully, someday we will get the orginal GN'R back, but that is a slim chance. The best songs were 1.Chinese Democracy 2.Scraped and 3.Shacklers Revenge/Better. Love - Axls singing, they finally came out with the cd. Hate - the originals are not there. If it was stolen or I lost it, or it got deleted off my computer, I would get another one. // 9

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overall: 5
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: SlashWannabe1, on december 26, 2008
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Sound: People have said this album took 17 years to make which is false!. Once the original Guns N Roses lineup broke up there was a new direction taken by Axl Rose due to the fact Axl could not find players weather by bad luck or prefference to fill the void of the loss Slash, Duff, Matt and firing of Gilby Clark and Izzy Stradlins departure which seems to ruin this record at every turn to be a true "Guns N' Roses" Record. So all things considered, this specific album was about 10 years in the making from conception to release but in reality if you want to convince yourself this is a real Guns N Roses Record you were probably waiting 17 years however you choose to look at it but the fact remains this was the Album Axl was making since 1997 all previous works with the original were shelved/scrapped. The sound is where this album fails! Axl Rose hired and interviewed many many Guitarists during the writing process of this album and the fact that there wasn't a consistant lineup during the writing process really hurt the cohesivness of the sound this album lacks. Also the fact that many of the guitarists who wrote meterial for this record in the end did not make it on the record to perform their riffs and their solos. Ron Thal is a great technical guitarist who has a lot of chops as a guitarist but unfortunatly he just really does not cut the mustard as far as riff and solo creation on this album! As far as I'm concerned Ron was misused and in no way a fit for this band given the music at hand. Buckethead on the other hand was good fit for the band and would have been a decent lead player but like Ron he also suffers from being able to produce a rhythm that's catchy or any memorable leads like his predecessor Slash. So with that said it's very unfortunate that Buckethead left the band as he was the only bright spot of this album next to Axl's timless vocals. Most of the songs are a mess and have much clutter and it really takes away from the music itself and makes it hard to listen and absorb the first few times through and even if you make it that far you'll still be scratching your head wondering what you've just heard because of how muddy the sound is. One thing that ruins this record is what appears to be the same Guitar "Tapping" runs used in different keys on all of the songs. This was a band that used to be Hard Rock/Blues guitar playing and based off of simple arrangements to achieve the basic sound of the band and all of the balls that came from that sound of past records is now gone and replaced with solos and rhythms that do not speak to the inner soul of most Guns N' Roses fans and what they expect. // 2

Lyrics: The Lyrics are typical Axl Rose... Very blunt and to the point. 15 years after Axl Rose's last recorded Vocal effort on an album (The Spaghetti Incident) Axl Rose delivers his signature voice and shows he still has the talent and the attitude to make a Guns N Roses Record but sadly this effort falls flat on it's face due to the background music which takes away the fact your listening to Axl Rose and supposedly a "Guns N Roses" record. My Opinion of the Vocal blending with the background music is that of a very textured and layered mess except on the song "There Was A Time" in which it is probably the best song on the album due to there being some consistency of a theme and catchy chorus. The whole theme of this record seems to be Axl being great but the backing music and "Hired Guns" in general just not providing the support Axl needed for this album to be great. // 9

Overall Impression: In all fairness to Axl Rose and this album, It simply was never going to live up to the hype created after many years and false starts and release dates. What I hate about this album is probably what most Guns N Roses fans in general hate about it and is probably why this record is dropping off the charts like it is, which is what I feel is due to... #1. Not "Guns N Roses" as hard core fans know it. #2. No Cohesion in the Lyrics and music #3. No Cohesion in Guitarists and Song content in general. #4. it's Just Axl Rose and hired hands who don't have the first clue what Guns N Roses brand of Rock N Roll is about. #5. lack of any memorable meterial. Bright spots of the CD include... Axl Rose's vocals and writing and openess to new and complex sounds. He really shows he still has it and should for many years to come! The song "There Was A Time" which has elements of the old GNR that Axl's hired Guns attempted to rip from Slash and the rest of the old band along with Bucketheads touch on the outro which was done tastefull to the Guns N Roses memory but sadly there wasn't enough of it to salvage the album for most Guns fans. In short if you are looking to listen to a Guns N Roses record then listen to Velvet Revolver or 1985-1995 Guns N Roses. If you are looking to hear an Axl Rose solo effort then be my guest and take a listen. I believe after all the effort put into this album it is at least worth a listen but at the end of the day there is nothing that's going to ever make you want to put it back into your CD player. With that said download "There Was A Time" on itunes or your favorite peer to peer program and forget about the rest of the album. // 4

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overall: 7.3
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 12, 2009
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Sound: I'll make this a quick review. I really wasn't sure what to expect out of this album. Part of me was hoping that it would sound horrible so I would have more reason to not want to listen to the newer Guns N' Roses and part of me was hoping for a rebirth. With this in mind I tried to be as open as humanly possible. So without any bias remarks towards Slash or Axl, here I go. The sound is new, period. Nothing that really stands out as classic Guns N' Roses so with this in mind I judged it purely on this album. I'm not a fan of chugging out power chords as much as they did in this album but it does fit their new style. For more of the overall band sound, it's catch if you listen to it a couple of times. I know when I listened to it the first time, I was repulsed. But after a few, well more like a dozen more times, I started to find me self getting riffs stuck in my head. Overall the sounds is new, but it can either be a good new if you aren't looking for the classic Guns sound or it can be the absolute worst thing Gun's have produce if you're looking for classic Guns N' Roses. Overall, it's Guns N' Roses meets 21st Century. I give this a 7. // 7

Lyrics: This is the short category. The lyrics were an up and down roller coaster. Some of the lyrics Axl came up with were absolutely brilliant and others I wasn't a fan for. I get more in-depth in the next section. Overall i give it a 8. The best lyrics in the song comes from This I Love: "So if she's somewhere near me I hope to God she hears me There's no one else Could ever make me feel I'm so alive I hoped she'd never leave me Please God you must believe me I've searched the universe And found myself Within her eyes" // 8

Overall Impression: Going into the songs in some detail: 01.Chinese Democracy: the intro built up the suspense for me but as soon as the distorted guitar kicked in, I lost my initial interest. I knew that this wasn't going to be the same GNR that we all fell inlove with. With this in mind, I push past the NIN guitar sound and listened to the rest of the song. The solo fills were a nice touch and overall it was a good song to introduce listeners to the new Guns N' Roses. Rating: 8 02.Shackler's Revenge: it seems more and more with people that you either love this song, or hate it. For me, I love parts of it, and hate most of it. The intro was probably the worst part of the song. The verses got old in a hurry for me. The only good part of the song that appealed for me was the chorus. I love the chord progression and the lead guitar on wah (I think? ). Axl's vocals complement the chorus really well too. If it wasn't for the the rest of the song and just the chorus I'd give it a 9. But in reality, I give it a 5 03.Better: "Better" was a relief after the last song mostly because of the flip around. Still the intro was a little annoying, with the high guitar and poppy drum beat along with axl's poppy vocals, but once the verse started, I enjoyed it a lot more. For the chorus, it seemed to lack something but I could handle it more. The solo's was an upside to the song adding what lacked in the chorus, mainly because the last song for the solo it didn't really seem to fit. The breakdown was okay but overall I give this song an 8. P.S. great sweeps. 04.Street of Dreams: first song in the album that grabbed all of my attention. Piano was great, vocals were great, and the guitars/soloing was great. Overall the song was put together nicely and everything seemed to flow. Intro reminds me of November Rain a little bit but not as good. First song to get higher than an 8. I give this a 9. 05.If The World: huge huge downfall from the past couple songs. Everything about this song seems wrong. Way to poppy for me. Drums, the bass, the strings, the guitar, and Axl's voice was a big bringer downer. Not much to say about this song other than one of the weakest songs on the album. I give it a 3. 06.There Was A Time: along with "If The World" another weaker song for the album. Although it was better than the previous with the chord progressions in the verse it wasn't enough to save itself. The chorus was just plan boring and didn't fit the rest of the song. Really disappointing for a decent verses. Break down and solo brought the song back up from a bad chorus. I think since they rebuilt up from the breakdown and faded out I'm able to learn to love it. Song salvages itself after the chorus' are down so it deserves a 6. 07.Catcher In The Rye: just when I started to lose all hope of GNR having a great album for a century break, they come back with this song. Good mixture of piano and guitar that I've missed for so long. Amazing lyrics and guitar licks. Awesome mixture and useage of all the instruments that Axl brought in. The solo actually fits the song too!!! I was fairly excited by this event. Brings the excitement back into the album. This is the song that saves Chinese Democracy's middle lineup. I give it a 9. 08.Scraped: I'd have to scrap this song. First off the beginning with Axl and the other voices, doesn't go well with me. The guitar riffs I can admire but overall the vocals don't do justice for Axl Rose. Once again, I get the NIN feeling in this song. Doesn't flow well so I give it a 5. 09.Riad N' The Bedouins: interesting intro which builds suspense. Not a fantastic song but a decent song for Chinese Democracy. The big thing was that I didn't get a great feeling that verse leading into the chorus wasn't really made for eachother. It just happened. Also the chorus wasn't anything fantastic either. The guitars play two main chords which coming out of kick ass verses it's hard to believe. Not a great song but not an aweful song. Overall, 7 worthy. 10.Sorry: "Sorry" is another song that sets itself apart from classic Guns and helps put a new image. I love the heavy chorus and great lyrics. Not a great fan of the verses but unlike most of the songs on here, it fits the rest of the song. Another thing that fits the song are the solo's! Yay!!! I give it an 8 11.I.R.S.: I don't like the intro with the drums and Axl's voice but other than that, this isn't that bad of a song. Awesome guitar riffs and lead parts, including the solo. Catchy rhythm and words. I caught myself singing the chorus. This song signifies the beginning of the end and I unlike most other believe this is a great song. I give it an 8 over all though because of the intro and the little breakdown at 2:20 that didn't fit the song as well as it could have. 12.Madagascar: I like it but I don't know what to think of it or write about it. Not much to write about it. I will agree though that sound bytes takes away from the guitar solo but I do like the choices in what was put in it. Really the only song that I actually believed that the drum sound was alright for. Great guitar riffs once again and solo's. I give it an 8. 13.This I Love: this is my favorite song on the CD, and really the only reason why I listened to it for the second time, which gave me a chance to like other songs and save the album from my dusty shelves. Great melody with the vocals and piano. Best lyrics out of any song on the CD. Brings back older GNR. The chorus I fell in love with almost right away. Axl really puts himself back up to the place he should be with this song. For some reason I can't help think that he had parts of this back long ago around Use Your Illusion. I'll admit that the guitar solo is pretty sweet but I'd like to see what Slash would have done with this. I wouldn't have mind it if it was over 7 minutes long. Overall my favorite song and the only song to get a 10. 14.Prostitute: not much to say for this song. It was above mediocre but nothing that stands out. Bits and pieces of this song sounded awesome but there seems to be too much going on during the whole song. It could've came up with a better song to close with but did a decent job with this song. I'll give it a 7.5. The whole album was a roller coaster. The only thing that did well was grabbing my attention when I almost lost it. Few songs on this album actually make me want to pick up the guitar and play along. If I lost it, I'd probably go on iTunes and buy select songs from it. Decent album, but I was expecting much more from a CD that took over a decade to make. // 7

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overall: 9
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 02, 2009
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Sound: The new GNR should be treated as a totally different band. If you listen to Chinese Democracy with that approach, this album is pretty damn good. The sound ranges from computerized mega-distorted guitar to classical spainish/flamenco. I really think Axl, Buckethead and whoever else he happens to feel like having behind him for the time being, mad a pretty damn good album. I took away a few points for the Pro Tools, at least get a drummer, man! // 8

Lyrics: Not as many kickass lyrics like Welcome to the Jungle and Shotgun Blues but this album minus a few songs is made up of power ballads. (the only swear word is in Riad n the Bedouins ("I don't give a F*** about them") All the lyrics are pretty much break up songs except for songs like Shacklers Revenge Chinese Democracy Scraped and Riad N The Bedouins. My favorite is probably "SO bittersweet this tradgedy, won't ask for absolution, this melody inside of me still searches for solution" from Better (arguably the best song on the album). // 9

Overall Impression: Comparable to Nine Inch Nails (probably because of Robin Fink), this album is awesome and definatly worth the money. I like the difference in the tracks, especially from Shackler's Revenge to Street of Dreams, Chinese Democracy to This I Love. I really can't decide on the best tracks because they are all pretty good. If mine got lost I would DEFINATELY go get another one (though it's already on iTunes). Nice job, Axl and Co., but try to make the next one just a little bit faster (and with a real drummer on all the tracks). By the way, Anyone know what happened to the Dr. Pepper thing? // 10

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overall: 9
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 02, 2009
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Sound: The new GNR should be treated as a totally different band. If you listen to Chinese Democracy with that approach, this album is pretty damn good. The sound ranges from computerized mega-distorted guitar to classical spainish/flamenco. I really think Axl, Buckethead and whoever else he happens to feel like having behind him for the time being, mad a pretty damn good album. I took away a few points for the Pro Tools, at least get a drummer, man! // 8

Lyrics: Not as many kickass lyrics like Welcome to the Jungle and Shotgun Blues but this album minus a few songs is made up of power ballads. (the only swear word is in Riad n the Bedouins ("I don't give a F*** about them") All the lyrics are pretty much break up songs except for songs like Shacklers Revenge Chinese Democracy Scraped and Riad N The Bedouins. My favorite is probably "SO bittersweet this tradgedy, won't ask for absolution, this melody inside of me still searches for solution" from Better (arguably the best song on the album). // 9

Overall Impression: Comparable to Nine Inch Nails (probably because of Robin Fink), this album is awesome and definatly worth the money. I like the difference in the tracks, especially from Shackler's Revenge to Street of Dreams, Chinese Democracy to This I Love. I really can't decide on the best tracks because they are all pretty good. If mine got lost I would DEFINATELY go get another one (though it's already on iTunes). Nice job, Axl and Co., but try to make the next one just a little bit faster (and with a real drummer on all the tracks). By the way, Anyone know what happened to the Dr. Pepper thing? // 10

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overall: 5
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: miskatsu, on october 05, 2009
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Sound: This album has no such raw emotion as when it featured Slash and Duff. Without Slashes bluesy licks this is not an Hard Rock GNR album, which I miss. Buckethead plays beautiful lead parts, and Robin Fincks solo in 'This I Love' is the only solo with some emotion. The album leaves an wall-like feeling. It is my favourite bands newest album, but it has no soul, like in 'Welcome to the Jungle', 'Sweet Child O' Mine' or in 'November Rain'. Axl went bananas in the studio, and started to play with the effect buttons. I'd say, that he has went bananas from money and power. He used way too many elements, and if he wonders, why doesn't the song, 'Chinese Democracy', be in radio and TV, is because he ruined the song and the album with the non-sense intro something 40 seconds long with people talking something in China. Way to go, nut-case! (Please don't get offended by the last comment! Someone had to say it!) It 'Leaves the taste that's bitter sweet, where's gone the blues?' (Edited lyrics from 'Street of Dreams') Slash back to Guns! // 7

Lyrics: Lyrics were a disappointment, which weren't so original and good. In fact, it has no emotion and soul, as I mentioned before. I have nothing else to say about the lyrics, other than his inspiration changes with every song from place to place. Overall under nothing special with the lyrics. Axl sings his s*&% lyrics as well as always. // 6

Overall Impression: I had high hopes with this album. I got it for Christmas, and I just had got new stereo system in my room, and I started to listen to it. I listened for half of the song 'Chinese Democracy', and I put the album in to the shelve, and then I listened to GNR 'Greatest Hits'. I was truly shocked of the new direction of Guns. In the end of my Christmas vacation, I regained my courage and started listening to Chinese Democracy. Now I had the courage to listen to it, and now I have to say, ais the only good song there. I must mention 'There was a Time' as an second best song in the album. Not so effect-pumped like other songs. Overall, I am disappointed. This was nothing special. If this album would disappear, it wouldn't be so missed. // 2

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overall: 8
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: W METALLICA W, on october 16, 2009
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Sound: Well to me this album sounds really.. Really over the top sonically. The distortion on the guitars is really digital sounding and there is all kinds of different things going on musically in each and every song. I don't really see this mimicking any particular sound or style, I think it just represents Axl Rose at this point in time (big production). I mean I have to admit at first I really disliked this, but after listening to this album over and over and over again many times I think I can come out of it saying it's definitely good. // 8

Lyrics: I truly believe the lyrics on this album are incredible. The 2 songs that really come to mind lyrically (for me at least) are Catcher in the Rye, and Street of Dreams. Both songs are absolutely fantastic, 10/10 and I think Axl just wrote his heart out. Those two by themselves kind of make up for a few songs I can't stand (lyrically and otherwise) like scraped and shacklers revenge. Otherwise, the lyrics are nothing short of what Axl is capable of. Very very good. // 9

Overall Impression: I'd say its a very good album considering the situation that the band is currently in and has been in for years since the 90's. I wouldn't really bother comparing it to other albums because this one is very unique with all the hype and waiting that came with it. I believe the best songs on it are Catcher in the Rye and Street of Dreams, but I'll list out all the songs so you get a better idea. I love the creativity and the new sound from GNR but I hate how confusing it can be at times. 01.Chinese Democracy: 6/10 decent song. nothing special at all. 02.Shacklers Revenge: 1/10 no idea why this is on the album. 03.Better: pretty good song 7/10 04.Street of Dreams: 10/10 incredible song 05.If the World: 6/10 takes too long to get into it 06.There Was a Time: 7/10 excellent lead guitar work here 07.Catcher in the Rye: 10/10 as close to a perfect song as ive heard 08.Scraped: 3/10 I can see where they were going with it.. but it sucks 09.Rhiad N' the Bedouins: 5/10 Axl's singing on this one is annoying 10.Sorry: 8/10 I need to listen to this song more, because its solid 11.IRS: 9/10 awesome tune, no flaws really in my opinion 12.Madagascar: 8/10 not sure about the MLK thing.. but good song 13.This I Love: 7/10 really, really interesting song. very.. romantic 14.Prostitute: 6/10 nothing really impresses me with this one I think the best way to determine my overall rating is to average things out. So I just added up every rating I gave it, and divided by 16 (sound + lyrics + each song) / 16 comes out to a 6.8 and I agree. So 7 solid album, nothing to write home about however. // 7

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overall: 10
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: MilosCleve, on august 16, 2010
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Sound: Presumably written somewhere between 1998 to 2006 this album has to be one of the most underrated albums ever. There once was this band called Guns N' Roses (still is, the line-up is changed) and in the middle of the glam metal era they released an album of such bluesy hard rock songs everyone was shocked in someway. The main force of the band was in the charismathic duo made of singer William Axl Rose and guitar player (mostly "the one to blame" for the bluesy sound) Slash. They rocked the world and put dirt, sleaze, sex, drugs etc in rock music. The singer and the main lyricist of the band was hifing a lot beneath the cover of a restless punk - he played piano and had this amazing skill of creating beautiful melodies. As the band continued to evolve, that side of Axl started to come out. As you already know that gave birth to some greatest epic ballads in last 30 years, but some tremor in the band too. Eventually Axl got the name and the rights for the songs, pissed some fans of, some band members too, so they went away. In the above mentioned period, the band called Guns N' Roses went through so much changes that it had 3 drummers and 5 guitar players. To be a good band means to keep something that works through the whole career or to evolve in a smart way. The band that made this album was: Axl Rose - vocals, piano, some guitars, all melodies, arrangements etc Tommy Stinson - bass guitar, backing vocals Chris Pittman - keyboards, backing vocals Dizzy Reed - piano, keyboards, backing vocals Buckethead (left the band in the 2004) - guitars Robin Finck - guitar Paul Tobias - guitar/piano at some point Richard Fortus - guitar Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal - guitar Brian Mantia - drums Josh Freese - drums Frank Ferrer - drums You probably know the stories about the delays and money spent on this modern hard rock master-piece, so I'll skip it. Axl Rose is maybe the most versatile composer around. You'll find jazzy progressions on this album, classic piano epic ballads, industrial licks, hard rock riffs & so on. Some might say the production killed the rawness of the music, but it was never supposed to be the rawest rock in the block. It's sophisticated, that's what it is. Let us move to the sound of it: 01. Chinese Democracy: The eponymous song starts with the buzz of China street life combined with layered keyboards and with what seems to be palm mute guitar builds up to a screaming riff. The riff evolves into Axl's wail. The first you hear the solo of this song, you won't doubt the soul and power of the guitar work on this album. Great way to open an album like this. Outro is kick ass too. 10/10 02. Shackler's Revenge: Industrial riff with high notes, and verses with riffin' lower ones. Screamin' catchy chorus and strange but very neat guitar solo on a fretless guitar by Bumblefoot make this rocker on of the most tense songs of the decade. 9/10 03. Industrial sounds again, drum loops, but don't fear, it didn't riun the rock side of it. At all. This song is full of rage and "lesson givng". 10/10 04. Street Of Dreams: The Roses side of Guns N' Roses. Piano ballad previously called "The Blues", and in fact that's what describes it the most. Outro section breaks the sky in two. 10/10 05. If The World: Axl Rose explained this song in concert as "their kinda shitty Bond song". Well he's wrong, it ain't shitty. Spanish guitar licks, drum loops, epicness and cocky lyrics. Yeah there's a helluva melodic solo by Buvckethead too. 10/10 06. There Was A Time: As far arranging is concerned, this is the first song on this album you'll ask yourself "How the hell they did this?". Axl, being an arranger genius, did this (Estranged Part II some might say) swift as a movie score. The outro which starts somewhere in the half of the song consists of a solo so melodic and technically perfect it makes a sound wall by itself. The marvelous work by Buckethead/Bumblefoot. 10/10 07. Catcher in The Rye: This is as close to the classic rock sound this album gets. Piano mid-tempo ballad about pressures by surrounding people, and no care from the ones that ought to care. This is that famous song Brian May had a solo on, but Ron Thal did more of a suiting one for the final version. 10/10 08. Scraped: The weakest one. It has a nice hook and a kinda Bon Jovi "Believe in yourself" lyrics. True gem in this one are the dubbed screaming vocals in the last chorus. 7/10 09. Riad N' The Bedouins: Great Axl Rose somehow stole the intro for this one from some underground German electronic musician. When the intro is over we're exposed to a scream mixed with the bouncy riff. Despite the lyrics are not so bright here, this hard rocker sure gets in the ears. The energy of the guitars here simply blows the listener away. 9/10 10. Sorry: Slow, dark almost ambient song. Axl's voice reaches the lower keys like in the verses of Civil War for example. Very melodic, simple solo by Buckethead completes this wahy song. Outro is also very powerful. 10/10 11. I.R.S.: Kind of Zeppelinish hard rock song, with wailing vocals and simple riff with a groove. Lyrics are kinda tongue-in-cheek. Vocals are again filled with rage and madness. 10/10 12. Madagascar: Epic strings and drum loops, slow rythmic singing and movie/MLK quotes are probably the best way to explain this cry for freedom, and peace. Epic, yet simple guitar work by Buckethead, and high/low register vocals make this song probably the most anthemic one on the record. 10/10 13. This I Love: Heartbreaking, cliche, sleazy piano&strings ballad. But sang with such rawness and emotion you have to feel it. It is a love ballad, but the emotion in the voice makes you shiver. Finck delivers the solo on this one. His style "sloppy yet beautiful". 10/10 14. Prostitute: The closer of the album. It starts off slowly, but it bursts into a eruption of emotions and delivers this new image of beauty. Piano in this song maybe the best music piece Axl had ever written. The song itself ends with the strings fading and piano struggling to be heard. The ending of this song is the most perfect & sophisticated ending of an album in history. Period. 10/10 // 10

Lyrics: Axl Rose has always been famous for his dramatic sets of lyrics, with no limits in the vocabulary. It seems that ol' Axl grew up a little bit. He became a psychologist singing about people relations and disillusionments, but from his own perspective, through his own experiences. Chinese Democracy sings about lack of freedom in China. (But doesn't necessarily sticks only to China) You see, the cover of this album is a photo of a graffiti made in China, and the one who wrote it was arrested. Shackler's Revenge & Scraped are plain revengeful messages. Better, There Was A Time & Sorry are songs of emotional disappointment and losing friends/lovers. Catcher In The Rye as I mentioned before speaks of being under pressure, exploding, failing to rise against the trouble without the loved ones. Street of Dreams and This I Love are classic love songs, with an exception of Street of Dreams which touches the similar topics as Catcher In The Rye. The cockiness and slick mood of If The World's lyrics does cover up for the "James Bond" topic (If the world would end today, and all the dreams we had, would all just slip away). Riad N' the bedouins delivers these raging lyrics about Middle East terrorism. I.R.S. is the tongue-in-cheek song about presumably failed love affair having to do something with the IRS. Madagascar stands somewhere between Scraped and Catcher in the Rye. The wail of a helpless man for freedom. Prostitute, the last one, is best described as all of the above mixed to its best. With this song Axl gives a message to his old bandmates, to his friends and enemies, to everybody around him that he won't what he's told to. He listens only to himself and that's how it is whether we liked it or not. // 10

Overall Impression: This album contains most melodic pieces of music in this decade. There is more in Axl's chest, when we get it, it will be a blast. Most impressive song on this album can't be determined once and for all. At this moment it most certainly is Prostitute. I love all the melodies, all the lyrics, and basically everything on this album. The only thing that lacks here is promotion, which is done only by very successful touring. The most irritating thing about that is the lack of some words in the booklet. If somehow this gets stolen, I would buy it again. Excellent album. Listen to the music not the media. And do not worry about having no Slash & co. here every solo/riff form this album makes its way to the hall of fame of the guitar playing. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 02, 2010
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Sound: Overall, this album is very different from past gnr albums. In the old albums, the guitars were raw and bluesy, and there were no wierd effects. Now the guitars are more processed and less bluesy, and there are keyboards, pianos, and drum loops. It's a Great album though. Axl's voice is PERFECT! And for the most part so are the lyrics(although the title track is extremely stupid). The sound is very modern, the main sound is a mix of 90's grunge and industrial metal, but there are also touches of blues, soul, classic rock, and hip hop. // 10

Lyrics: Axl has always been a great lyricist, and a great singer. On most of these songs, his singing is awesome, and his lyrics are genius. But on the title track, his voice is processed and his lyrics are stupid. Axl sings in all his voices on this one, as well as some new ones. In the title track, he sings in his low voice. He sings in his middle voice in Better and Madagascar. He sings in a new voice in TWAT, Scraped, and Prostitute(he also sings in his signature wail) Catcher in the Rye, Riad n the Bedouins, and IRS. In Shackler's Revenge he growls, he uses his low "Mr Brownstone" voice in sorry. In This I love he almost sounds like Paul Mccartney. // 9

Overall Impression: Here's my impression of every song. 01. Chinese Democracy: begins with Chinese people talking and laughing over a synth drone. at 0:45 a palm muted riff comes in, followed by distortion. Then the rest of the band comes in. The guitars are awesome, and the song contains two guitar solos, however axl's lyrics are stupid and have nothing to do with the song. I give this 7/10. 02. Shackler's Revenge: the song has killer guitars. a meaning, and lyrics that have something to do with the song. This song is about being a serial killer, with Axl singing "I got an itching finger, and there'll be hell to pay, I'm gonna pull that trigger,and blow them all away." Only problem is that axl uses the death growl. 9/10 03. Better: KILLER GUITARS! And Axl's lyrics are perfect. Here Axl sings about a break up. And his lyrics are genius. Ron thal and Robin Finck's solo's make the song 10 times better. This gets 10/10. 04. Street of Dreams: the first ballad on the album. This song begins with piano's and strings and builds to an epic ending with Axl Wail ing. 10/10. 05. If The World: a cool song, with cool guitars and synths, and a bit of a funk rock influence, but Axl's lyrics are dumb. But this song is just a joke. It makes fun of crappy James Bond songs from the 70s. 6/10 06. There Was A Time: begins with wierd backing vocals but then gives way to piano, guitar, strings and a drum loop, with Axl singing about breaking up. Interesting fact, he hit the highest note of his carrer on this one. 10/10 07. Catcher in The Rye: begins with axl wailing over guitars and pianos, this song slowly builds to a killer John Lennon esque outro, which is appropriate, this is a tribute to John Lennon. 10/10 08. Scraped: great song. Axl's vocals are perfect, the guitars are loud, and the Brain's drumming is out of control. The lyrics have the f**k you of earlier songs, without axl actually saying F**k you. 10/10 09. Riad n the bedouins: great song. Begins with synth and bass and then transforms into a Grungy rocker with axl wailing over insane guitars. However his lyrics are stupid and almost funny "Riad n the Bedouins, had a plan and thought they'd win but I don't give a f*ck 'bout them cuz I am Crazy!" 8/10 10. Sorry: an angry song with that begins with Pink Floyd style guitars and builds to a heavy metal chorus. 10/10 11. IRS: begins with acoustic guitar and drums with axl singing "Oh, is it true, what they say of you oooooh oooooh" Then Electric guitars come in for the chorus. The song then goes back to acoustic guitar and drums, then to electric. Then it builds slowly but surely into an awesome head banging song, with Axl wailing like Robert Plant and singing in the double time style of Steven Tyler. Also features a classic rock style solo from Robin Finck and a crazy solo from buckethead (when I heard buckethead's solo I thought my CD player was broken). 10/10 12. Madagascar: begins with horns and strings, followed by axl singing "I won't be told anymore, that I've been brought down in this storm." I can't forget to mention the samples of MLK and those movies in the bridge. 9/10. 13. This I Love: this song is mostly Axl Rose singing over piano and strings, but it also features an awesome guitar solo from Robin Finck. This song seems to be a sequel to Estranged. 14. Prostitute: the final song on the album begins with an electronic drum loop and piano, with Axl singing about a loved one. This song features two guitar solo's from Buckethead, and an emotional piano and strings outro. The perfect way to close the album. // 10

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overall: 8.3
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: FlyingPirahna, on december 23, 2010
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Sound: It took 17 years and an entirely new line up to assemble the album that is Chinese Democracy, and was a journey wrought with legal troubles, fan backlash, half-cocked tours, and expenditures of millions upon millions of dollars. When people think of Chinese Democracy, these are often the first and only things to pop into their minds, and instead of listening to the music itself, they reject the album. However, if listened to it with open ears and mind, there really is a good album behind it all. Throughout the 14 songs, there is a mix of styles, ranging from the almost old Guns rock of There Was A Time and I.R.S., the industrial blat of Shackler's Revenge, and the Broadway-styled piano ballad of This I Love, and everything in between. While there is a large range of sounds on the album, not everything is pulled off as well as it should have been, such as the James Bond-esque "If the World", which doesn't seem to go anywhere about halfway through the song. The album's long-gestating production holds it back in places as well, with many songs having layer upon layer of guitars, strings, and synths, that distract from the main core of the songs. These are only small flaws, however, and no one song on here can be considered filler. The sound of the band itself is, as expected, vastly different from the old line-up. Gone is the sloppy, bluesy playing of Slash, replaced with hard, metallic shred guitar. This is however backed up by old-school bluesy rhythm player Richard Fortus, who helps blend in more familiar sounds among the new ones. Throughout the album are slight industrial tinges as well, brought on by Rose's love of bands like Nine Inch Nails back in the late '90s. The sound of Guns N' Roses may be different, but it's a fresh direction for the band. // 8

Lyrics: Axl's voice is in top form here, with him displaying a range of highs, lows, growls and snarls. On "Madagascar", he sounds like weathered and gravely, like a man resigned to his fate. On "Chinese Democracy" and "Better", he shifts to a version of his classic piercing shriek that's lower and meaner, and you can almost hear the swagger in it. But, the overproduction hits the vocals, as well. On many songs there are often 2, 3 and even 4 Axls singing at the same time, muddling up the sound and making the album feel more insular, than if Tommy Stinson or Ron Thal provided an extra vocal dimension. The lyrics deal with several themes, from love and loss, standing up for your beliefs, pirates with itchy trigger fingers, and Rose's struggle to put together an album in the face of much opposition. 'll venture a personal opinion and say that "Catcher in the Rye" has the strongest lyrics, dealing with Mark David Chapman's murder of John Lennon, and the book itself. They are very poetic, and some of the strongest words Rose has ever written. Chinese Democracy's lyrics are classic Axl, with him railing against his enemies, and occasionally, sharing with us his more emotional moments. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall, the album is not as cohesive as it should be. Many of the songs were written years apart from each other, so they do not mix together as an album as well as Guns' previous work. Though the album could flow better, the songs themselves are strong, and I believe that this truly can be called a Guns N' Roses album. Even though the players may be different, Axl's old-school swagger and anger still remains, and meshes well with the more modern music. All this having been said, it is up to you to judge the music. Not Rose's public persona, the length of time it took to make, or how much it cost, but the music. // 8

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overall: 7
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: PunkRocker9357, on july 20, 2011
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Sound: It's awesome but very different from their old sound. Different guitar, more keyboards, different drum style. Bass is hard to hear. Axl's voice is different. It took 15 years to make the album. It sounds like he spent 5 of those years doing almost nothing. // 7

Lyrics: Awesome as usual and so metaphorical I don't know what any of the songs mean. Axl's voice is amazing as usual but it has changed. It sounds older now. On the first two tracks however, he sounds like there's effects on his voice. He hits the highest note of his career on "There Was A Time". // 7

Overall Impression: It is not nearly as good as other GN'R albums. I love all the songs (except if the world). Some songs sound like they're made for a younger audience while some sound like they were made for an older audience. 01. "Chinese Demcoracy": Would be totally awesome if not for the overdubs on axl's voice and the ridiculously long intro. Awesome guitar riffs however. 02. "Shackler's Revenge": Great but the intro is annoying. The song is actually about the columbine killings. 03. "Better": Awesome. Axl's voice is amazing, the guitar solos are beautiful, and the lyrics are amazing. 04. "Street Of Dreams": One of the more mellow songs on the album. It's moderately slow and heavy on strings and piano but still alot of guitar. Axl shows that he can still hit the high notes. 05. "If The World": Mediocre crap. 06. "There Was A Time": Awesome. The album's second ballad. Heavy guitars, and alot of strings and a wailing vocal from Axl. 07. "Catcher In The Rye": Awesome. More guitar based than the other ballads on the album. It's about the death of John Lennon. 08. "Scraped": Totally Awesome. Heavy song with Axl singing all over the register. 09. "Riad In The Bedouins": Awesome song but the lyrics make absoulutely no sense whatsoever. But Axl's voice is awesome. 10. "Sorry": Back to the ballads. The verses are mellow and with reverb drenched songs. Then in the chorus the distortion kicks in. Sebastian Bach from Skid Row sings backing vocals on this one but you can barely hear him. 11. "IRS": A song that begins as a mellow acoustic song but then turns into an insane angry alternative metal song with Axl wailing about a break up. 12. "Madagascar": A mellow ballad centered around french horns and strings with samples of famous quotes from history. 13. "This I Love": The most Elton John-esque song on the album. It's a piano based break up ballad. There is no guitar until about halfway through the song. The guitar solo is epic and Axl's voice is amazing. 14. "Prostitute": A ballad that has nothing to do with prostitution. Axl really shows of his vocal abilities here. It also has some awesome guitars. The song ends with strings and a drum loop. The drum loop slowly fades out leaving just strings, a church organ, and a piano. Then the song ends. // 7

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overall: 10
Chinese Democracy Reviewed by: AxLScissorz, on may 05, 2014
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Sound: Most people hear the title "Chinese Democracy" and instantly start talking shit about how it took Axl forever to finish it, but when you sit down and listen to the album you'll understand why he took his time with it and why it all worked out. The sound of this album is unparalleled. I challenge anyone to find an album that sounds like "Chinese Democracy." Axl succeeded in taking the attitude and aggression of the original GNR and mixing it with his own unique artistic growth. Instead of putting out an album of sub-par/formulaic blues-rock (like somebody we know), Axl decided to explore different sonic territories and in the process, he created one of the most classic albums of all time. Read my song-by-song dissection of this album below and then listen to the album again with an open mind. Leave all of your bandwagon hate at the door and judge this album for what it is... a honest artistic expression. 

01. "Chinese Democracy" - This song is the first track and it opens with a haunting/oriental intro that instantly draws you into the world that the album creates. A very compressed/industrial guitar part ensues and establishes the fact that this album is NOT "Appetite for Destruction." I love the fact that this track starts off the album because it has a blues/groove rhythm to it but its not contrived or cheesy at all. The lyrics are mostly metaphoric, which gives the album a good first impression with open minded audiences because you insert your own experiences into the phrases and therefore the song meaning becomes innately personal. The guitar work in this song is top-notch. I absolutely love the articulation of the guitar solo's and riffs. This song has a very obvious confidence to it, which is reinforced by the unique solo work. Overall this is an amazing album-opener and instantly establishes the aesthetic of the album. 

02. "Shackler's Revenge" - This song is often destroyed by critics because they feel the electronics were "too much" and/or the 'chorus wasn't large enough' but honestly, I feel that critics just didn't know how to digest this song because it is so different. I'll admit that this song IS different... but that shouldn't be a negative thing at all. This song starts with an electronics-influenced guitar part and is soon followed by a monotonous vocal commentary by Mr. Rose. Axl double tracks his vocals and records his lower and higher registers separately so you hear a twisted "voices in your head" type verse performance. The chorus absolutely EXPLODES with melody and power. The chorus and solo are the highlights of this song. The chorus soars you up to a plateau and the solo tears you down and attempts to rip your throat out, fucking magnificent. If you are hung up on the "classic GNR sound" then you'll hate this song. I'm the biggest GNR fan I know but my mind isn't closed when it comes to other musical flavors and techniques... So I naturally enjoy this song immensely. 

03. "Better" - When it comes to "heavy songs" on this album, "Better" takes the cake. This song isn't "heavy" in the typical sense but it does force its aggressive/emotional feel upon you in such a way that its almost futile to resist its influence. The passionate breakdown section is by FAR the highlight of the song. When Axl screams "I never wanted you to be so full of anger, I never wanted you to be somebody else" you instantly feel what he's trying to convey and it hits you in your soul. The guitar part in the verse is the reason this song is so effective. Perfect guitar work. One of the best songs on the album. 

04. "Street of Dreams" - This song is the first ballad of the album and seems like a continuation of the UYI ballads such as "Estranged" and "November Rain." This song proves that Axl's songwriting hasn't diminished in quality over the years. The lyrics are rumored to be about Erin Everly's miscarriage and the breakup of the Axl's relationship with her. Overall another amazing ballad derived from the very particular artistic vision of Axl Rose

05. "If the World" - This song has such a unique aesthetic, it has an R&B flare with exotic textures provided by various types of acoustic guitars and sound effects. The drums play a huge role in this song when it comes to the syncopation of the verse melody. Axl's vocals are amazing in this song. His voice is surprisingly clean and crisp in the chorus but he seems to channel a very dirty/scratchy delivery during the verses. 

06. "There Was a Time" - There are two highlights that stand out among the others when it comes to this song. Buckethead's furious solo towards the end of this song is one, but Axl's soaring F5 vocal screams are what make this song a classic. Axl has a way of emoting vocally that makes you feel exactly what he was feeling when he recorded said song. 

07. "Catcher in the Rye" - Probably the most blues influenced song on the album. Axl really channels a "Beatles" vibe here and it fits his vocal delivery and lyrics very well. This song is supposedly about John Lennon's murder and the book "Catcher in the Rye." This song's highlight is the many emotive vocalizations that Axl performs and the guitar solo. This song shows a side of Axl that many might be surprised by. He articulates his views on violence and life imitating art. 

08. "Scraped" - "Attitude" is the first word that comes to mind when I hear this song. I interpret this song as Axl's response to people bashing the new GNR members. "Don't you try to stop us now, cause I just won't let you..." The backing vocals are what make this song more interesting than your run-of-the-mill "rock song." Axl goes the extra mile when it comes to subtle details. 

09. "Riad 'n the Bedouins" - The intro is a highlight, for sure. Much like "Scraped," it has a lot of vocalizations for the sake of making up for the lack of full-bore "metal guitar riffs." Axl is fully capable of writing kick-a-s rock songs but I'm guessing he was going for more of a timeless anthem instead of a forgettable rock song... And he achieved that with this song. 

10. "Sorry" - Even though Axl has denied that this song is about Slash, I have a feeling that he's lying to avoid public scrutiny (which is understandable). Axl is very intelligent and knew that the public would instantly equate the lyrics with Slash so why would he come out and announce something that we all know to be true anyway? This song is soaked in reverb and the chorus is the perfect weapon for those conditions. Sebastian Bach sings backing vocals during the chorus but its hard to place him in the final mix... it's one of my only gripes when it comes to this albums production. 

11. "I.R.S." - One of the best metaphor structures I've ever heard in a song. This song kicks all sorts of ass but the major injustice is that Axl's RIDICULOUSLY epic F5 scream during the ending isn't loud enough. This is the only other production gripe I have concerning this album. Go listen to the vocals only and bow before Axl's insane vocal ability. 

12. "Madagascar" - This song speaks for itself... If you have any complaints about it then you're probably someone who hates this entire album and I'm not going to waste time trying to convince you that something is sonic perfection. 

13. "This I Love" - This song generally gets the most positive reception of any song on this album... for obvious reason. Its rumored that this song was written in 1996 and thats not hard to believe when you think of how adept Axl is on the piano and the fact that the '90s was his prime. 

14. "Prostitute" - I've sat many nights and listened to this song on repeat for hours and it never ceases to satisfy me. Axl's heartfelt vocal delivery and thoughtful lyrics make this song an underrated classic that will never get its due because of the stigma that surrounds this album. // 10

Lyrics: Axl's lyrics prove that he is still going through a lot and has many demons to exorcise, but his personal pain is a double-edged sword. On one hand it puts him through tremendous amounts of mental/emotional stress, but it also allows him to write lyrics that stand the test of time. The songs with the best lyrical structures include "Better," "I.R.S.," and "Street of Dreams." Some of my favorite lyrics from the album are below...

"No one ever told me when I was alone, they just thought id know better... better."

"So if she's somewhere near me, I hope to God she hears me."

"It seemed like forever, and a day."

"If my intentions are misunderstood, please be kind... I've done all I should. I won't ask of you what I would not do." // 10

Overall Impression: Most people have already made up their mind when it comes to this album, its a shame because this album will never get the credit it deserves for being honest, unique, and incomparable.

If you haven't listened to it, you should. The only thing I hate about this album is the sequencing. I feel like the track list could have been arranged a bit better but Axl may have his own reasons for the order so I digress.

Overall this album is perfect. That may sound pretentious, but if you ignore all the bandwagon critics and GNR's past albums and listen to this album with an open mind then I'm almost certain you'll enjoy it. I personally believe that its going to be unappreciated for a long time because all revolutionary art has been. // 10

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