Sound — 8
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.
Lyrics — 9
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.
Overall Impression — 9
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.