Chinese Democracy review by Guns N' Roses

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  • Released: Nov 23, 2008
  • Sound: 6
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 6.7 Neat
  • Users' score: 7.2 (847 votes)
Guns N' Roses: Chinese Democracy
0

Sound — 6
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.

Lyrics — 8
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.

Overall Impression — 6
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?

32 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Symmetry4321
    bmxsulli wrote: i have a question... why didn't axl call it a solo album, is it ALL about the money with him?
    i have asked myself that every day since i've heard the record
    Gallagher666
    If it wasn't Gn'R you be thinking 'this is a good album' but no, people hate it, with I completely CLOSED mind. You're not music lovers, your just people that want an excuse to moan! GET OVER IT!
    not_dead_enough
    pwninator123 wrote: *sigh* bands lose members all the time look at Opeth. They have Mikael, and no more original members than that The Replacements had a coupla good albums after they replaced half the band...accidental pun The Melvins are and always will be godly, and they have one original member The Ataris change members every album, and still sound great that doesn't mean none of these are the band, they still are, lack of members or not
    Not to mention Megadeth; the greatest metal band of all...still kicking ass, with the only important original member left (and before you all say it Slash was not an important member - he was just a moderately good guitarist in the right place at the right time and got famous off uninspiring solos).
    not_dead_enough
    stage4saiyan wrote: Slash ought to be happy that Velvet Revolver is better than GNR v.2
    No it isn't
    pwninator123
    *sigh* bands lose members all the time look at Opeth. They have Mikael, and no more original members than that The Replacements had a coupla good albums after they replaced half the band...accidental pun The Melvins are and always will be godly, and they have one original member The Ataris change members every album, and still sound great that doesn't mean none of these are the band, they still are, lack of members or not
    Smithsc
    I don't care what anyone says, this is not Guns n Roses the way I remember them. This is Axl & friends. Nothing more.
    TDAJGuitarist
    TheFrog wrote: wow im the first to comment!!!! Its not really gnr though iz it i mean its like an axl rose band or something. Axl Slash Steven Izzy Duff= GN'R and nothing else!!!
    Actually, I think Matt is better for the band then Steven but your point is totaly right....GnR fell apart when Slash, Duff, and Matt left.
    guitargodwannab
    ok, this isnt as bad as wat i thought was commn, its vry well done if u ask me. so i give gnr (yes its gnr) a big thumbs up for a great album. b4 i go i must comment on this.....
    mc92 wrote: New Gn'R suck, new ACDC suck, new Metallica suck, new Whitesnake suck. but there is hope for hard rock! I mean new Led Zeppelic CD!
    new GnR= great new AC/DC= great new Metallica= great new zepplin= in your dreams maybe you should go back and listen to your jonas brothers, katie parry, nd other shit thats out there rite now
    GQ9999
    Axl, Duff, Izzy, Slash and Sorum/Adler were the one's who wrote the music behind GNR. The sum of all their parts created the real Guns N Roses that rocked up until about 1996. With 5 of 6 of these artist not writing, creating and contributing to songs since then, we've lost any hope of ever hearing any new GNR material that will be anything like what was released from 1986-1996. It just cant be GNR the way we want it to be. Duff, Slash, Izzy and Sorum/Adler all offer their own unique musical style, and you can't replicate or duplicate their writing abilities and the passion they put into the parts they contributed to GNR. Sure, there are other artists with arguably far superior technical talent who can play their parts. However, any new GNR music made by artists other than them will not have the passion, drive, energy, style, rythm, riffs, melodies, rawness, grandeur and emotion that GNR had up until 1995-1996.
    pwninator123
    some of his best vocal recordings, and the guitar is lightyears better than the Use Your Illusions, but then again Buckethead is lightyears better than Slash, no question
    stage4saiyan
    This got higher than Death Magnetic? Really? Damn...the reviewer must have very low standards (Death Magnetic= Album of the Year). I picked this album up expecting different musical styles but the same Axl Rose. Instead, I got Axl Rose pretending to be Trent Reznor. Slash ought to be happy that Velvet Revolver is better than GNR v.2
    Slash_is_a_God
    The_Moth wrote: I can't believe that no one is going to just come out and say it; this album blows. It sucks. It's god awful. That song where Axl sounds like he's about to cry.... someone should have told him that the album wasn't a rock opera. He's not going to Broadway. I think perhaps the reason people aren't lashing out is because, somewhat in the vein of the new Star Wars movies, it's in a certain sense, just very comforting to hear the voice of an old friend; i.e. Axl Rose. However, if you go back and really put yourself in your old shoes when you heard songs off Appetite and the Illusion albums you'll remember what the band really was like and the sound and fury that was GNR. We're mostly guitarist here. Like it or not, Slash is a guitar LEGEND and his absence from this album isn't merely disappointing; it's a deal breaker. From this album we finally have conformation that Slash was the genius behind GNR and that Axl is a hack riding the coattails of those who have within them greatness. Chinese Democracy is horrible. It's a joke. It's the last breath of an old dying ***** who would have done better to off herself years ago rather than suffer embarrassment of such a laughable fate.
    I wouldn't quite call the Album crap on it's own, but compared to the Epic Records of their Original Lineup, I have to agree with you. But you have to consider that Axl has got some big shoes to fill. The Original GnR Lineup was Godly together, and without all 5 of them back together, anything else is going to sound horrible.
    Snarl Dreadwood
    the album's pretty good. biggest problem for me is there's way too much unnecessary guitar wanking the good thing about guns n roses is the guitaring is usually well phrased and played in really smart places chinese democracy doesnt have the same flair axl's stuff is good though
    BlackSymphony6
    Rokeman wrote: ^ bands should't have dictators, they should have equal input from all the musicians. and GnR was like that, until Axl messed it up.
    mate, most bands have one or two members that rule the roost. ie hetfield and ulrich in metallica, steve harris in iron maiden
    l)ragonForce
    skateordie24f wrote: old GnR is better
    wow shut the **** up i bet u havnt even listened to the album yet, and i bet ur one of those kids who just goes out buys a best of hits and listens to the first couple of songs
    Power123
    Wasn't there a song called "The Blues" heard it before the album came out (X that song was nice...
    yeah there is thats been renamed to 'Street of Dreams'..
    harpcicle
    dgme92 is such a fanboy review. total rubbish. and as for the cd itself, this isn't G'nR so no comment
    theotherguy7145
    Big Dave 91 wrote: Personally i think the album is shit GNR sound used to be punk and hard rock mixed together but now as one review said it sounds like they are caught up in the early Industrial scene which i think is very true
    I don't actually like the music tbh. Although no denying, they are well written and produced songs. The old GnR was way better in my opinion. I think Axl would get much more respect if he released it under a differant band name. This albums brought down GnRs catalogue of awesome albums.
    VeryHeavyMetal
    it's a good album, but it's just not Gn'R. and with a decade and a half to ****ing make it, I'd think it would be a little better. I was expecting the classic Guns n' Roses, but this album is way too digital for me.
    Big Dave 91
    Personally i think the album is shit GNR sound used to be punk and hard rock mixed together but now as one review said it sounds like they are caught up in the early Industrial scene which i think is very true
    Ozwal
    Wasn't there a song called "The Blues" heard it before the album came out (X that song was nice...
    b0ch0
    I think this album is "out of time" That happens when you put an album off for a long time. If C.Democracy had come out in 1996 when other bands such as pearl jam or alice in chains were at their top moment, the album would have had a much better review But there are some songs that are worth listening
    justpeteau
    Finally!!! someone brings up the royalties issue. Of course Axl took on 'ownership' of the Guns 'N Roses name to make gazillions off radio air play. It has been done for decades, Lennon/ McCartney anyone???? That doesn`t justify him using the name to create an album that will alienate alot of his fan base who have been waiting patiently FOR A VERY LONG TIME, for the new Gunners album. No matter what alot of supporters say here, this just isn`t a 'real' G'N R album. And by that I dont mean he needed Slash et-al to make it that way. No, what he needed to do was stick to a winning formula, and a modicum of passion would have been good too. Alot of this sounds way to clinical...something Guns `N Roses were never meant to be. Good songs? No doubt a few of them are, certainly the title track is and when Axl allows 'his' band, the real people part of it anyway, to flex their muscles it rises above the mediocrity it threatens to become. Personally I dont really think Axl has done a whole lot in the way of redefining anything other than a much loved bands identity..which is fine I guess but please less talk of how inovative it is...maybe in 1995 yea ..when NIN were emerging this possibly could have been considered edgy or 'new' but now...rehashing a tired genre and repackaging it in the form of a classic '80s band who want to gain 'cred' in a new century?? No. Axl has one of THE ROCK VOICES, he may even be a half decent lyricist, but as a musician, he falls down, he really does need the creative input of some passionate, hungry musos to add to his frame work. Not just studio players bought in to lay down some fretboard work. How ever awesome the playing is...with out the frame work of a good song..they are just sounds. Oh and G`N R are a rock band Axl has to remember that.Lets rock out a bit more next time yea????
    SnakeSkinner
    mc92 wrote: New Gn'R suck, new ACDC suck, new Metallica suck, new Whitesnake suck. but there is hope for hard rock! I mean new Led Zeppelic CD!
    Metallica's new album is great my friend. Ac/Dc's new album is more of the same as the rest of their stuff, but the new GNR sucks balls.
    Jondy
    not_dead_enough wrote: pwninator123 wrote: *sigh* bands lose members all the time look at Opeth. They have Mikael, and no more original members than that The Replacements had a coupla good albums after they replaced half the band...accidental pun The Melvins are and always will be godly, and they have one original member The Ataris change members every album, and still sound great that doesn't mean none of these are the band, they still are, lack of members or not Not to mention Megadeth; the greatest metal band of all...still kicking ass, with the only important original member left (and before you all say it Slash was not an important member - he was just a moderately good guitarist in the right place at the right time and got famous off uninspiring solos).
    if was just slash left it'd be different. it's like we really like greasy pizza but if you take away the cheese, crust, and toppings, and you just have the grease, ewww man.