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?