Chinese Democracy review by Guns N' Roses

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Nov 23, 2008
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.2 (847 votes)
Guns N' Roses: Chinese Democracy

Sound — 8
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!

Lyrics — 9
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).

Overall Impression — 10
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?

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Chinese Democracy and Shackler's Revenge were the only good songs. Other than that this album was pure shit. It completely destroyed my faith in Axl. Like SERIOSULY some of the vocals on this album were atrocious, like he was trying to see how high pitched he could go before he broke the machines. Even with Buckethead backing him, Axl failed miserably. And it sucks cuz I was so dearly looking forward to this album...
    not_dead_enough wrote: justpeteau wrote: Buckethead better than Slash, very true, alot of players are but he and Robyn Finck, Rob Fortus and Bumble foot are not better for GnR. And yea Bands Like Megadeath, Iron Maiden, Opeth, Rose Tattoo, Motorhead all have a'controlling member' and haemorrage members all the time this is also very true. However the music they produce is consistant, style wise and generally quality wise, if it isnt they lose fans and have trouble luring them back or snaring new ones because people dont like inconsistancy. so when a GnR fan buys a G n R album..he ****ing well wants a G n R album. Why do you think Metallica pissed so many people off? If i go to the shop and buy a Coke I know it is gonna tast like Coke. If it tastes like ...say Dr Pepper.... Im gonna want some answers!!!!! Same thing. Change the line up put shred king guitarist in the band if u must...even if they leave later on you can keep their material and fool people into thinking they are still in the band, whatever, but keep the style close to what your loyal fans expect..of they will want answers!!!!! If you want Coke, buy Coke. If you want Appetite for Destruction, buy Appetite for Destruction. I'm sure when Vanilla Coke came out, had you tried it, and it tasted exactly like old Coke, you'd be disappointed.
    Very well said the both of you.... I personally think this album is great.... but like the UG reviewer said.... That Specific Magic of The Old Days is lost... What he said was true... but the new G n R band and Axl are to be respected because they went out of their comfort zones to give us this album... I always appreciate originality and Chinese Democracy has it all over... Axl still has it like he used to in my opinion!!!! But I really hope and pray that the old band comes back.. Now That will be a concert to jump around at!! Led Zeppelin had 12 million people applying for tickets for their reunion show on December 2007... Guns n Roses will have everyone who appreciates music from an electric guitar there...
    i hate how everybody is comparing 2009 to 1987,1991 and such. axl is the ONLY original member and i think it was a mistake on his part to sue for the name "guns n' roses" because he dragged all of these comparisons with him. the thing is there IS not slash, duff, adler, stradlin theres a different group. it was very smart on his part to change the sound completely of the band. you can't compare some of the ballads of the album to november rain and civil war etc, because it was a completely different band and a completely different sound. thank you axl for giving us a completely different sound with your completely different band, i think it really worked for him. but his only mistake was keeping the name guns n' roses. if axl chose a new name he wouldn't have the comparisons to the old band and velvet revolver will likely be called gn'r or something else. i really liked the album, im not comparing this to appetite or uyi, this is basically a debut album and thats how im treating it and i like it.
    firstly if you want to compare old guns to a worthy comparrison, try velvet revolver! at least 3 out of 5 of the old guns and roses band members are there! second Chinese democracy is a very mediocre album compared to the expectations made by the long wait for the "next g'n'r album" Frankly there is no guns and roses without slash's timeless riffs and duff's amazing bass sound. to use a group name that was the "voice" of 80's hard rock and come out with something not worthy of the name guns and roses! Thirdly, let's be honest, axl is older and he can't sing like "back in the day" and his lyrics are not as clever or as deep as touching as in civil war or patience. Lastly all things considered they could have used less money and more creativity in many of their songs because at this poit it is just "a major disappointment" that is all... for now!
    Hm, its the worst album, but its not that bad as people are claiming it to be. I like it, obviously a prefer to hear some of old GNR, but this has some new sounds that are really worth listening
    this album sucks. Axl rose can not sing his voice is not better he had to autotune a few times. HE SUCKS NOW and he is a complete ***** who destroyed GNR.
    I find this album to be ok. It's not really Guns N' Roses but I still find it to be a decent change. Axl my of messed up the original line up(which was the best) but this CD is still good. 7 outta 10 *