Chinese Democracy review by Guns N' Roses

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  • Released: Nov 23, 2008
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 6
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 7.2 (847 votes)
Guns N' Roses: Chinese Democracy

Sound — 7
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.

Lyrics — 6
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.)

Overall Impression — 8
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.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Chinese Democracy is an outstanding album. The first review on here was written one day after the album was released, which means it was basically a 'lets find as many faults as we can' review. The solos on this album are incredibly diverse, the melodies are strong, not a single song sounds the same as any of the others, what do people want? Its so much stronger than use your illusion 1 or 2, its laughable. For crying out loud, listen to it as an album, not as 'the new guns n roses album which must surely suck without slash!'
    It seems to me like most of the old, die-hard GNR fans are loving this album while the people who just knew the "popular" songs are hating this album. Seems to be that true Gunners are loving this album. Which they should, because I'm a GNR die-hard and I think this album is awesome.
    If this was an amazing mind-blowing album then fair enough ya know? It took 15 years, it should have been a fecking brilliant album, but it wasn't, Axl clearly doesn't give a crap about the fans, the remaining ones anyway. Over hyped piece of shit...
    No it's not the worst G n' R album ever, that was Lies. Lies was and is the worst G n' R album ever made. This album is the second worst they did. I thought it was a lot better than most of the crap that's being released at the moment though as it has 4 or 5 decent songs on it.
    I loved this record. The reason it dosnt sound like old because the old Guns is gone! So stop with that argument. Go listen to Appetite if you want 1987 Guns N Roses
    I think it's really hard to review this album fairly anymore... There are too many people that are judging the time it took to make the album and what kind of person Axl Rose is instead of actually the music. Everyone is going in with a preset attitude about it and already knows what their thoughts are going to be before they even listen to it. Correct: It's not Gn'R, but it's still a good band and album in my opinion.