Sound — 7
It's awesome but very different from their old sound. Different guitar, more keyboards, different drum style. Bass is hard to hear. Axl's voice is different. It took 15 years to make the album. It sounds like he spent 5 of those years doing almost nothing.
Lyrics — 7
Awesome as usual and so metaphorical I don't know what any of the songs mean. Axl's voice is amazing as usual but it has changed. It sounds older now. On the first two tracks however, he sounds like there's effects on his voice. He hits the highest note of his career on "There Was A Time".
Overall Impression — 7
It is not nearly as good as other GN'R albums. I love all the songs (except if the world). Some songs sound like they're made for a younger audience while some sound like they were made for an older audience. 01. "Chinese Demcoracy": Would be totally awesome if not for the overdubs on axl's voice and the ridiculously long intro. Awesome guitar riffs however. 02. "Shackler's Revenge": Great but the intro is annoying. The song is actually about the columbine killings. 03. "Better": Awesome. Axl's voice is amazing, the guitar solos are beautiful, and the lyrics are amazing. 04. "Street Of Dreams": One of the more mellow songs on the album. It's moderately slow and heavy on strings and piano but still alot of guitar. Axl shows that he can still hit the high notes. 05. "If The World": Mediocre crap. 06. "There Was A Time": Awesome. The album's second ballad. Heavy guitars, and alot of strings and a wailing vocal from Axl. 07. "Catcher In The Rye": Awesome. More guitar based than the other ballads on the album. It's about the death of John Lennon. 08. "Scraped": Totally Awesome. Heavy song with Axl singing all over the register. 09. "Riad In The Bedouins": Awesome song but the lyrics make absoulutely no sense whatsoever. But Axl's voice is awesome. 10. "Sorry": Back to the ballads. The verses are mellow and with reverb drenched songs. Then in the chorus the distortion kicks in. Sebastian Bach from Skid Row sings backing vocals on this one but you can barely hear him. 11. "IRS": A song that begins as a mellow acoustic song but then turns into an insane angry alternative metal song with Axl wailing about a break up. 12. "Madagascar": A mellow ballad centered around french horns and strings with samples of famous quotes from history. 13. "This I Love": The most Elton John-esque song on the album. It's a piano based break up ballad. There is no guitar until about halfway through the song. The guitar solo is epic and Axl's voice is amazing. 14. "Prostitute": A ballad that has nothing to do with prostitution. Axl really shows of his vocal abilities here. It also has some awesome guitars. The song ends with strings and a drum loop. The drum loop slowly fades out leaving just strings, a church organ, and a piano. Then the song ends.