Rating:
7.0
Guns N' Roses - Chinese Democracy
21 November 2008


01. Chinese Democracy
02. Shackler's Revenge
03. Better
04. Street Of Dreams
05. If The World
06. There Was A Time
07. Catcher In The Rye
08. Scraped
09. Riad N' The Bedouins
10. Sorry
11. I.R.S.
12. Madagascar
13. This I Love
14. Prostitute


Ok, a decade and a half, millions of dollars, multiple band members and associated musicians input - ignoring these stats is a hard thing to do while approaching this album, but let's give it a shot. Let's keep in mind the iconic figures that were once part of this band are long gone. This is no longer Slash, Duff, and Izzy's band, this is Axl's album - like it or not. So as a disclaimer I'm looking at this album as a stand-alone project, avoiding any comparisons to what once was.

The album opens up with a very effective fade-in, then a perfect kick-off riff which almost says "drop what you're doing and look this way"; unfortunately the remainder of the track is fairly bland aside from a few eye-popping solos. The interesting compositions and guitar work come in on the track to follow and continue throughout the album with a few cheesy ballads thrown in. The variation in this album is incredible, pulling influences in from far too many genres to list, which can be off putting for many when it comes to songs that have R'n'B rhythms, 'If The World' being the biggest example. The guitar work is simply incredible as far as technicality goes, but looking at the line-up Axl has hired it's no surprise. Much of the off-the-wall compositions and guitar work has to be credited to Buckethead, who (to the best of my knowledge) has never done anything predictable or typical. To top everything off, Axl shows he's still got a very capable vocal range, as well as a good ear for exceptional vocal harmonies.

This is an interesting album - dynamic, varied and experimental; something that doesn't exactly work out a lot of the time. Think of it this way: while running all over the park, you're bound to step in some dog crap. Whilst dabbling in many genres, the ballads, (to put it lightly) for the most part are pure pop shit. Take 'Street Of Dreams' as the best example, it sounds suspiciously like Vanessa Carlton's 'A Thousand Miles', in other words, not something you want on a hard rock album. Though the biggest problem with album is definitely the overproduction (yeah, yeah, 15 years in production, quit laughing). The industrial influenced songs like 'Shackler's Revenge' and 'Scraped' fit well with the pristine production, but many really well written songs seem to lose power because they are so glossed over from the meticulous production.

Overall it's not a bad album, nothing great, and certainly not worth the circumstances surrounding it, but interesting nonetheless.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8


Band profile: Guns N' Roses
Album: Chinese Democracy


 


written by Doc Godin | 02.03.2009


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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DayFly - 08.03.2009 at 20:35  
It's a really difficult album in my opinion. I mean, the people that were waiting for it's release were fans of "Appetite For Destruction", first and foremost. Now nobody could really expect a return to the sleazy gutter-rock, but an album that's more about fusing every genre Rose has been listening to in the last 17 years than about simply rocking out isn't easy to stomach. Even after 3 months I'm not sure what to make of "Chinese Democray". At least "There Was A Time" is so good I'll never regret buying this.
THE_BLACK_GOD - 08.04.2009 at 10:25  
This is a very Honest and nice review. but I have a question from you; ex members didn write anything on this album? cause as I remember I heard of this album almost 10 years ago!
Doc Godin - 08.04.2009 at 10:35  
Written by Guest on 08.04.2009 at 10:25

This is a very Honest and nice review. but I have a question from you; ex members didn write anything on this album? cause as I remember I heard of this album almost 10 years ago!

Doesn't appear so. Axl hadn't credited them nor had they claimed to have any hand in its creation. Plus its hard to tell considering how many people have had a hand in its development. Apparently Shaquille O'Neal was even involved in this somehow a few years back...yes, Shaquille O'Neal.
THE_BLACK_GOD - 08.04.2009 at 10:43  
Written by Doc Godin on 08.04.2009 at 10:35

Written by Guest on 08.04.2009 at 10:25

This is a very Honest and nice review. but I have a question from you; ex members didn write anything on this album? cause as I remember I heard of this album almost 10 years ago!

Doesn't appear so. Axl hadn't credited them nor had they claimed to have any hand in its creation. Plus its hard to tell considering how many people have had a hand in its development. Apparently Shaquille O'Neal was even involved in this somehow a few years back...yes, Shaquille O'Neal.

Shaquille, kidding me? I didnt know if he knows somthin about music!

but If ex members didnt do nothin with this album, then I have to say that Axl is a much better musician that Slash Duff and others cause when I look at their works own works after Guns I realize that C.D. is a much better album than them. Slash's snakepit or their new band which I dont remember its name!!! are nothin but some bad works when you compare them with this album.
Doc Godin - 30.04.2009 at 08:33  
Written by Guest on 08.04.2009 at 10:43

Written by Doc Godin on 08.04.2009 at 10:35

Written by Guest on 08.04.2009 at 10:25

This is a very Honest and nice review. but I have a question from you; ex members didn write anything on this album? cause as I remember I heard of this album almost 10 years ago!

Doesn't appear so. Axl hadn't credited them nor had they claimed to have any hand in its creation. Plus its hard to tell considering how many people have had a hand in its development. Apparently Shaquille O'Neal was even involved in this somehow a few years back...yes, Shaquille O'Neal.

Shaquille, kidding me? I didnt know if he knows somthin about music!

Well, lets not forget his short-lived rap career:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLAVsPMzPRU
Daggon - 21.05.2009 at 09:42  
Written by Doc Godin on 30.04.2009 at 08:33

Well, lets not forget his short-lived rap career:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLAVsPMzPRU


Shit! Oh man, now I won't have the peace of mind necessary to sleep, just when I thought that Kazaam was my wort nightmare...

http://komodo17.free.fr/Pochettes_2/Images/Face/Kazaam_f.jpg
DayFly - 02.11.2009 at 13:00  
Does anyone still listen to this? I mean, when AfD came out, it was on permanent rotation. But I hardly ever listen to this one here and I am getting the feeling that the good to average reviews everywhere were more of a personal excuse than anything else.
Doc Godin - 06.05.2010 at 11:22  
Written by DayFly on 02.11.2009 at 13:00

Does anyone still listen to this? I mean, when AfD came out, it was on permanent rotation. But I hardly ever listen to this one here and I am getting the feeling that the good to average reviews everywhere were more of a personal excuse than anything else.

I still listen to it from time to time, though rarely in it's entirety. Only a handful of songs continually draw me back.
JohnDoe - 06.05.2010 at 15:36  
Quote:

I still listen to it from time to time, though rarely in it's entirety. Only a handful of songs continually draw me back.


i do the same thing, I skip the slow songs/ballads; the rest of the songs are more than OK with me.
soadbyob - 06.05.2010 at 15:55  
I honestly kinda like this album, but its not GNR, its Axl and those other guys
Big-Al - 04.08.2010 at 01:53  
Written by Guest on 06.05.2010 at 15:55

I honestly kinda like this album, but its not GNR, its Axl and those other guys

which, by it's own merits is good enough. Just not that GnR band of 20 years ago.
wormdrink414 - 28.02.2011 at 03:42  
Written by Doc Godin on 30.04.2009 at 08:33

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLAVsPMzPRU


...
deadone - 08.08.2014 at 08:36  
Well it's taken me 6 years to be able to listen to this. I'm a big Gunners fan and was petrified of it being a total piece of dog shit.

And it's nowhere near as bad as I thought it'd be. It's certainly not Guns N Roses though, other than some of the piano lines and Axl's voice. None of the guitars, the sleaze or massiveness is present.

But it's enjoyable for a hard rock album featuring Axl Rose.

Hence a spot on review indeed!

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