Chinese Democracy - Guns n Roses
Chinese Democracy Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 368 Ratings

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  • Summary: The long-gestating Guns N' Roses album finally sees the light of day.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 28
  2. Negative: 2 out of 28
  1. Here are the simple things about Chinese Democracy: Three of the songs are astonishing. Four or five others are very good. The vocals are brilliantly recorded, and the guitar playing is (generally) more interesting than the guitar playing on the "Use Your Illusion" albums.
  2. It's an exhilarating album. Seriously, after finally hearing these 14 tracks in their finished form I was so energized I wanted to climb a mountain.
  3. The first Guns n' Roses album of new, original songs since the first Bush administration is a great, audacious, unhinged and uncompromising hard-rock record.
  4. Yet even if it defies expectations, Chinese Democracy is not the masterpiece that it so desperately wants to be.
  5. Chinese Democracy is clearly not the greatest rock album ever made, but nor is it an absolute and utter failure. The irony is, that for all the lavishing of money and time and technology, it's saved by something as old fashioned as a good tune.
  6. Too bad the epitaph’s already scrawled in Chinese Democracy’s anachronistic margins: a bottomless pit dug by disposable income, a persecution complex and egomania.
  7. Chinese Democracy is a multi-million dollar dud, an example of faded brilliance and wasted time. [Winter 2009]

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 136
  1. Jul 29, 2012
    I think this recording shines in utter atmospheric beauty. Apart from the ever present hate from mr rose he's a genius. He has really become a crime by not making music for all these years. This one's so craved for that it's doomed to fail but then i realise it's pearl of passion! Best album of 21 century to date. Expand
  2. Jan 7, 2013
    Don't believe the hate. If you can look past the dislike for Axl as being difficult to work with (or whatever the hell is popular to say about him) then it is an absolutely *phenomenal* album. He may not have softened with age but that's also what makes this album so great. It's not just anger, but rage, that defines this album and it's also what gives Axl more integrity than pretty much anyone in recent rock history. I'm not one to say that 'rock is dead' or that 'there is no good new music' because the last decade has seen tons of good music from both veterans and newcomers; but if I had to choose my favorite album since 2000 then this would be it.

    It's not the same music but I love it as much as I did Appetite when I was 11 in 1988. Old timers may feel a bit of shock over the changes but the music is just as good. Just give it a few listens and you'll find yourself driving way faster than you should.
  3. Apr 16, 2011
    This is an incredible album. On this album, we find some of the most articulate music and masterful writing ever created by Axl Rose. In many ways, this album goes beyond anything that Guns N' Roses have done previously in their career, and it explores brand new territory that would not have been possible with the old lineup. I think that Axl and his new group of musicians have managed to create something brilliant in 'Chinese Democracy'; intelligent, diverse, well-constructed, well-produced, powerful, soulful music that rises above mediocrity and into the realms of pure brilliance. From the aggressive music of the title track, to the emotion of "There Was a Time", I love every moment and every aspect of this album.

    I now see why Axl took so long to create this album - he was perfecting it, and making it flawless. And this pays off with the final product - what I consider to be a masterpiece. It's just too bad that people allow this album's rough history to blind them from the actual quality of the music. And it's sad to see so many people resenting this album simply because it doesn't sound like "classic Guns." I strongly suggest all rock music listeners to open your ears and your minds to the exceptional music of 'Chinese Democracy'.
  4. May 10, 2011
    Reaks of ego. Axl's ego that it. Even if it was released back in the 1990's it still would have been the over produced, generic and rediculous record that it is now. Dull, tedious and very boring. Expand
  5. Sep 10, 2011
    This album should be titled THE WORST OF GUNS N' ROSES. Not to say that it's an overall bad album--it's just that we all waited for 15 whole years for this album (1993 saw the release of "THE SPAGHETTI INCIDENT?", and CHINESE DEMOCRACY was released in 2008), and now the only good songs here are "Shackler's Revenge", "Chinese Democracy", and "Better". In other words, Axl Rose and the band had so long to construct something that would knock their fans' socks off, and they ended up using most of the fifteen years lying around while CLAIMING they were working on this album. Expand
  6. Nov 9, 2013
    One of the worst perfomances in rock'n'roll scene since the Guns n Roses appeared the first time. Guitars sound like the last breath of a broken radio many layers mixed together end as bad as would be expected. Axl Rose use to be the worst part of band. Buy something better. If you want to hear some great rock legends, buy AC/DC or Nirvana. Chinese Democracy is a pale ghost of repetitiveness made by people without new ideas. It's better to burn out than to fade away. Expand
  7. Mar 27, 2011
    The Good: It's a Guns N Roses album that wasn't recorded in the 80s or 90s.
    The Bad: It's a Guns N Roses album that wasn't recorded in the 80s
    or 90s...
    The Ugly: The only member of the original band left is Axl. Slash's presence is sorely missed on Chinese Democracy. It's a bland album, uninspired, and sounds almost like a cover band for GNR that made a half-assed attempt to record their own original music. There will be no classics remembered from Chinese Democracy. It's a throw away album. If you buy it, it will probably get lost on purpose or be thrown away. Its 90% garbage. And I'm not biased by old GNR albums either, Nine Inch Nails is a band that keeps re-inventing itself a little bit every album and in my opinion one of very few rock bands to come out of the 80s and succeed through the 90s and 00s, still going strong into 2011. Axl could take a lesson or two from Trent Reznor, don't make fans wait for hours to see rock shows and don't spend a decade crafting such a terrible, terrible album, blaming everyone else along the way for the fifteen year delay, filing suit after suit over honestly fairly petty crap. Axl needs to grow up, call up Slash, bring back the old band, do the reunion tour, and then MAYBE record new material, or just let the GNR name die a less painful death and just go away.

See all 136 User Reviews