Chinese Democracy

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 385 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 385

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  1. crooner
    Dec 23, 2008
    5
    I have been waiting for this disc quite anxiously. unfortunately i ended up regretting to have bought it in the first place. tiresome, repetitive, lacking any innovative direction whatsoever. i am all for artists changing sounds, and i whould;ve loved to be positive about GnR, but this lackustre effort is almost as disheartening as Metallica's St. Anger was.
  2. AronJ
    Dec 1, 2008
    4
    For the fans that have long anticipated this album are going to be disappointed, it falls short of what is expected, they didnt stick to their guns and have created a blur of meaningless and in distinquishible lyrics, along with music that isnt so special.
  3. nathand
    Nov 27, 2008
    4
    Overproduced is gentle at best. While technically the piece is another example of Rose et. al. 's skills, the piece is musically incoherent at best. Several songs drift through disparate styles with reasoning that leaves the listener bewildered. Despite being a piece superior to much of the market's current releases the album is a throwback to Rose's heyday. Had this been Overproduced is gentle at best. While technically the piece is another example of Rose et. al. 's skills, the piece is musically incoherent at best. Several songs drift through disparate styles with reasoning that leaves the listener bewildered. Despite being a piece superior to much of the market's current releases the album is a throwback to Rose's heyday. Had this been released in one third the time, it might have been influential rather than derivative. Rose et. al. are following a trend rather than blazing their own trail and it shows. Expand
  4. May 10, 2011
    4
    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.
  5. Sep 10, 2011
    4
    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 bandThis 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. Don
    Jan 26, 2009
    5
    I find it very mediocre. I like one song, a few are almost okay, and the rest really suck. Over-produced and soulless really says it all, PM. I agree.
  7. MusicM.
    Nov 23, 2008
    5
    Axl Rose may own the Guns N Roses name, but this album, assembled in the studio with a rotating cast of backing musicians is effectively his first solo album. Other than his distinctive vocals, there isn't much to connect this to the original band, nearly all of whom were fired over a decade ago. Anyone expecting the "classic" GNR sound, or a genre-defining album like "Appetite For Axl Rose may own the Guns N Roses name, but this album, assembled in the studio with a rotating cast of backing musicians is effectively his first solo album. Other than his distinctive vocals, there isn't much to connect this to the original band, nearly all of whom were fired over a decade ago. Anyone expecting the "classic" GNR sound, or a genre-defining album like "Appetite For Destruction", will be sadly disappointed. This is meticulously crafted, studio polished, pomp-rock/metal with none of the grit or swagger that made the original band superstars. Too many of the songs are focused on the self-doubts and paranoia of the reclusive singer, and ultimately the whole album gets tiresome. If you are a die-hard fan who believes that the Use You Illusion albums didn't have any filler and that "My World" is a great song then you probably have this album already. Everyone else can avoid this without missing anything of consequence. Collapse
  8. BryanM.
    Nov 24, 2008
    6
    I was really stoked for this album - though, to be honest, I really never though it would be released even when I saw it's pre-release sale on itunes. What I thought was going to be a kick-A$$ album was not that at all. It was an album that should've been released in the 90's before most of their/his target audience grew up and moved on. I'm going to give it 2-3 more I was really stoked for this album - though, to be honest, I really never though it would be released even when I saw it's pre-release sale on itunes. What I thought was going to be a kick-A$$ album was not that at all. It was an album that should've been released in the 90's before most of their/his target audience grew up and moved on. I'm going to give it 2-3 more tries before I place it next to my old Limp Bizkit CD's! Expand
  9. AdamA
    Nov 24, 2008
    5
    Eh. Not worth the wait. Nothing astonishing or memorable.
  10. MarkK.
    Nov 27, 2008
    4
    After waiting about seventeen years for this to come out, all w get is a load of self-indulgent garbage that actually makes "The Spaghetti Incident?" sound good in comparison. It has a few good moments I'll give it that, but that's all I feel I can give to it. As everybody knows, Axl Rose is the only original member left in this group, but with such an over crowded list of After waiting about seventeen years for this to come out, all w get is a load of self-indulgent garbage that actually makes "The Spaghetti Incident?" sound good in comparison. It has a few good moments I'll give it that, but that's all I feel I can give to it. As everybody knows, Axl Rose is the only original member left in this group, but with such an over crowded list of musicians including the infamous (three guitarists, two bassists and drummers and two keyboardists I believe) why is it even called Guns' N Roses? Would Axl have been better off calling the band 'Axl & Friends'? Anyway, away from that little rant. The overall sound of the album sounds so enhanced that it is completly overworked and thus results in being all flash but no substance. Appitite For Destruction was writtin down in the books as one of the greatest rock albums of all time because of the venomous vibe to the whole record. Chinese Democracy seems to have nothing like that at all and it is hardly the Guns N' Roses I used to love and respect. So here's my fnal word of advice. If you know what's best just boycott the album entierly and don't put your faith in this oer-blown crowd of rock-star-wannabe-fools. Expand
  11. NikM.
    Nov 24, 2008
    4
    Axl' s voice just sucks, it mainly relies on cheap drum beats, and the only good thing is the guitar work Buckethead provided. Sorry, it isn't a masterpiece by any means
  12. JamesO.
    Nov 25, 2008
    4
    Way overproduced; the guitar tone is so pro-tooled to death so that it has absolutely no life. The riffs are boring and trite. Very much a cookie-cutter album with little in the way of originality or freshness. Avoid at all costs, unless of course you like seeing Axl Rose trying to rehash the glory days of Guns 'N Roses without GnR (aka the rest of the band).
  13. Aug 5, 2014
    6
    This album has a lot of foot-tapping moments, and moves along at a quick clip. It does not stand out in the mire of the vast seas of generic rock albums. Putting all the time, money, personnel, and egos aside, this album is listenable. While over-cooked and over-produced, it is not bad. I would not go out of my way to tell others this is a "must buy" album.
  14. May 9, 2016
    5
    This is a Guns N Roses album that sounds like no other. That IS to be expected after a multitude of lineup changes and a gap of 15 years since the last album. Many of the songs here show potential, but my main issues with the album are: The overproduction - the guitars and drums lack any real bite for the most part in my opinion. The playing of the instrumentalists - there are interestingThis is a Guns N Roses album that sounds like no other. That IS to be expected after a multitude of lineup changes and a gap of 15 years since the last album. Many of the songs here show potential, but my main issues with the album are: The overproduction - the guitars and drums lack any real bite for the most part in my opinion. The playing of the instrumentalists - there are interesting orchestral and industrial elements here and there but musically it sounds restrained and represents the opposite of the group's attitude in its heyday, the members seem more like hired guns than guys whose playing you can really get behind. Finally, I think Axl sounds quite restrained vocally, and I feel he is capable of better even today.

    This would have been better recieved perhaps if billed as an Axl Rose solo album, because as a solo album, it seems to show a fair bit of ambition to forge new musical paths. However, when put under the guise of Guns n Roses, it stands as being underwhelming because you can't help but compare it to their past work.
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Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 28
  2. Negative: 2 out of 28
  1. 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.
  2. 70
    An outrageously overblown pop-metal extravaganza, Chinese Democracy feels like a perfect epitaph for all the absurdity and nonsense of the George W. Bush era--one final blowout before Principal Obama takes our idiocy away.
  3. 40
    Soundwise, Chinese Democracy is all over the place.