User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 377 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 377

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  1. BigTime
    Nov 23, 2008
    10
    Great record from start to finish. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
  2. EvanT.
    Nov 23, 2008
    10
    Not old guns. But this is still good music.
  3. JK
    Nov 23, 2008
    10
    Killer production value, great songs, uncompromised integrity, and most importantly, worth the wait!!!
  4. EricaJ.
    Nov 23, 2008
    10
    This is the best album I've heard in a long time. It gave me goosebumps. There Was a TIme...Madagascar...Prostitute...all unbelievable songs. The only one that is even "just okay" is Sorry. Still....it's better than a lot out there.
  5. PaulM.
    Nov 24, 2008
    10
    I originally voted 9 because i did not want to look like a star struck fan. I used to be. but I was so cynical about this album I didnt think I could enjoy it whether it was good or not. It's unreal. It blew me away and I was dancing about the kitchen all night long. I can't recommend it. Negative reviews in my view are people trying to look like they have decent musical taste I originally voted 9 because i did not want to look like a star struck fan. I used to be. but I was so cynical about this album I didnt think I could enjoy it whether it was good or not. It's unreal. It blew me away and I was dancing about the kitchen all night long. I can't recommend it. Negative reviews in my view are people trying to look like they have decent musical taste and are too cool to like what should be a bad album. Buy it, it rocks. Expand
  6. PeterN.
    Nov 27, 2008
    10
    I've never been a huge GNR fan, but after hearing some of the songs on the radio and myspace I just had to get myself the best birthday present in years. It's massive.
  7. Jul 29, 2012
    10
    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.
  8. ShawnM
    Sep 11, 2009
    10
    A perfect record, absolutely flawless.
  9. NeilP
    Sep 21, 2009
    10
    I feel 13 again, as if I've just heard rock and roll for the first time.
  10. RodrigoL.
    Nov 23, 2008
    10
    I agree it's not perfect, but goddamn it, Chinese Democracy gets closer than anything i've ever heard. I just love six tracks on it and there's only one I really don't like that much.
  11. JoeyD.
    Nov 25, 2008
    10
    What ever happened to the quest to make the greatest album ever? Where's the next Led Zeppelin IV or the next Exile On Main St? I can't even begin to say how refreshing it is to hear someone trying again. To those who say that this is an Axl Rose solo album: Shut up. Tommy Stinson (As made famous by The Replacements), Robin Finck (As made famous by Nine Inch Nails), and What ever happened to the quest to make the greatest album ever? Where's the next Led Zeppelin IV or the next Exile On Main St? I can't even begin to say how refreshing it is to hear someone trying again. To those who say that this is an Axl Rose solo album: Shut up. Tommy Stinson (As made famous by The Replacements), Robin Finck (As made famous by Nine Inch Nails), and Buckethead (As made famous by Guitar Hero) all contribute fantastic amounts to this album. While this still sounds quite a bit like the old Guns N' Roses, that's because Axl Rose is still behind the wheel. The astonishing thing is that there are no stupid songs at all. Axl's lyrics are sarcastic, biting, and actually pretty damned smart. A few months ago, I reviewed the eleven leaks as an album and I gave them a C+. Boy, has my mind changed. All of these songs are worth listening to, and I've seen each listed as a favorite from one reviewer or another, but my favorites are the ones where Axl does what he sets out to do. There Was A Time, Street Of Dreams, and Catcher In The Rye all have that fantastic, grandiose sound to them that you know Axl was struggling to get over these fifteen years. Axl's vocals are better than they ever have been. He varies what he does and barks out every word in the most effective way possible. I've gotten goosebumps listening to Street Of Dreams near the end thanks to his passion that you can hear. Now, Slash was my favorite guitarist, and I miss him, so I need to address how the guitarists are doing. There are some great riffs in Chinese Democracy and Riad N' The Bedouins, but the solos are what I'm worried about. Some of the solos are unremarkable, and while there are some very good solos (Street Of Dreams, This I Love), the absolute best is Buckethead's in There Was A Time. Instead of trying to sound like Slash, which sometimes accidentally happens in this album, Buckethead just plays like Buckethead does at his best here. It's fucking fantastic, and it matches a lot of Slash's performances. Despite Axl's narcissism and the overblown sound, every song here is good and a lot of songs here are outstanding. The album has its faults, yes, but if I had to use one word to describe the album, it would be "satisfying." The album ends on a note the leaves you feeling like Axl finished what he set out to do, and after all this waiting, it was worth it. Considering that we've been waiting for fifteen years and I had already heard all but three of these songs, I think that's telling. A+ Definitely Listen To: Chinese Democracy Street Of Dreams There Was A Time Catcher In The Rye Riad N' The Bedouins Madagascar This I Love Prostitute. Expand
  12. JessicaD.
    Nov 27, 2008
    10
    This album is far so good i love it. its just as good as the other albums. my fave song though is Madagascar and this i love and Chinese democracy.
  13. Apr 16, 2011
    10
    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 toThis 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'.
    Expand
  14. JamesH
    Jun 15, 2009
    9
    At its lowest ("This I Love", "Scraped", the title track, and "Sorry"), "Chinese Democracy" is a narcissistic, overdone, overdue, and overbearing mess. But at its finest ("Better", "Street of Dreams", and "Prostitute"), the album suggests that, yes, the 15-year wait was worth it after all.
  15. W.AxlR.
    Mar 17, 2009
    10
    A flawless album. Will be in my top 5 for ever.
  16. MantleL.
    Nov 24, 2008
    9
    I think the album is still a very nice one in the year-2008. this album have new record tech.I am very happy for Axl that he can still singing sonorous and the notes Slash played is a masterpiece because it combine the diffucult music theory in metal method but peformance in pop way. It would definitely the best living textbook for all the rocker who wants solo hard !! Hard rock is I think the album is still a very nice one in the year-2008. this album have new record tech.I am very happy for Axl that he can still singing sonorous and the notes Slash played is a masterpiece because it combine the diffucult music theory in metal method but peformance in pop way. It would definitely the best living textbook for all the rocker who wants solo hard !! Hard rock is arcually not so papular now.(because the musician is SOFT:-)) We can realize that GNR they are trying hard to let the rock'n'roll music have a new way to survive. Expand
  17. RonnieP
    Nov 30, 2008
    9
    The best album I've listened to in a while. A mish-mash at times but it works. As far as the critics go. You can't trust them to review big event albums, they loose the plot when they think their review will be scrutinized.
  18. RogerC.
    Jan 9, 2009
    10
    Out of the shit I have leading up to this album I was expecting to be disappointed. I am completely amazed. Everyone that says negative things about this album, obviously is not hearing the music and focusing on other thing that have no relevancy. Axl did an extremely well job! All you other get a clue!
  19. BT
    May 7, 2009
    10
    sounds terrible after first few listens. Gets better after 5-10. Then becomes a absolute epic album afterwards. Close to all the tracks you'd never skip.
  20. StevenS.
    Nov 28, 2008
    9
    Is it overproduced? Yes! But who cares anyway? Suprise! After 15 years of waiting,the new Gn'R is finally out and even more surprising...its an excellent record. Even though the bombastic string arrangements and Axl's ridiculously overproduced voice may will scare away some listeners, in the end it doesn't even matter. The songwriting is still impressive and convincing. You Is it overproduced? Yes! But who cares anyway? Suprise! After 15 years of waiting,the new Gn'R is finally out and even more surprising...its an excellent record. Even though the bombastic string arrangements and Axl's ridiculously overproduced voice may will scare away some listeners, in the end it doesn't even matter. The songwriting is still impressive and convincing. You can say what you will about Rose, but he sure knows how to write great melodies. Between millions and millions of pro-tools effects and layers of strings and strings you will find some of the finest tunes heard in a decade. After a few listens overproduction, the initial weak point of the record, turns out to be one of its biggest strenghts. Never before have I heard a classic hardrock album which was that diversified. You'll find the typical Gn'R killer ballads (Street of Dreams/There was a Time), kick ass Rock n' Roll (Chinese Democracy/Riad n' the Bedouins/I.R.S.), as well as lots of clever experiments, such as the stunning funky If the World or the viciously grooving Better. While initially being disappinted,it took me five or six listens to understand the visionary force this record is driven by and appreciate the beautiful melodies,that are buried under a landslide of choires,echoes and samples. The most amazing thing about Chinese Democracy is that, besides all the artificiality and the sometimes bizarre songstructures it works pretty good. Somehow Rose managed this bulky ,mechanical beast to sound organic...and after all, a good song is a good song. Under any usual circumstances I would give this masterpiece a 10/10, but I gotta draw one point for the long waiting. Expand
  21. PaulJ
    Dec 2, 2008
    10
    The album is melodic, even a bit progressive sounding in spots. Axl's vocals have definately improved and I couldn't believe that it was actually him at times. This is mature, well done rock that is catchy, memorable and well played. Those who still live in the past and want to slam a few brews and never let go of Appetite will surely loath this album. But the music lover who The album is melodic, even a bit progressive sounding in spots. Axl's vocals have definately improved and I couldn't believe that it was actually him at times. This is mature, well done rock that is catchy, memorable and well played. Those who still live in the past and want to slam a few brews and never let go of Appetite will surely loath this album. But the music lover who can appreciate great melodies, awsome guitar amd keyboard work as well as good orchestrated rock.. They will see this cd for what it is.. And that is a fine piece if musical expansion and history. Certainly Chinese Democracy is not the bloated, over produced piece of garbage some have called it.. But if you want to pass up a great album on the angry world and reviews of shallow fan boy types who hate any speck of change in an artists craft.. Them be my guest :- ) Expand
  22. PaytonB.
    Dec 3, 2008
    10
    I have been waiting for an album like this since 1993. There's simply been nothing. I've pacified myself with bands like Nickelback, but nothing, and I mean nothing, was a substitute for the greatest rock band not named "Beatles".
  23. PaulR.
    Dec 9, 2008
    9
    The first time i listened to it .. i thought it was total crap .. i kinda liked "better" .. but just skimming thru the songs .. i hated it... After listening thru the album a few times.. im hooked on several of the songs... its different.. but kool. I believe i was biased due to the fact i enjoyed the original GNR in 87 and was hoping for more of the same.
  24. SeanJ.
    Jan 3, 2009
    9
    If taken as an Axl Rose solo album, it's very enjoyable. Comparisons to the incomparable Appetite will only bring it down, as they would any album.
  25. BucketH.
    Jan 6, 2009
    9
    It's impossible for an album to live up to a 14 year old mythology. Taking into account the conflicts and reconstruction of the band along the way, I think it's a pretty remarkable album. The songs are intricate, some a tad over-processed, over-produced, whatever. Most of them FEEL like you would expect. Meaning, you don't watch the 'Lord of the Rings' movies It's impossible for an album to live up to a 14 year old mythology. Taking into account the conflicts and reconstruction of the band along the way, I think it's a pretty remarkable album. The songs are intricate, some a tad over-processed, over-produced, whatever. Most of them FEEL like you would expect. Meaning, you don't watch the 'Lord of the Rings' movies expecting a small family drama, you expect an epic. Same here. Vintage Axl vocals, walls of guitar sounds, ochestra, choir vocals; it's what I expected and what was delivered. Expand
  26. daveu
    Feb 2, 2009
    9
    Could have been better,,, but all in all a great offer by AXL and I wish him all the very best for future and hope to see them releasing one more soon.
  27. PeterT.
    Nov 23, 2008
    10
    Very good album composed and crafted by an artist as opposed to studio hacks. A lot of artistic integrity on display though it's probably not for everyone or even every GNR fan.
  28. RF
    Nov 24, 2008
    9
    Better than expected. A few overproduced tracks, but less filler than the Illusions. Superior to 99% of the crap that's come out in the past few years.
  29. AlanS.
    Nov 24, 2008
    9
    Axl Rose still has it!! I was even one of the sceptics about this album but its rocks, simple as that. Hope to god a world tour is on the cards!
  30. JimmyT
    Nov 24, 2008
    9
    Fantastic album, well worth the wait! There is pretty much no filler on this album! All killer! Swirling like a storm Chinese Democracy blows your speakers out but ends on a peaceful fadeaway (Estranged-esque) on brilliant track "Prostitute". Pick this up now!
  31. SirkK.
    Nov 25, 2008
    10
    Not one bad song on this album,definetly worth the wait and much better then the Illusions albums.
  32. JacintoH
    Nov 27, 2008
    10
    This is a fantastic album and Axl does a great job of singing to us. Anyone who claims otherwise fits into the pool of Axl haters. Most of the new music CD's sound like the bands previous albums. This is different. Like UYI was to AFD. GNR evolves, and makes great music. The fans love Axl, and as someone once put, music just sounds better when it comes out of Axl's mouth!"
  33. TristanL
    Nov 30, 2008
    10
    Actually a pretty amazing album. You can tell who does the solos and strangely this makes for a more wholesome album. Fabulous.
  34. shawnb.
    Nov 30, 2008
    10
    This album, though highly anticipated and long awaited, can stand on the meritt of the music. Amazing is all I can say. Initially, I really tried to listen with an open mind and not be swayed by the release of this album finally coming. I was grabbed by the very first track and wasn't released until it was over.
  35. AndyP
    Dec 10, 2008
    9
    It's an album that takes about three listens to fully appreciate. Although it isn't Appetite, not much will be. It's a great rock album and has some great songs. Even the weaker ones fit. I also appreciate that Axl isn't trying to remake the old stuff. Why some bands suck is there insistance not changing. That's what makes bands like Motley Crue and Aerosmith suck It's an album that takes about three listens to fully appreciate. Although it isn't Appetite, not much will be. It's a great rock album and has some great songs. Even the weaker ones fit. I also appreciate that Axl isn't trying to remake the old stuff. Why some bands suck is there insistance not changing. That's what makes bands like Motley Crue and Aerosmith suck and why GNR can still be relevant, even if it really isn't the same band. Any band that has T. Stinson in it can't be bad. Hearing Axl again makes me happy. Expand
  36. AndrewI.
    Dec 10, 2008
    9
    Don't get the dated comments about this album, it sound sounds like Axl, but then it is Axl. The most interesting things about this album is it sounds better on good hifi. I started listening to this on my iPhone and it sounds decent. I played it in the car and it sounds a little better, playing on my home system (Naim, Linn and B&W 805) and it aounds awesome. The extra detail and Don't get the dated comments about this album, it sound sounds like Axl, but then it is Axl. The most interesting things about this album is it sounds better on good hifi. I started listening to this on my iPhone and it sounds decent. I played it in the car and it sounds a little better, playing on my home system (Naim, Linn and B&W 805) and it aounds awesome. The extra detail and the overlays in the production are striking. There is so much production on this album that most people will never get to hear, but god is it good when you can. Expand
  37. RobD.
    Dec 10, 2008
    10
    OK listen up, this CD does not have any hit
  38. ThomasB.
    Dec 10, 2008
    10
    Very good album, better than I expected. The songs have good variety. Good vocals and exceptional guitar work help make this a great album that has a negative reputation simply because of what it is.
  39. TomN
    Jan 13, 2009
    9
    4 or 5 songs blow me away. The others are simply good. Name another album out there that has 3 - 5 songs that blow people away....not many.
  40. BrockC.
    Jan 5, 2009
    9
    It's an amazing album compared with everything that had to happen in 14 years of writing and recording. A lot of people will complain that there is no Slash or Duff, but that's the thing, Slash and Duff left to do their thing while Axl had to recruit an entire band. Is it the greatest album ever? Well... no but it is an amazing album with various influences which can please a It's an amazing album compared with everything that had to happen in 14 years of writing and recording. A lot of people will complain that there is no Slash or Duff, but that's the thing, Slash and Duff left to do their thing while Axl had to recruit an entire band. Is it the greatest album ever? Well... no but it is an amazing album with various influences which can please a few people. So say it sucks just because it has almost none of the original members, but if you go with the mentality that it is not the GNR that we remember, you could enjoy a few, if not most, of the tracks. Expand
  41. RichardC.
    Jan 7, 2009
    9
    The meat and potatoes: This is album is very good. The music is meticulous and inspired and bold. Some people think it sounds dated. Well, it's been recorded over the last 12+ years. What do you expect? But that's not to say I agree with those people. It's a bluesy rock, pop, epic. It's not like they're trying to sound like Aphex Twin or Dillinger Escape Plan or The meat and potatoes: This is album is very good. The music is meticulous and inspired and bold. Some people think it sounds dated. Well, it's been recorded over the last 12+ years. What do you expect? But that's not to say I agree with those people. It's a bluesy rock, pop, epic. It's not like they're trying to sound like Aphex Twin or Dillinger Escape Plan or some other experimentalish type of thing. It is what it is, but having said that, it's still very interesting. Buckethead, Robin Finck, and Bumblefoot's guitar playing is inspired and techically superior to anything previously done by Slash (Not to take anything away from Slash, his solos were always spot on and very beautiful and emotional). My favorite part of this album though, are the amazing vocal melodies and overall tone from Axl's voice. He sounds better than ever and his melodies are very cool. They grow on you with more listens. Mind you, i'm not a big G n' R fan, I've never even seen them live or bought either Use Your Illusions albums. So, I'm not some fanboy. Maybe that makes this review a little more important, I don't know. Anyways, the best tracks are Better, Street of Dreams, If the World, There Was a Time, and Catcher in the Rye. Congrats Axl, you pulled it off. Expand
  42. PaudieM
    Feb 10, 2009
    10
    A stunning masterpiece of musical arrangements. Axl is on top form vocally and the guitars are amazing. Prostitute is possibly the most perfect song on the album.
  43. WillB
    Mar 28, 2009
    9
    All the songs are awesome. I knew GNR wouldn't disappoint with theis disk! My hat is off to Axl. Rock on.
  44. DuduC.
    Aug 22, 2009
    9
    It's very different from the past and one must accept this, however, great songs ar still present on this album with the best being "This I love", first time I heard it a tear came down.
  45. AbbasM
    Aug 3, 2009
    9
    Well...i was waiting to hate it when it came out but after listening to it it's butt kicking, face-melting,gigantic power-ballad rock n' roll at its best. And Axl still has THE voice.
  46. MarklarM
    Dec 11, 2008
    9
    I'm tempted to devote the rest of the day to whipping up an argument to persuade all naysayers that this album certainly is a bombshell release. Contrary to what many have said, I think the essence of GNR is definitely preserved, expanded upon and imbued into every nook and cranny of Chinese Democracy. Don't fall prey to a diminutive understanding of what truly makes a signature I'm tempted to devote the rest of the day to whipping up an argument to persuade all naysayers that this album certainly is a bombshell release. Contrary to what many have said, I think the essence of GNR is definitely preserved, expanded upon and imbued into every nook and cranny of Chinese Democracy. Don't fall prey to a diminutive understanding of what truly makes a signature sound. Obviously Axl has vision, and whether it was instantiated back in the day with the original bandmate-gods that were Guns N Roses, or with the new panoply of musicians, remember, it always was about the music, the expression, the passion of the creator. Not to slight Slash, or the others, but if it were their vision that made GNR, why didn't It's Five O'Clock Somewhere inspire, other than with the master guitarwork? One word, songcraft. And this is where Axl excels, in spades. For those who thought there were 2 or 3 good songs on this album, I'd urge you to remember those albums that are too overwhelming at first and your ears sort of lock up at all the audio candy. It won't be for another six months that each of these gems fully lodge themselves in listeners' awarenesses. And for the bloke who said Axl's voice was shredded -- if that wasn't a compliment -- I would point you to Axl's performance at the 2006 MTV Music Awards. If I remember it right, his voice was truly ass on that night; made me think he was done. But Chinese Democracy puts my doubts to bed as if Garrison Keillor were there by my bedside waxing folksy and soothing and theological, dipping into his bottomless bag of comforting stories. What? Ok, not that, but something more apropos perhaps. Anyway, as far as Axl, GNR and Chinese Democracy goes, count me in as sold. (And for the record [no pun intended], of course I'd love to see the original bandmates team back up for Album #2 in the 'New Era of Rock' aka 'N.E.R.', aka 'Any R', aka 'Ner!', to not coin a phrase. But I suspect they'd be a little daunted, having to match the sheer mass and intricacy of this album. Naw, of course they could do it!) Expand
  47. GregP
    Dec 10, 2008
    10
    I give it a 10 because from the moment I bought it and listened to it, I still enjoy it so much.Certainly the criteria are absolutely personal (many might indeed hate it), but what I express here is my own opinion.I can't stand guys that critisize without even having listened to a song!Get a life! GNR is just a group (a great one in my opinion) that makes a musical statement.Some I give it a 10 because from the moment I bought it and listened to it, I still enjoy it so much.Certainly the criteria are absolutely personal (many might indeed hate it), but what I express here is my own opinion.I can't stand guys that critisize without even having listened to a song!Get a life! GNR is just a group (a great one in my opinion) that makes a musical statement.Some like it some not, but its unfair to judge without listening! Its not like soccer... My favorite team is Milan..FOREVER! And when it changes players I hate it just for becoming something new!If they play well I must applaude! So,... it gave me satisfaction and I give it a 10!! Expand
  48. IannisL.
    Dec 26, 2008
    10
    Everyone who says that this album is average, makes a mistake. Ok, It sounds a bit different and from the old classics of guns, it hasn't the greatest rifs but its worth listening and buying it! One of the bests albums of 2008. Attention:it contains tracks which will be classic such as ''this i love''.
  49. BOBNOXIOUSS
    Dec 30, 2008
    10
    Simply the best produced, arranged, thought out music and lyrics I've heard in years. (And I used to fondly refer to Axl as "Screech" years ago.) Better than Use Your Illusion I & II. You gotta give it a couple listens to really feel it though. One listen is not enough. Buckethead & Bumblefoot kick ass in the guitar lead department. Is it self-indulging? Yes! Is it self-absorbed? Simply the best produced, arranged, thought out music and lyrics I've heard in years. (And I used to fondly refer to Axl as "Screech" years ago.) Better than Use Your Illusion I & II. You gotta give it a couple listens to really feel it though. One listen is not enough. Buckethead & Bumblefoot kick ass in the guitar lead department. Is it self-indulging? Yes! Is it self-absorbed? Absolutely! And so what??? It's lyrics are very relatable, and it's great to hear Axl's piss'n'vinegar attitude and pain in the mix again. I guess some people would rather hear the blandness of "Something in Your Mouth"??? Please...spare me! Listen...Enjoy! Expand
  50. dans
    Feb 17, 2009
    10
    with this album, axl has really won my respect. its much easier to give the listeners exactly what they expect but instead he has chosen to take interesting chances and try experiments that surprisingly work out for the most part. the negative talk surrounding this album has nothing to do with the music which is powerful, moving and rocks really darn hard. not just that, it also has that with this album, axl has really won my respect. its much easier to give the listeners exactly what they expect but instead he has chosen to take interesting chances and try experiments that surprisingly work out for the most part. the negative talk surrounding this album has nothing to do with the music which is powerful, moving and rocks really darn hard. not just that, it also has that special quality you see so rarely in music today: intelligence. There Was a Time makes a strong claim to being the best Guns N Roses song ever made. Expand
  51. seanc
    Feb 23, 2009
    10
    I love this Cd, i have listened to it almost every day since it came out . I think it is the most complete rock album since Pink Floyds "dark side of the moon" ; dont believe all the negative publicity the CD has received. Every song is unique and original and memorable. I also think that the guitar and keyboard playing as well as the mixing of the album is first rate and each song sounds I love this Cd, i have listened to it almost every day since it came out . I think it is the most complete rock album since Pink Floyds "dark side of the moon" ; dont believe all the negative publicity the CD has received. Every song is unique and original and memorable. I also think that the guitar and keyboard playing as well as the mixing of the album is first rate and each song sounds perfect. Congratulations GNR and best of luck in the future. Expand
  52. JohnsonH
    Jul 18, 2009
    10
    This CD is so good i have listened to it so many times.
  53. Jan 7, 2013
    10
    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 prettyDon'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.
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  54. PeteR
    Nov 24, 2008
    10
    Don't let the negative reviews fool you. Most of them don't cover the album AT ALL and instead focus on how Axl is a prick. That's not a review of the album, that's an Axl Rose review. It's so pathetic really. Truth is this album is epic. By epic I mean you'll be playing it 5 or 10 years from now. Too bad you can't say the same for all that manufactured Don't let the negative reviews fool you. Most of them don't cover the album AT ALL and instead focus on how Axl is a prick. That's not a review of the album, that's an Axl Rose review. It's so pathetic really. Truth is this album is epic. By epic I mean you'll be playing it 5 or 10 years from now. Too bad you can't say the same for all that manufactured junk that comes out today. The album grows on you after every listen. It's almost like you have to listen to it beginning to end to get the whole effect. Expand
  55. bennyk
    Nov 25, 2008
    9
    Slash fans and jaded cynics will try to tell you it's the worst thing ever. Fanboys will try to tell you that it's the best thing over and the magical elixir that cures cancer, however the truth is somewhere in the middle. There's some incredible stuff on this record: "Sorry"; the long winding Pink Floyd/Black Sabbath complete with a great solo, "Better"; a crossover Slash fans and jaded cynics will try to tell you it's the worst thing ever. Fanboys will try to tell you that it's the best thing over and the magical elixir that cures cancer, however the truth is somewhere in the middle. There's some incredible stuff on this record: "Sorry"; the long winding Pink Floyd/Black Sabbath complete with a great solo, "Better"; a crossover pop/rock hit to be, "This I Love"; where Axl is at his most honest, channeling Andrew Lloyd Webber, "Prostitute"; a great, powerful U2 meets GN'R track with some great drum work and the standout "There Was A Time"; hands down the best track on the album and very possibly in the Top 5 GN'R songs ever. In the end, it's just an CD, but it's a landmark event in rock history and one of the finest pieces of art ever released. There are a couple of missteps (the dull IRS, too technical Riad N' the Bedouins, and a couple of odd mixing choices). But like it or not, the material is stronger than the lies that they tell you. Recommended. Expand
  56. EvanW.
    Nov 25, 2008
    9
    Album of the year, no doubt, the range of songs cannot be found anywhere else this year and is the most complete album this decade since Songs For The Deaf from Queens Of The Stone Age. Do yourself a favour and pick up this album, it's worth the 12.99 and then some.
  57. AdamU.
    Nov 26, 2008
    9
    Half of the album is astonishingly good at first listen. The second half may not resonate with "Appetite Era" Guns fans right away but become down-right infectious after the second/third pass. No album (by any band) could ever live up to the hype that awaited Chinese Democracy upon it's release. Take away the expectations and let yourself hear this album for the great work that it is.
  58. RichB.
    Nov 27, 2008
    9
    As other listeners have said, listen to it 3 times before you make your mind up......the odd things that jump out on first listen, and put you off the cd, soon fall into place. I haven't heard a better rock album in the last 10 years, and I have listened to a lot. If Axl can make this album work "live" with a successful tour, then we are going to see something very special. As other listeners have said, listen to it 3 times before you make your mind up......the odd things that jump out on first listen, and put you off the cd, soon fall into place. I haven't heard a better rock album in the last 10 years, and I have listened to a lot. If Axl can make this album work "live" with a successful tour, then we are going to see something very special. Axl's vocals are stretched to all kinds of styles - mostly with great success, others a little testing on the ear especially 1st time of listening. He is always best when he is snapping and snarling, or quietly contemplative......not so on the "Eh yo's that start Scraped etc. The guitar work is superb from start to finish - most tracks have 2 guitar solos from Buckethead, Thal, Finck and co - again this is great to hear. No Slash, but still awesome guitars. 7 or 8 standout tracks, 3 or 4 above average and just 1 or 2 you might call filler - but even these have redeeming features like the guitar solo's. Altogether a substantially better album than I could have had any right to expect after all this time. I sincerely hope the haters give it more than one listen and rather than compare it to other G n R, look at this in isolation and see that it stands head and shoulders above nine tenths of what is out there today. A great record, from a guy striving for perfection that no-one can consistently achieve - but when Axl does get there or gets close to it, he sets himself apart. Expand
  59. BrianF.
    Nov 28, 2008
    9
    Roses voice is better than ever and the instrumentation of each song is great. The only thing lacking in some areas are the lyrics.
  60. GoranK.
    Dec 1, 2008
    9
    What the music industry market got the audience used to, and that's exactly what the critics (!?!) are lookin for in this release, is the instant hit song that soon after the release falls into oblivion. Most of the albums sold today people buy just because of a one good song. And people that call themselves critics are under influence of a decade of such crappy music they had been What the music industry market got the audience used to, and that's exactly what the critics (!?!) are lookin for in this release, is the instant hit song that soon after the release falls into oblivion. Most of the albums sold today people buy just because of a one good song. And people that call themselves critics are under influence of a decade of such crappy music they had been listening to, that they cannot recognize a good album when they hear one. Expand
  61. davep
    Sep 5, 2009
    9
    Great album. there was a time is pure class.
  62. bobt.
    Nov 23, 2008
    9
    Simply an amazing work by Axl, and the other contributors. This song contains 4 of the greatest songs you'll ever hear: "Sorry," "Street of Dreams," "There Was a Time," and "Catcher in the Rye". Any album than can produce classics like these deserves at least and 8 out of 10. It's not straight-forward rock like Appetite for Destruction was - it's more complex and more Simply an amazing work by Axl, and the other contributors. This song contains 4 of the greatest songs you'll ever hear: "Sorry," "Street of Dreams," "There Was a Time," and "Catcher in the Rye". Any album than can produce classics like these deserves at least and 8 out of 10. It's not straight-forward rock like Appetite for Destruction was - it's more complex and more mature that that. Expand
  63. SteveR
    Nov 23, 2008
    9
    This album probably won
  64. RobC.
    Nov 23, 2008
    9
    Any critic who rates this album poorly either doesn't know anything about rock music or they have an egenda. This is not a perfect album, but it is damn good. The songs have a tendency to grow on you, and maybe some of these critics who are looking for instant hooks aren't capable of listening with forethought. It's sounding better as I listen to it more.
  65. GavinW.
    Nov 24, 2008
    9
    Over produced as expected, but what a fantastic album. So much better than the Illusion albums and everything a proper rock album should be.
  66. AlexP
    Nov 24, 2008
    10
    The problem with those less than steller critic reviews is that, if this were a debut album, they would give it a 100, but instead they must compare unfavorably to time that have past ( a long time ago ). Its only not perfect because ironically Axl's perfectionism. A great rock record.
  67. g.
    Nov 24, 2008
    9
    Listened to it only at Myspace so far but I can't wait to buy this. It's definitely GN'R despite the fact that of the old band only Rose remains. Those who liked GN'R back in the 90s will most probably like it now too, and like it a lot. A great return.
  68. GuibeP.
    Nov 24, 2008
    10
    The Album is plain Rokc And Roll, with Axl hittin all the high usual notes, with ease. The songs are big rock walls, ready to punch your ears!
  69. MarkB
    Nov 24, 2008
    9
    How can any artist live up to 17 years of anticipation, expectation, and hype? Axl and the band did a pretty darn good job of it.
  70. DaveyH
    Nov 25, 2008
    9
    This album is not bad. Its actually worth listening to. If you have only heard Appetite for Destruction you will be disappointed if you think it will be just as good. Its not as good but compared to most music out there today it is great! The first time I listened to it I was to it I was quite disappointed but I couldn't get some of the songs out of my head. Many of the songs take a This album is not bad. Its actually worth listening to. If you have only heard Appetite for Destruction you will be disappointed if you think it will be just as good. Its not as good but compared to most music out there today it is great! The first time I listened to it I was to it I was quite disappointed but I couldn't get some of the songs out of my head. Many of the songs take a couple plays through before you will start to appreciate the intricacy of the music. The way the different parts fit together for many of the songs is great. Keep Listening and you will find you will love this album. I like it better then the Use Your Illusion albums. Keep Listening! Expand
  71. CoryP
    Nov 25, 2008
    10
    Any critic that gives this album a low score is not judging it on the merit's of the music. So many critics can't get past how long it took to make or that it's not original GNR. Fact is AXL's voice is as powerful & menacing as ever. The guitar work is brilliant & goes places that Slash couldn't take it. The Rockers will knock your socks off & the ballads are Any critic that gives this album a low score is not judging it on the merit's of the music. So many critics can't get past how long it took to make or that it's not original GNR. Fact is AXL's voice is as powerful & menacing as ever. The guitar work is brilliant & goes places that Slash couldn't take it. The Rockers will knock your socks off & the ballads are simply epic. Unlike the Illusion albums, you can listen straight through without skipping any songs. This album is a welcome relief to the "by the numbers", pop-rock crap that is out there today. Give this album a chance. You will not be dissapointed! Expand
  72. SergioJ
    Nov 26, 2008
    10
    I have to make justice to this album. I accept that its not perfect, but the critics that have given this below 8 seem to focus more in the fact of how much expectation was built than actually clearing out all the preconceptions and just listening to it. You would be lying if you like rock and you were not hooked up to at least 5 of the songs in this album. I looked at the reviews that I have to make justice to this album. I accept that its not perfect, but the critics that have given this below 8 seem to focus more in the fact of how much expectation was built than actually clearing out all the preconceptions and just listening to it. You would be lying if you like rock and you were not hooked up to at least 5 of the songs in this album. I looked at the reviews that got higher score like the campesinos and this is by far more original and entretaining. This is a very honest atempt at doing something completly new, wether it works or not nobody can decide but the listener, but its to be acknowledge that Axl didn't sit on his past fame and glory and just redo another appettite to sell out. Expand
  73. JimB
    Nov 27, 2008
    10
    The CD is so emotional that it is amazing. The Vocals are amazing and the guitar work is out of this world. Most people hate the album because the media portrayed Axl as this bad guy that kicked his old bandmembers out when infact the quit because they coundn't have their way. Let the music speak for itself.
  74. GustavoS.
    Nov 29, 2008
    9
    This a great album, and you have to listen to it a few times to discover every sound and trick they used. I think there something for every one and I wish "Use your Illusion" (one of the greatest from te 90´s) would take so mucho time, it would be perfect.
  75. ElDiablo
    Nov 30, 2008
    9
    Much better than anybody thought it would be. The great irony is if that this record took so long that it's release is completely anti-climactic and the world actually misses out on one of the great rock albums of the past 20 years.
  76. joek
    Nov 23, 2008
    9
    Axl is back to show the music world what it's been missing for the last 20 years. Axl's vocals alone are something to behold. He is simply one of the greatest song-writers of our time.
  77. Luke
    Nov 24, 2008
    9
    Of course, the indie critics will loathe this album. Little do they know that their own brand of "good" bands are way more forgettable than this single release. When I listened to "Chinese Democracy" last evening, I was blown away at all of the angles for individual songs. I admire anyone who can put music like this together. Kudos to Axl Rose; it is a grand achievement.
  78. MichaelC
    Nov 24, 2008
    9
    Didnt know what to expect. Very nice to see a great album from a band I once loved. In all fairness I really hoped this would be good. The news is that it is good.
  79. RajR
    Nov 24, 2008
    9
    First things first. This album, of some 14 or so years in the making, will never live up to any unrealistic expectation that there is floating around.. It can't.. and nothing ever could. Evaluate this album not with your bias as to what you think Axl Rose's character is, how you might think it is a fraud to call this band "Guns N' Roses" or whatever else you can think of... First things first. This album, of some 14 or so years in the making, will never live up to any unrealistic expectation that there is floating around.. It can't.. and nothing ever could. Evaluate this album not with your bias as to what you think Axl Rose's character is, how you might think it is a fraud to call this band "Guns N' Roses" or whatever else you can think of... This album is an excellent piece of metal, through and through. The more times you give it a thorough listen, the more the tracks grab you. This album doesn't shift the very foundation of metal music, nor should it have to. It is a solid effort from a group of talented musicians. I am a huge Guns N' Roses fan, and I knew from the beginning not to expect Chinese Democracy to be a "Use Your Illusion 3", this is different, yes, but it rocks... Hard. Expand
  80. JeffN.
    Nov 26, 2008
    10
    14 solid, diverse, well-thought out tracks. I like how almost all of the bad reviews focus entirely on how long it took (as if there's a rule) and the reviewer's own pre-conceptions and biases regarding the lineup and what they expected it to sound like. It is a solid rock n' roll album top to bottom. I don't hear that too often anymore.
  81. JamesP
    Nov 27, 2008
    9
    This is better than anyone could have hoped. I was expecting a dated pile of spaghetti incident po faced hair metal posturing bollocks, but AXL, my friend you have delivered the goods in spades. Yes, this might leave the younger generation cold (i'm only 28), but then again the youngun's listen to crap like Metro Station. This is a multi-layered, almost timeless hardrock-pop This is better than anyone could have hoped. I was expecting a dated pile of spaghetti incident po faced hair metal posturing bollocks, but AXL, my friend you have delivered the goods in spades. Yes, this might leave the younger generation cold (i'm only 28), but then again the youngun's listen to crap like Metro Station. This is a multi-layered, almost timeless hardrock-pop masterpiece... almost worth the wait mate! Expand
  82. MustafaO.
    Nov 28, 2008
    9
    I wasn't expecting to like this album, let alone buy it. But from the off it totally blew me away. Not all the songs are great, but then again I don't know of an album where all the songs ARE great. This is a fine album, somewhere in between Appetite and Illusions... Easily the best thing I've heard in years.
  83. ricks
    Nov 28, 2008
    9
    Great,regardless of the fact that the band is a complete forgery now,axl still kicks ass and that's all that i care about.still better than 90%of the crap released these days.
  84. SeanA.
    Nov 28, 2008
    9
    This CD is extremely enjoyable and gets better with each listen. It is not Guns N Roses best CD, but a new path in their music with amazing guitar, keyboards, and vocals.
  85. Apr 28, 2015
    10
    damn you Axl Rose! Such a brilliant unique talent and you kept it from me for all these years. I've listened to this album hundreds of times and it gets me in pure ecstasy every time. His voice has gone even more freaky over the years and I love it even more than i did in the 90's. The songs sounds very melodramatic and this album is very different from the earlier work without losingdamn you Axl Rose! Such a brilliant unique talent and you kept it from me for all these years. I've listened to this album hundreds of times and it gets me in pure ecstasy every time. His voice has gone even more freaky over the years and I love it even more than i did in the 90's. The songs sounds very melodramatic and this album is very different from the earlier work without losing touch with the GnR-feel. I love it. It makes me dream and feel sentimental and happy. For me it's a new chapter in their crazy story that doesn't disappoint. It's different but not less good than the 80's and 90's work. Must have! Expand
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.