Chinese Democracy

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 384 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 384

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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. DaveC.
    Dec 1, 2008
    2
    17-years for this, come on! Its sad that Axl's owns the G'N'R name, Chinese Democracy sounds like a Korn album or some other corporate rock-metal album from the 1990s. This album would have sounded out of date if it was release a decade ago. I agree that Appetite for Destruction is one of the greatest of the rock albums of the all-time, but after that other than a few songs 17-years for this, come on! Its sad that Axl's owns the G'N'R name, Chinese Democracy sounds like a Korn album or some other corporate rock-metal album from the 1990s. This album would have sounded out of date if it was release a decade ago. I agree that Appetite for Destruction is one of the greatest of the rock albums of the all-time, but after that other than a few songs off of Illusions, what makes G'N'R so great? Don't make me bring up The Spaghetti Incident? Expand
  3. 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.
  4. SlyE.
    Dec 23, 2008
    0
    So bad I actually thought it was a novelty record. Perhaps 15 more years of production might have saved it, perhaps they should have just retired, either way, I'd rather not have it raping my ears any longer.
  5. keefR
    Nov 25, 2008
    0
    This is cookie cutter music. All songs sound like something else vaguely. The problem is that the songs they sound something like lost their relevance 20 years ago and now are just nostalgic memories. If this had come out instead of Appetite of Destruction it would have been wonderful and amazing, but instead it just sounds like retreads. Hopefully it will financially be the equivalent of This is cookie cutter music. All songs sound like something else vaguely. The problem is that the songs they sound something like lost their relevance 20 years ago and now are just nostalgic memories. If this had come out instead of Appetite of Destruction it would have been wonderful and amazing, but instead it just sounds like retreads. Hopefully it will financially be the equivalent of Ishtar if it isn't musically the equivalent and the CD's themselves will make better clocks or rear-view mirror decorations. Expand
  6. RimshotG.
    Nov 29, 2008
    0
    Doesn't kick ass at all as rock'n'roll should. Overdeveloped, soulless and boring.
  7. WowB.
    Nov 24, 2008
    2
    2 marks for getting it out, but that's all. this isn't progressive, edgy or anything else - it's simply the pretensions of someone who barely managed to make some decent songs in the 90s thanks to coppin riffs and style from johnny thundres et al. methinks nostalgia is clouding some people's vision here - this is utter trite, over produced, souless pap from someone who 2 marks for getting it out, but that's all. this isn't progressive, edgy or anything else - it's simply the pretensions of someone who barely managed to make some decent songs in the 90s thanks to coppin riffs and style from johnny thundres et al. methinks nostalgia is clouding some people's vision here - this is utter trite, over produced, souless pap from someone who perhaps should have stayed hidden - at least then we'd have the hope that he may defy expectations. avoid at all costs. Expand
  8. TarquinO.
    Nov 24, 2008
    1
    Much worse than I was expecting - horrible production, silly guitar solos that feel totally out of context and daft lyrics. Give Slash a call Axl.
  9. JM.
    Nov 23, 2008
    2
    Streamed this steaming piece of overdue dogshit on Myspace. Couldn't make it past 5 or 6 tracks before I started to feel nauseous. Thanks for nothing Axl.
  10. Patrick
    Nov 27, 2008
    3
    The whole thing sounds like a grotesque rock-opera parody
  11. 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
  12. SamJ
    Feb 22, 2009
    3
    There's only 2 songs on it which didn't make me consider breaking the radio, and they weren't all that good.
  13. LindsayJ
    Apr 11, 2009
    0
    I hated every song on this album. I was looking forward to its release, and was thoroughly disappointed.
  14. BigTime
    Nov 23, 2008
    10
    Great record from start to finish. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
  15. EvanT.
    Nov 23, 2008
    10
    Not old guns. But this is still good music.
  16. JK
    Nov 23, 2008
    10
    Killer production value, great songs, uncompromised integrity, and most importantly, worth the wait!!!
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. Mar 27, 2011
    0
    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
    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.
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  21. 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.
  22. ShawnM
    Sep 11, 2009
    10
    A perfect record, absolutely flawless.
  23. NeilP
    Sep 21, 2009
    10
    I feel 13 again, as if I've just heard rock and roll for the first time.
  24. 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.
  25. 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
  26. Jun 30, 2012
    0
    Very over rated, it had its moments. But I think at best it has a couple good songs. The reason my vote it so low, because when you take 15 yrs to make an album, better be one of the best damn albums ever, and this is barely average
  27. Feb 11, 2013
    8
    I'm an avid fan of Appetite for Destruction and the raw essence of GNR's original 80's lineup (lets face it...who isn't? So right away I openly concede Chinese Democracy (CD) is not of that revolutionary ilk... But well... Duh! Given Appetite is one of the world's all time top 5 albums ever, a once in a generation freak of a record and given the original line-up that so forcefully gave itI'm an avid fan of Appetite for Destruction and the raw essence of GNR's original 80's lineup (lets face it...who isn't? So right away I openly concede Chinese Democracy (CD) is not of that revolutionary ilk... But well... Duh! Given Appetite is one of the world's all time top 5 albums ever, a once in a generation freak of a record and given the original line-up that so forcefully gave it life are now, but for Axl, long gone... well... how could it ever be? Yet it is from that unrealistic expectation that most music industry elites (critics) have passed what seems, objectively at least, to be generally unfair collective judgment. Revealingly though, their view is not that of the great unwashed... nor is it mine!

    Chinese Democracy (CD) is a beautifully composed, fantastically diverse and powerfully mature rock album that successfully manages to rock your socks-off on one hand and gently caress the depths of your emotions on the other! In this sense, its Use Your Illusions lineage is clearly evident, as is Axl's significant contribution to that lineage. The quality of this album cannot objectively be denied or dismissed and the fact it often has been, says far more about the prejudices of industry elites than anything they've ever said about this Album. Chinese Democracy (CD) is a real gem with great rock tracks cut straight from the traditional GNR-mold (Chinese Democracy, Shackler's Revenge, Better, Scraped, Raid N' The Bedouins). But its true brilliance lies in its embrace of a far more deeply embedded purpose than mere appeasement of addicts hooked on that old-school GNR sugar hit! From soaring rock anthems (Street of Dreams, There Was a Time, Madagascar) to expressive rock ballads (Catcher in The Rye, This I Love, Prostitute) to deeply introspective musical reflections (If the World, Sorry, I.R.S.) Axl has finally revealed the true source of his genius vulnerability and insecurity in all its guises. This sophisticated concoction Axl's designer drug for a new century is far more complex, discerning, introspective, longer lasting on the palette and immensely satisfying on a much deeper level than anything he's done before. But only after it is played over and again, will the intricately cut angles and facets of this huge rock of an album reveal the fill depth of its brilliance and sparkle... All you need is just a little patience! So whilst GN’R was never just W. Axl Rose alone, what Chinese Democracy proves above all else, is that without the flamboyent presence, creative genius, and powerful life-force of this enigmatic front man, GNR is nothing. In short: Chinese Democracy is a must buy for all those Guns N' f?@#ing Roses fans who've stuck with em through all the f?@#ing s$!t... and for all those opposed... well...I give it 8/10... suck on that... Yeaaaaaah!
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  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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
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.