Chinese Democracy

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 392 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 45 out of 392

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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. 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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  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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'.
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  15. 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.
  16. W.AxlR.
    Mar 17, 2009
    10
    A flawless album. Will be in my top 5 for ever.
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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!
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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".
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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
  27. 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.
  28. TequilaD.
    Nov 23, 2008
    8
    Ich glaube das Problem ist einfach das man zuviel von Rose erwartet. Und er wahrscheinlich auch von sich selbst. Er ist kein Supersongwriter. War er nie. "Appetite For Destruction" ist nicht größer als "Raw Power" oder "Damaged". Auf diesen schmalen Schultern lastete dann die Ambition ein Album aufzunehmen das die Qualität eines "Daydream Nation", "OK Computer" oder Ich glaube das Problem ist einfach das man zuviel von Rose erwartet. Und er wahrscheinlich auch von sich selbst. Er ist kein Supersongwriter. War er nie. "Appetite For Destruction" ist nicht größer als "Raw Power" oder "Damaged". Auf diesen schmalen Schultern lastete dann die Ambition ein Album aufzunehmen das die Qualität eines "Daydream Nation", "OK Computer" oder "Revolver" bieten soll? Nur weil es eine 15 jährige (zugegeben mordsspaßige) Entstehungsgeschichte zu erzählen hat erwarten das die Leute so? Na dann. Je näher der Release rückte desto pessimistischer wurden die Previews obwohl die meisten Songs seit Äonen bekannt waren. Zu allem Überfluss flennt die Meute auch noch dem fetten Zylinderträger nach. Izzy war der Mann, Leute. Schaut euch die Credits an. Supertyp. Das auf was ich mich am meisten freute fehlt und somit die größte Enttäuschung: Eine Making Of DVD. Album ist ansonsten ne knappe 8/10. Grandioses Scheitern nennt man so etwas wohl. Und so etwas ist immerhin noch interessanter als der Stand By Safety Rock seiner alten Bandmitglieder. Albumhighlight Better 2:15-3:07. Expand
  29. 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.
  30. LucasW.
    Nov 23, 2008
    8
    Yea I agree with Steve R, People should just listen to the album for what it is and not be stuck in the mentality that its not as good because the original members arent there. Because it is a great album!
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.