Chinese Democracy

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 393 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 45 out of 393

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  1. Jul 13, 2017
    9
    I have been a Dj since I was 14, I learned a long time ago that every Album (and I mean vinyl) needs to be listened to in it's entirety. When I first listened to this album I was disappointed. However, while listening to it the third time around I found this album while yes it isn't what everyone was waiting for, it is however one of the best albums I have ever heard. This by a man who hasI have been a Dj since I was 14, I learned a long time ago that every Album (and I mean vinyl) needs to be listened to in it's entirety. When I first listened to this album I was disappointed. However, while listening to it the third time around I found this album while yes it isn't what everyone was waiting for, it is however one of the best albums I have ever heard. This by a man who has well over 6,000 cd's. Yes, it is NOT the Guns N Roses we all grew up with, but then again, every band changes over time. Consider the fact that most bands kick from the 80's/90's can barely produce a number one hit. While most bands have become pop wannabe artists, Bon Jovi/Poison/Motley Crue and even Metallica have pretty much **** the bead (and yes I know Metallica is in no way POP. While Axel's G n R, is NOT* the G n R we grew up with, yet Mr. Bailey did really make an amazing album. That said, Chinese Democracy is one of the best albums I have ever heard. I only give it a nine simply because I am always hoping for something better. I have this album both on vinyl and cd, and I bought both for a reason. Finally, keep in mind that the music industry has nearly completely fallin' apart. I'm sure that 30% of the sales this album hasn't received have been downloaded illegally, and that sucks for Axel Rose, because we will never know the true number of how many people really have this record. Yes, he took over a decade and yes it is the most expensive album ever, but man does it kick some serious ass! Expand
  2. Mar 7, 2017
    9
    Love Chinese Democracy. The album starts off with the relentless title track and the album is filled with some excellent ballads with some great lyrics by Axl. Definitely recommend this album.
  3. Oct 10, 2016
    10
    Let's get right to it: 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. In other words, it sounds a lot like the Guns n' Roses you know. At times, it's the clenched-fist five that made 1987's perfect storm, Appetite for Destruction; more often, it's the one sprawled across theLet's get right to it: 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. In other words, it sounds a lot like the Guns n' Roses you know. At times, it's the clenched-fist five that made 1987's perfect storm, Appetite for Destruction; more often, it's the one sprawled across the maxed-out CDs of 1991's Use Your Illusion I and II, but here compressed into a convulsive single disc of supershred guitars, orchestral fanfares, hip-hop electronics, metallic tabernacle choirs and Axl Rose's still-virile, rusted-siren singing. Expand
  4. 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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  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. Nov 9, 2013
    0
    One of the worst perfomances in rock'n'roll scene since the Guns n Roses appeared the first time. Guitars sound like the last breath of a broken radio many layers mixed together end as bad as would be expected. Axl Rose use to be the worst part of band. Buy something better. If you want to hear some great rock legends, buy AC/DC or Nirvana. Chinese Democracy is a pale ghost ofOne of the worst perfomances in rock'n'roll scene since the Guns n Roses appeared the first time. Guitars sound like the last breath of a broken radio many layers mixed together end as bad as would be expected. Axl Rose use to be the worst part of band. Buy something better. If you want to hear some great rock legends, buy AC/DC or Nirvana. Chinese Democracy is a pale ghost of repetitiveness made by people without new ideas. It's better to burn out than to fade away. Expand
  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  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. 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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  16. NeilP
    Sep 21, 2009
    10
    I feel 13 again, as if I've just heard rock and roll for the first time.
  17. ShawnM
    Sep 11, 2009
    10
    A perfect record, absolutely flawless.
  18. davep
    Sep 5, 2009
    9
    Great album. there was a time is pure class.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. JohnsonH
    Jul 18, 2009
    10
    This CD is so good i have listened to it so many times.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. LindsayJ
    Apr 11, 2009
    0
    I hated every song on this album. I was looking forward to its release, and was thoroughly disappointed.
  25. 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.
  26. W.AxlR.
    Mar 17, 2009
    10
    A flawless album. Will be in my top 5 for ever.
  27. 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
  28. 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.
  29. 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
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. BillR.
    Jan 30, 2009
    8
    Good Album. It took a little while to grow on me so listen to it a few times.
  33. GosB
    Jan 27, 2009
    8
    As a hardcore fan of Guns 'n' Roses, ever since I heard the very first riffs of "Welcome to the Jungle", I have to say I am both pleased and disappointed by this album. If I weren't such a hardcore fan, I would have given "Chinese Democracy" a 6. Here's a warning to those G 'n' R fans who think every G 'n' R record should sound like "Appetite for As a hardcore fan of Guns 'n' Roses, ever since I heard the very first riffs of "Welcome to the Jungle", I have to say I am both pleased and disappointed by this album. If I weren't such a hardcore fan, I would have given "Chinese Democracy" a 6. Here's a warning to those G 'n' R fans who think every G 'n' R record should sound like "Appetite for Destruction": DO NOT buy this album -- it will only disappoint you. However, for those of us who appreciate the fact that G 'n' R has evolved since the '80s (and how), this album has a lot of pleasant surprises. Axl's vocals have never sounded better, and he deftly explores new vocal territory without ever losing his trademark vocal style. The production quality is the best ever for a G 'n' R album -- a far cry from earsplitting recordings like "Appetite" and "Live @#$! Like a Suicide." The songs are diverse and laden with nuance, and fans of the "Use Your Illusion" albums will appreciate the fact that Axl has retained the musical integrity that made "Illusion" I and II such great albums. However, while "Use Your Illusion" I and II were great albums, this one is merely good, and while I like "Chinese Democracy", I have to say I don't love it. For one thing, to say that "Chinese Democracy" is a little overproduced would be like saying that Ike Turner is a little bit bad-tempered. I realize that Axl is a perfectionist, but he really should learn that too much perfectionism robs a recording of its sponteneity. One of the things that made "Appetite" such a great record is that it stood out against the backdrop of overproduced, overcommercialized hair band albums of the day -- mostly because the band had blown their advance on drugs and were forced to complete the album on a shoestring, resulting in an edgy, underproduced recording that resonated with an audience fatigued by overproduced pop-metal bands like Poison, Ratt, and Motley Crue. Several months before this album dropped, I managed to get my grubby paws on some bootlegs of songs from the recording sessions, several of which didn't make the final cut. When I bought the CD, I was disappointed that some of the edgier, harder-rocking tunes like "Silkworms" and "Oh My God" had been axed, in favor of the inclusion of lackluster songs like "If the World", "Sorry", and "Prostitute" which will probably end up wearing out the skip button on my CD player so that I can enjoy the good tunes on this album like "Better", "There Was a Time" and "I.R.S." (Better yet, maybe I'll take those bootlegs and make my own version of this album.) Bottom line: If you enjoyed "Use Your Illusion" as much as I did, then you won't regret the purchase of this album. However, if you're secretly hoping that Axl will record another "Appetite for Destruction", then you'd do well to keep your money in your pocket and simply think of this record as "The Linguini Incident". Expand
  34. JDC
    Jan 27, 2009
    8
    Not up to expectations but still very good. Grows on you the more you listen.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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!
  38. 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
  39. 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
  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. 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.
  42. 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
  43. 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''.
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. RyanC
    Dec 17, 2008
    7
    Although i did like some songs on the album i was dissapointed in the deliverance. The former glory GNR once had was lost on this album, as well as going mainstream they've lost the balladry and flair they used to have. Sadly Axl has taken the band into a direction where they will be considered washed up.... Oh Slash where art thou?
  47. 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
  48. 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
  49. 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
  50. GarethW
    Dec 10, 2008
    8
    You can immediately see what this album lacks - the efforltess blues underpinnings of slash, the dry as dust stylings of Izzy, the variety, and the majesty of scale. What you then go back and realise is what a good musician Axl really is - the first two tracks grate as they are depserately trying to be NIN/Marilyn Manson before becoming good GnR tracks. By anyone elses standards (even Def You can immediately see what this album lacks - the efforltess blues underpinnings of slash, the dry as dust stylings of Izzy, the variety, and the majesty of scale. What you then go back and realise is what a good musician Axl really is - the first two tracks grate as they are depserately trying to be NIN/Marilyn Manson before becoming good GnR tracks. By anyone elses standards (even Def Leppard!) there would have been another 4+ albums between Illusion and this and it would have been a strong addition to the catalogue, brining that music up to date. As it stands, there is far too much water under the bridge for it ever to be a true GnR product or that ever to happen again, but I didn't want to buy it and was prepared to consign it to the bin after one listen - but I have not because it is a good record and a tribute to Axl's persistence. Congratulations sir, and I sincerely hope it's not another 14 years before we have it's follow up. Expand
  51. 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.
  52. RobD.
    Dec 10, 2008
    10
    OK listen up, this CD does not have any hit
  53. 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
  54. 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.
  55. 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".
  56. ChrisL.
    Dec 2, 2008
    8
    I really like the Vocals and Love the instrumentals on this album, I say great job to Axl and the Boys...Fuck all the critics, the music is for the fans.
  57. 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
  58. 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.
  59. 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
  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. 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.
  62. 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.
  63. 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.
  64. 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.
  65. TBone
    Nov 29, 2008
    8
    So the secret of Metacritic is any album scored over 80 is critics masturbation material, meaning any reasonable person thinks it sucks. Any score under 60 means the album probably actually sucks. Any score from 60-80 means the album could be good. That said, so far I really like 'Better' and 'Catcher in the Rye'. Other songs are mostly good and may grow on me. So the secret of Metacritic is any album scored over 80 is critics masturbation material, meaning any reasonable person thinks it sucks. Any score under 60 means the album probably actually sucks. Any score from 60-80 means the album could be good. That said, so far I really like 'Better' and 'Catcher in the Rye'. Other songs are mostly good and may grow on me. 'In a World' is totally unlistenable. For the most part, not horrible. There's no 'sweet child of mine' on here, but thats goddamn near impossible to replicate. Expand
  66. BillB.
    Nov 29, 2008
    8
    Better, street of dreams, i.r.s., rhiad n bedouins, catcher in the rye are great songs! the rest of the tracks all have something unique in them - great solo here, cool chorus there, but fall short of the excellence. if this album was made by a new band critics would hail it as a new classic, but since it's guns first new album in 17 years it's going to get ripped on by all the Better, street of dreams, i.r.s., rhiad n bedouins, catcher in the rye are great songs! the rest of the tracks all have something unique in them - great solo here, cool chorus there, but fall short of the excellence. if this album was made by a new band critics would hail it as a new classic, but since it's guns first new album in 17 years it's going to get ripped on by all the hipsters, but seriously - it's really good. Not great. Unfortunately. So close to being an AWESOME ALBUM it's hard not to be disappointed. It's worth a listen or two if you're a rock music fan. Expand
  67. NaNa
    Nov 29, 2008
    8
    As to put it in the words of "all music", "It's a good album, no more no less". Sure some people want to love it more than it deserve as well as there entire batons hipster waiting to laugh about it. The truth is though that although some track hint at this or at that, if taken altogether one must realize that there is quite nothing like it today in rock music. And that's for me As to put it in the words of "all music", "It's a good album, no more no less". Sure some people want to love it more than it deserve as well as there entire batons hipster waiting to laugh about it. The truth is though that although some track hint at this or at that, if taken altogether one must realize that there is quite nothing like it today in rock music. And that's for me it's it's well more than enough to make the experience worth (albeit 2/3 songs too long). If the glass is half full or half empty, "I guess you'll see it for yourself". Expand
  68. NaNa
    Nov 29, 2008
    8
    As to put it in the words of "all music", "It's a good album, no more no less". Sure some people want to love it more than it deserve as well as there entire batons hipster waiting to laugh about it. The truth is though that although some track hint at this or at that, if taken altogether one must realize that there is quite nothing like it today in rock music. And that's for me As to put it in the words of "all music", "It's a good album, no more no less". Sure some people want to love it more than it deserve as well as there entire batons hipster waiting to laugh about it. The truth is though that although some track hint at this or at that, if taken altogether one must realize that there is quite nothing like it today in rock music. And that's for me it's it's well more than enough to make the experience worth (albeit 2/3 songs too long). If the glass is half full or half empty, "I guess you'll see it for yourself". Expand
  69. 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.
  70. JoeH
    Nov 29, 2008
    8
    On first listen the over-production dominates, but gradually the quality of the songwriting shines through. Although, perhaps, it never feels like an album created by a 'band', it is one packed with quality. Both aggressive and melodic, Chinese Democracy is difficult to pinpoint - for some this is a weakness; others a strength - but it's never dull.
  71. RimshotG.
    Nov 29, 2008
    0
    Doesn't kick ass at all as rock'n'roll should. Overdeveloped, soulless and boring.
  72. 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.
  73. 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.
  74. 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.
  75. 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.
  76. 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
  77. 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
  78. 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.
  79. 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!"
  80. 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
  81. 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.
  82. 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.
  83. ChrisA.
    Nov 27, 2008
    8
    I am an all-time GnR Fan and first didn't like Chinese Democracy at all, as especially the first songs rather sound like NiN than the classic 90s GnR. BUT the more often I hear it, the better I like it. Finally new melodys to hum from the Gunners (okay from Axl) aside the ones I have in mind sind 1989. Therefore: 8 out of 10! GIVE IT A CHANCE!
  84. 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
  85. Patrick
    Nov 27, 2008
    3
    The whole thing sounds like a grotesque rock-opera parody
  86. GaryM.
    Nov 27, 2008
    8
    I was never a heavy metal fan, nor much of a G N' R follower either. When "alternative" arrived, I went running towards it full speed. Still, all the commotion this album had stirred over the years had me curious regarding what kind of album it would turn out to be. I was expecting it to be the greatest piece of garbage I had ever heard, still I wanted to experience it for myself. I I was never a heavy metal fan, nor much of a G N' R follower either. When "alternative" arrived, I went running towards it full speed. Still, all the commotion this album had stirred over the years had me curious regarding what kind of album it would turn out to be. I was expecting it to be the greatest piece of garbage I had ever heard, still I wanted to experience it for myself. I got it and I have to admit: It is good! I mean really good! It might not be a G N' R fan's, from the good ol' days, cup of tea, but I believe it's worth listening to. Still, I have to admit, if I formed a band this is not the kind of music I would play, but this does not mean it is a mediocre or bad album. It is actually an excellent album and I hope it does not get buried by all the hype it has developed over the years. Go purchase this album. In my opinion, you will not regret it. Hey, at least Axl is fighting for your right to drink a free Dr. Pepper. Expand
  87. 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
  88. 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.
  89. 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
  90. 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.
  91. GeoffS.
    Nov 26, 2008
    8
    Rarely has it been so necessary to separate the mystique of an album from the actual music. Yes, 'Chinese Democracy' took an absurd length of time to produce; yes, influential former band members have long-since departed; yes, Axl Rose is certainly self-obsessed and melodramatic. But when one strips all this away, what we're left with is a surprisingly decent, well executed Rarely has it been so necessary to separate the mystique of an album from the actual music. Yes, 'Chinese Democracy' took an absurd length of time to produce; yes, influential former band members have long-since departed; yes, Axl Rose is certainly self-obsessed and melodramatic. But when one strips all this away, what we're left with is a surprisingly decent, well executed and exciting hard rock record. The sound is very dense, which makes 'Chinese Democracy' that rarest of hard rock creations: an album which requires multiple listens to fully appreciate the depth of the mix. It wears its multiple influences openly - Pink Floyd, late-period Zeppelin, wall-of-sound Beatles, Queen, Nine Inch Nails - but fuses these directions well enough not to sound derivative. Indeed, the range of styles may be its biggest weakness: whan a band couples frantic snarling rock with string-soaked ballads, and load each song with abrupt shifts in tone, tempo and effects they are taking risks - particularly with the fans who define GNR by the rolling blues-metal of 'Appetite for Destruction'. You either like GNR or you don't, and if you hated 'Use Your Illusion' then there's nothing to convice you of the band's merits here. But don't be deceived by the vitriol surrounding some of the reviews: what matters is the music. And the music is good. Expand
  92. OmarK.
    Nov 25, 2008
    8
    I'm a long time Gn'R fan - and when the band started falling apart, I really thought I'd never hear anything ever like that again. The mundane series of releases by previous band members Slash, and Duff and the incredibly tedious work of Velvet Revolver did very little to reassure me that I'd ever hear anything like Gn'R ever again. They had the instrument skills, I'm a long time Gn'R fan - and when the band started falling apart, I really thought I'd never hear anything ever like that again. The mundane series of releases by previous band members Slash, and Duff and the incredibly tedious work of Velvet Revolver did very little to reassure me that I'd ever hear anything like Gn'R ever again. They had the instrument skills, all of them - clearly - but it felt like they were acting talent wasted in want of good writing and direction. This album proves two things - first of all - that the 'special part' of Gn'R was, and always has been our favorite mad genius of them all - Axl Rose himself - as he is, faults included - the other thing it proves is that even Axl cannot pull 14 miracles in the 71 minutes of the album. Most intelligent reviewers seem to agree, and I with them - that the album comes in three flavors; there are songs that are just heart-crushingly beautiful and revolutionary all at the same time - then there are songs that are closer to what people expect from the name Gn'R - and in these - Axl quite simply proves that he can 'do' the 'old' Gn'R - just like that. Finally, there are the tracks that will leave all of us guessing exactly what it was Axl might've had in mind there. They're more difficult to get into because on first listen - well, you'll see. So yes, not 14 miracles - but he hits enough straight out of the park to make it an incredible journey and a wonderful foretaste of the 50+ songs he has yet to release. Expand
  93. 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).
  94. 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.
  95. 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
  96. 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
  97. JonathanE
    Nov 25, 2008
    8
    When people listen to this album, they need to put aside comparisons to the "old" Guns N' Roses. It's a new band, with new members, new songwriters, and not to mention it's two decades later. Of course the music isn't going to sound like vintage GnR. I'm happy it doesn't. There are about six Great songs, seven Good songs, and two duds. "Better" is When people listen to this album, they need to put aside comparisons to the "old" Guns N' Roses. It's a new band, with new members, new songwriters, and not to mention it's two decades later. Of course the music isn't going to sound like vintage GnR. I'm happy it doesn't. There are about six Great songs, seven Good songs, and two duds. "Better" is outstanding, "There Was A Time" has an incredible chain of guitar solos, "I.R.S." is the most "rock n' roll" the album gets. The two duds, in my opinion, are the last two songs. "This I Love" is basically Axl's opera, and it really doesn't work. And by "Prostitute," the complex string arrangements just get old to the ear. Other than those two, the album is filled with interesting (If the World), head-banging (Chinese Democracy), System of a Down-esque (Riad N' The Bedouins), and sweet (Catcher in the Rye) melodies. The major problem with the album as a whole is the intense overproduction. Sometimes, especially for a hard-rock band, I just want to hear Axl, two guitars, a bass, and a drumset. But very constantly, Mr. Producer Axl Rose gets almost too many ideas for each song, resulting in, occasionally, arangements that are simply too much. But a solid 8/10 is fair for this album. Expand
  98. 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
  99. JesseB
    Nov 25, 2008
    8
    New and interesting reinvention of G'nR with some of the classic sound retained. Most songs gradually reach a plateau without really going anywhere brilliant, but there are a few standouts that rise above what's in typical rotation on today's radio. It's an album that has the ability to grow on the listener. Second listen for me is more enjoyable than the first. Only New and interesting reinvention of G'nR with some of the classic sound retained. Most songs gradually reach a plateau without really going anywhere brilliant, but there are a few standouts that rise above what's in typical rotation on today's radio. It's an album that has the ability to grow on the listener. Second listen for me is more enjoyable than the first. Only time will tell how good this album really is in comparison to the classic G'nR, but it's still an interesting solid direction, if not feeling a little half-cooked and repetitive in places. For being in development for so long you might be expecting to be blown away. Maybe you will be. For me though in listening it so far hasn't reached that "epic" level I was anticipating after all this time. Expand
  100. JonC.
    Nov 25, 2008
    8
    Much better than any "rock" album out today, sure it's not the old school GnR, so just enjoy it for what it is.
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.