Chinese Democracy Image
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 411 Ratings

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  • Summary: The long-gestating Guns N' Roses album finally sees the light of day.

Top Track

Scrapped
Don't you try to stop us now I just refuse Don't you try to stop us now 'Cause I just won't let you Sometimes I feel like The world is on top of... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 28
  2. Negative: 2 out of 28
  1. Here are the simple things about Chinese Democracy: Three of the songs are astonishing. Four or five others are very good. The vocals are brilliantly recorded, and the guitar playing is (generally) more interesting than the guitar playing on the "Use Your Illusion" albums.
  2. Chinese Democracy is comfortably the most consistent record the band have put out since "Appetite For Destruction," and proof the ginger midget can put out genuinely great rock music without the blonde giant and the black guy.
  3. It's a good album, no less and no more.
  4. Mojo
    60
    Chinese Democracy reveals itself to be an ambitious, brave and expansive offering. [Feb 2009, p.108]
  5. It is ridiculous. It is overblown, it's pompous, it's aggressive and it's absurdly ambitious. But, here's the rub: it's actually pretty damn good. It rocks, often pretty hard.
  6. Too bad the epitaph’s already scrawled in Chinese Democracy’s anachronistic margins: a bottomless pit dug by disposable income, a persecution complex and egomania.
  7. Under The Radar
    20
    Chinese Democracy is a multi-million dollar dud, an example of faded brilliance and wasted time. [Winter 2009]

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 143
  1. 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 aI 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. Expand
  2. 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 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. Expand
  3. 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 sayDon'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.
    Expand
  4. RobC.
    Nov 23, 2008
    9
    Any critic who rates this album poorly either doesn't know anything about rock music or they have an egenda. This is not a perfect Any critic who rates this album poorly either doesn't know anything about rock music or they have an egenda. This is not a perfect album, but it is damn good. The songs have a tendency to grow on you, and maybe some of these critics who are looking for instant hooks aren't capable of listening with forethought. It's sounding better as I listen to it more. Expand
  5. 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 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
  6. 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, 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
  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 aOne 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

See all 143 User Reviews