Chinese Democracy

Spike-X

Grumpy Old Man
I just had a listen to the whole album. Here are my thoughts, track-by-track:

Track 1 - Chinese Democracy

Not bad. Rock by numbers. Interesting guitar solo, sounds a bit like Tom Morello in places.


Track 2 - Shackler's Revenge

Doesn't flow at all - first half of the verse has a completely different sound to the second half, then the chorus has a different sound again. Very jarring. I do not like this song.


Track 3 - Better

Crappy, cliche, overproduced 'sounds like a telephone or really tiny speaker' intro. Sounds like a drum machine farting.

This song is just all over the place. Melodic (but bland) verse, hard rock riff in the chorus, then goes off into a bunch of riffs all thrown together. Nice guitar solo over the melodic verse progression.


Track 4 - Street Of Dreams

Intro sounds like Elton John. Axl can still hit the high notes.

This one's not bad. Nice guitar solo. Gets a bit carried away in the second half, though.


Track 5 - If The World

Some kind faux middle eastern intro, then into some wakka-wakka guitars and a funk-ish bassline. Cliche love song lyrics don't go with the quite interesting musical backing AT ALL.


Track 6 - There Was A Time (TWAT for short - tee hee!)

Another one with a melodic verse into a heavy riff-based pre-chorus thing. The transition is jarring and doesn't serve the song well. Nice Slash-like melodic guitar solo, then a chorus, then an extended guitar solo where the guitarist (who is it this week?) really gets to show off.


Track 7 - Catcher In The Rye

Melodic intro that actually flows nicely into a melodic first verse! Well done Axl! Like a lot of the songs so far, this one has a nice basic structure, but suffers somewhat from Axl just trying to do too much in the one song. Not every song has to be a mini-epic!

Overall, this one is probably my favourite song on the album so far.


Track 8 - Scraped

Interesting multi-tracked vocal intro into some hard rock riffs. Lots of vocal overdubbing on this one.

The good thing about a lot of these songs is, if there's a part you don't like, just wait twenty seconds and something completely different will come along!


Track 9 - Riad N' The Bedouins

The first fifty seconds contribute nothing to the song and should have been left off.

Not a bad hard riff-based song. Seems to stick to the same couple of basic ideas musically, which is a refreshing change. He says 'fuck' in this one! That Axl, he's such a bad boy.

The guitar solo section sounds like a bad Welcome To The Jungle ripoff.


Track 10 - Sorry

Gets straight to the singing without too much faffing around. That's about the best that can be said about this one. Bit of a plodder.


Track 11 - I.R.S.

Another slow drum machine intro. Doesn't know if it wants to be melodic or hard. Guitar solo seems to be way too early in the song. Interesting quiet-ish guitar solo in the second half though. This song is like the musical equivalent of Track 7 at the You Yangs - mostly harder technical stuff interespersed with the occasional smooth, flowy section.


Track 12 - Madagascar

A bit of deep brass in the intro, and more bloody drum machines! Starts off quiet, then gets the loud guitars happening after the first verse. Don't really like this one. More ambitious than it needs to be. Sample of Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech in the middle is just fucking pretentious.


Track 13 - This I Love

The big overblown Axl piano ballad. Nice guitar solo. This song does one thing, and does it well.


Track 14 - Prostitute

Nice melodic rocker to close out the album. Doesn't try to do too much in the first half. Develops a bit in the second half, but in a good way. Very pretty outro to finish up with.



Overall, this isn't a bad album. I went in determined not to like it (as you can probably tell), but I've ended up being quite pleasantly surprised in places.

Some of the songs, especially early on, try to do way too much too soon - too many ideas, and they sound very unfocused at times. But when they get it right, the results are quite good indeed. It's definitely not the old G'n'R sound, and I still have huge issues with Axl continuing under that name, but leaving that aside, this is mostly a prety solid album. Definitely worth a listen, at least.
 
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b_S

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I didn't think I could bring myself to listening to it, but will do so out of my perverse desire to see someone fail.
 

Moggio

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I have only heard these tracks on bootlegs over the years and then recently on the leaked version of this album (which is a little different to the final), but really there seem to be 2 or 3 good rockers and the rest is just bloated Axl drama and overdone studio majesty. The rockers sound a bit flat too due to having been tweaked and overdubbed so much in the studio so there is no life to them.

Shame he has a really hot (though ever changing) band and heck with Brain on drums and a while ago Buckethead on guitar this could have been a lot better. Its just that Axl is not the worlds greatest songwriter. Check out who wrote Appetite... Izzy (the quiet king), Slash and Duff and some bloke called Axl helps out on words.

1. "Welcome to the Jungle" Axl Rose , Slash
2. "It's So Easy" Duff McKagan, West Arkeen
3. "Nightrain" Rose Slash, Izzy Stradlin, McKagan
4. "Out ta Get Me" Rose, Stradlin
5. "Mr. Brownstone" Stradlin, Slash
6. "Paradise City" Rose, McKagan, Slash, Stradlin
7. "My Michelle" Rose, Stradlin
8. "Think About You" Stradlin
9. "Sweet Child o' Mine" Rose Slash, Stradlin
10. "You're Crazy" Rose, Stradlin Slash
11. "Anything Goes" Rose Chris Weber, Stradlin
12. "Rocket Queen" Rose Slash, McKagan

I agree, no way can this be called Guns and Roses, and as an Axl Rose album its ok to fine, though a bit out of date sounding already. Really I think it proves G&R finished many years ago and thankfully we have those records still in our collections to whip out.
 
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hdtvkss

Likes Dirt
ill wait till i hear it till i decide, oppinions are like arseholes, everyones got one.....

i was really hesitant about it and stayed away from any of the leaked content. unlike the rest of the population, i didnt think oh my god was that bad, it wasnt traditional GNR but it wasnt a bad track

as for Izzy, funnily enough he was my favorite member of GNR for all of high school and most of my guitar style comes from him as an influence.

im surprised that he didnt have much input into the album or was even retained as a studio guitarist as he has such good songwriting skills.

velvet revolver would have been much better with Izzy invloved (not that they were bad by any means) id have loved to see VR as GNR - Axl with Duff and Izzy sharing vocals. shame that Izzy is so bent out of shape regarding frontmen, but after working with Rose, who wouldnt be?
 

pyrop

Likes Bikes
Heard on the radio yesterday that Axel just sacked 2 band members...
Apparently that makes it 42 former band members for GnR so they said.
Obviously Axel is a farkwit & it should be called the Axel Rose band not Guns n Roses... that band died a long time ago.
As far as the music goes, what I have heard, I don't like. There is a lot of far better material out there to spend my money on.
 
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mtb1611

Seymour
More hyped up Axl Rose anal seepage. G & R sucked, and now this trumped up git thinks he can go it alone on the back of music that sucked decades ago? One cannot polish a turd.
 

juliancantride

Likes Dirt
Their new stuff definetly doesn't compare to their old stuff. Only track I thought was alright was Chinese Democracy. Gotta love Civil War and November Rain:)
 

RCOH

Eats Squid
I also (respectfully, Ben) disagree with the GNR suck comment. Appetite, Lies and quite a bit of Illusions are great IMO!

I've seen GNR twice, and quite liked the CD songs played in the most recent concert.
 

Moggio

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I respectfully disagree, sir. Appetite For Destruction remains one of the finest hard rock albums ever made.
I resisted it for years until finally I got given a copy... a few days later I was singing along to Paradise City and pumping my fist in the air... you just gotta loosen up and enjoy the sheer obnoxious wank of it.
 

hdtvkss

Likes Dirt
I respectfully disagree, sir. Appetite For Destruction remains one of the finest hard rock albums ever made.
Agreed. its interesting how much the bands sound changed when they fired Adler and hired Sorum for the drums.

the band lost its looseness and became much "tighter" but it lost a lot of that early rock n roll swagger feel to the music. Izzy commented that when they changed drummers the band totally lost its orriginal feel and that Adler was essential for the bands sound.
 

zac

Likes Dirt
To be honest, I quite liked it. A lot of the songs do jar a bit, and Better is still the clear winner in my book (don't like the dodgy intro/outro though), but overall it wasn't bad. Kind of reminded me of Illusion II, in that there's a bit of variation in hard/soft, but I don't think it's matched the early stuff. Pretty good though, and definitely worth the money, especially since he sorted out his screwed up voice... anyone heard an old bootleg of The Blues?
 

Lorday

Eats Squid
I respectfully disagree, sir. Appetite For Destruction remains one of the finest hard rock albums ever made.
Yes, I almost agree. Slightly cliche but "Greastest Hits" is my favourite album. It's pretty much "Appetite For Destruction" minus 2 or 3 tracks.
 

my_bike

Likes Dirt
Thread title had me excited.

I now leave in disappointment.
I'm here with jonhnny as i actualy thought this was a thread about Chinese Democracy.

But back to the topic Guns 'n' Roses only made one good album and that is Appetite For Destruction.
 
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