Guns N' Roses
Chinese Democracy


4.5
superb

Review

by Smell The Cheese USER (17 Reviews)
March 22nd, 2009 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Shacklers Revenge is the best song, Great album

Chinese Democracy is the long awaited new album from Guns and Roses, and it rocks. I was expecting a horrific failure just the same way as listening to Death Magnetic by Metallica for the first time, you know that story over the hill band keeps beating a dead horse but when I listened to Guns and Roses "Chinese Democracy" for the first time just like Death Magnetic when that heartbeat kicked into the riff on That Was Just Your Life I knew something special was coming.

Opening track Chinese Democracy features stomping, fist pumping riffs and a sort of electronica vibe painting it's outsides, it's lyrics are highly critical of the Chinese government and the fear that exists in western culture due to their military based society. Dexter from The Offspring went to steal the name of the album but that never came through. Shackler's Revenge is incredible, the opening screeching riffs fall into some crushing rock riffs piled up alongside each other in a glorious concoction that brings the original rock back, but with a much more modern, industrial sheen to it that is completely unique. It is perhaps the best song on the album.

Better is cool, featuring a highpass riff at the beginning and a highpass vocal, (no-one ever told me when I was alone, they thought i'd know better), the song seems to speak of naivety in a timeless, charming manner. Street of Dreams is pretty boring, but still a fairly decent Guns and Roses effort more in the vein of old ballads such as Patience. Axl's vocals are probably best performed on this track here. If The World has a mexican guitar at the beginning, fused with rap it's gorgeous melodies are pure and shows some of the interesting sonic variation present.

Other highlights on the album include I.R.S., Madagascar (a song the band played live many times) and the heavy metal of Scraped. All of these songs are pretty damn good in their own right, but all up it adds to one thing: the rock is back in spades, Guns and Roses delivered democracy to china. Overall, the variation in the music is it's selling point, the G & R heart is there just with different sonic textures. Recommended.



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user ratings (1057)
Chart.
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Daniel Dias (4)
    An essay on why Chinese Democracy is excellent....

    turnip90210 (2)
    The definite case study on the futility of overproduction....

    James Honaker (3)
    Axl's "masterpiece" is a decent album...no more, no less. It has some excellent cuts, but ...

    erdi (4)
    Let's take a trip to the inner-world of Axl Rose....

  • mark sammut (4)
    A spark of life from a band that seemed to reach its end a long time ago....

    Tom Gellatly (4)
    Overblown, overproduce and very much in love with itself, Chinese Democracy throws in ever...

    etomren (4)
    'Chinese Democracy' is a continuation of the band's work with the 'Use Your Illusions' wit...

    red0 (1.5)
    'Chinese Democracy' would have been cool in 1997....

  • Dr Dave De Sylvia STAFF (4)
    Chinese Democracy is comfortably the most consistent product the band has put out since Ap...

    Spamue1G (3.5)
    Generic and overblown though it may be, Chinese democracy turns out to be a worthwhile rec...

    Jake Cole (4.5)
    Axl Rose tears down the mythos and mockery surrounding his infamous album with a scorching...

    Rumpelnostran (4)
    This time, the happy cries of "Chinese Democracy starts now!!" turn out to be correct, as ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
March 22nd 2009


8316 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

You have a few good points, but I think the review's a bit short. And I think you're highly overrating it, but that's a matter of opinion.

fireaboveicebelow
March 22nd 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Opening track Chinese Democracy features stomping, fist pumping riffs and a sort of electronica vibe painting it's outsides, it's lyrics are highly critical of the Chinese government and the fear that exists in western culture due to their military based society.
run-on sentence
Dexter from The Offspring went to steal the name of the album but that never came through.
random as hell and irrelevant
It is perhaps the best song on the album.
contradicts your summary declaration
Better is cool, featuring a highpass riff at the beginning and a highpass vocal, (no-one ever told me when I was alone, they thought i'd know better), the song seems to speak of naivety in a timeless, charming manner.
another run-on

The review is fairly haphazard and has no flow. It's also extremely subjective

Nagrarok
March 22nd 2009


8316 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

fireaboveicebelow is pretty much right about everything. I was trying to be mild, for it is your first. Try putting some structure in it and make it less subjective. Also, it wasn't really necessary to review this, has been done 7 times before.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2009


8391 Comments


yep, fireaboveicebelow nailed it. Also Nagrarok is right that the review is too short. Its your first so no neg is needed, but you have a lot to improve on your next review.

Bfhurricane
March 22nd 2009


6197 Comments


I listened to this a few times on their myspace, I really didn't care at all to buy it.

Fugue
March 22nd 2009


7354 Comments


All points have pretty much been covered on how to improve this. I think by rating this a 4.5 you must be ignoring the vocals as Axl Rose has only two modes, the Okayish whiny vocals ala "this i love" and the completely shit 'gruff' vocals ala "Shacklers revenge". The music on the album is pretty solid though.

lexicons
March 22nd 2009


144 Comments


Axl Rose probably chose the album artwork just so he could pretend there's a dead baby in that basket. That's the kind of sick bastard he is.

shindip
March 22nd 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Shackler's revenge has an awesome industrial riff, but otherwise is one of the weaker songs.

MrGlass
March 22nd 2009


326 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ 123

there was a time is the clear winner

PagePlant
June 25th 2011


44 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Bad review

Sound
June 26th 2011


3904 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I think by rating this a 4.5 you must be ignoring the vocals as Axl Rose has only two modes, the Okayish whiny vocals ala "this i love" and the completely shit 'gruff' vocals ala "Shacklers revenge".



Wow.. Are people even listening these days?..

One of the main factors that make this album, are the vocals, although the music is pretty competent as well, and there is certainly more than 'two modes' of vocal approach to be heard on this album (low register verse in Shackler's Revenge*, gritty mid-register in title track*, dynamic mid-to-high clean singing in This I Love*, gritty mid-low register in Madagasgar*, and Axl's trademark highs alternating between grit and clean etc.).






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