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Guns N' Roses - Chinese Democracy (2008)

Discussion in 'Album Reviews' started by Cosmic Harmony, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

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    It may have taken a decade and a half but in 2008 Axl Rose finally brought democracy to China....though not literally.

    Being one of the most problematic albums of all time in addition to being one of the most anticipated releases ever "Chinese Democracy" has perhaps more extra baggage than most major airports. After numerous leaks, costly delays, a revolving door of musicians, several lawsuits, and an unusual attack against Dr. Pepper "Chinese Democracy" was released in November 2008 and debuted in the top 5 of every major chart worldwide, despite very poor promotion prior to it's release (partially at the fault of Axl Rose who went into seclusion months before the album's release) it has sold as many as 5.5 millions albums worldwide...though that is well below expectations, especially since "Chinese Democracy is reportedly the most expensive album ever made.

    1. Chinese Democracy
    Any alright track on the album. There is a long intro that I wasn't the most fond of but the real song starts with a scream like only Axl can do and from there on it rocks very hard and drives very well, but I'm not a fan of how it ends. The song seemed like it was building up towards a great finale but then just sort of dive bombs at the end and I feel it drops the ball. All in all it's a good song but not the one I would've picked as the lead single on the album.

    2. Shackler's Revenge
    The weakest song on the album if you ask me. "Shackler's Revenge" has a very disgusting main/opening riff and just oozes with a thick industrial sound that I for one believe Axl Rose should stay far far away from.

    3. Better
    "Better" is a very solid song. It has a good riff and is well written though as with "Chinese Democracy" I wouldn't have chosen this song as a single.

    4. Street Of Dreams
    This is the song that I feel probably closest resembles the original Guns N' Roses sound. An optimistic song that is very piano based and one of the best songs off this album and THIS is the song that I would've released as the first single. Instead it was released as the third single several months after the album was released and failed to chart anywhere.....

    5. If The World

    This song has an unusual groove that isn't present on the other songs on the album. "If The World" has an almost funk based riff as it's main melody. A solid, mid tier track.

    6. There Was A Time
    The longest song on the album that has very good, prominent guitar solos in it. This song has some of my favorite vocals from Axl on this album and is one of my favorite songs on the album.

    7. Catcher In The Rye

    This song is in the same ballpark as "Street of Dreams" and because of this it is also a favorite of mine on this album. There are some very good solos that seem to have tinges of Slash flair to them at times. There is also a very good chorus and "la la la"'s that I'm very happy with.

    8. Scraped
    One of the heavier songs on the album that seems to focus on vocals more than any other song on the album, particularly with several "ah"'s that serve as backing vocals and are most prominent in the beginning of the song. Not a bad song really but not exactly memorable.

    9. Riad N' The Bedouins
    I think this song is one of the weakest songs on this album. It also has a long intro like "Chinese Democracy" and it rocks well enough but it just doesn't wow me all that much.

    10. Sorry
    A lot of people I talk to consider "Sorry" to be one of the best songs on the album and I have to disagree. It's the slowest song on the album and has very big choruses with backing vocals from Sebastian Bach (though if someone weren't to tell you that then you wouldn't know). The guitar solo in the middle of the song is the best part of this song I think because unlike the rest of the album it isn't about shredding and many layered parts and is just a slow, emotional solo that resembles someone like David Gilmour or Roy Buchanan.

    11. I.R.S.
    "I.R.S." is just a hard rocking song. Lyrically it's one of my least favorite songs on the album. The thing I praise the most with this song is that it builds until it explodes in the last minute of the song with some ludicrous guitar work, powerful drumming, and a piercing high note from Axl.

    12. Madagascar

    This is the song I was most excited for when this album came out. "Madagascar" was the earliest song on "Chinese Democracy" to be played live with it even being included in their set list at their surprise appearance at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards sandwiched between "Welcome To The Jungle" and "Paradise City". It has one of the slowest tempos on the album and is one of my favorites. The focus point of the song is a mashup of audio clips centered around Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech being layered over a guitar solo.

    13. This I Love
    This has been a track that I feel in love with ever since I first time I listened to the album. This is the only song on the album written solely by Axl Rose and is primarily played on piano with a string and horn section (as can be found on most of the songs on the album, though less prominently in many cases) complimenting it and Axl's powerful vocals. The song is very reserved at first but builds steadily as the song progresses until it fully takes off with the guitar solo, which is my favorite on the album, before returning pack to the tone the song started with.

    14. Prostitute

    The thing I love most about this song are the explosive choruses. During the verses the song is very gentle with very solid drum work being quite prominent before the guitars and string and horn sections come in with triple forte force. The song builds in intensity with two very good guitar solos and with the completion of the second solo a long outro takes over that gives a strong sense of finality and resolution to the album.



    Over all I would give "Chinese Democracy" 9 out of 10.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  2. Hepcat

    Hepcat retired

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    Re: Chinese Democracy ~~~ Guns N' Roses

    Poorly promoted? It was among the most overhyped albums ever released! The mystery behind Axl Rose's seclusion was part of the hype. There's no way it would have sold that many copies without a fifteen year buildup culminating in Axl's disappearance.

    :rolleyes:
     
  3. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

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    Re: Chinese Democracy ~~~ Guns N' Roses

    How?......How is it you can possibly say that it was over hyped? I walked into Best Buy the day it was released to get something else and just out of habit I went and looked at the CDs and upon seeing dozens of copies of "Chinese Democracy" staring me in the face I thought "When did this happen and how did I miss it?!".
    There were no signs, I'd heard nothing on the radio, nothing on T.V., and nothing from anyone else. How is it conceivable that one could walk into the sole retailer of possibly the most anticipated album of all time on the day of it's release without being aware in the slightest of it's release and it still be considered over hyped?
     
  4. Hepcat

    Hepcat retired

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    Re: Chinese Democracy ~~~ Guns N' Roses

    I'd been hearing of its anticipated release on Q107, the classic rock station to which I listen, in the music press and on music discussion forums weeks before its release. In fact, threads specifically devoted to "Chinese Democracy" were posted. It was actually one of the very few albums whose name I knew prior to seeing it in a record store!

    I can't recall any TV ads but I almost never watch any TV other than the occasional sporting event.

    :huh:
     
  5. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

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    Re: Chinese Democracy ~~~ Guns N' Roses

    Well look at it from the perspective of someone who wasn't a member of any music forums at the time of it's release as I was one of they and I'd also imagine the general public falls into that category as well. Without that would be much less right? Besides, music forums and threads dedicated to "Chinese Democracy" aren't a product of good promotion from the record company.
     
  6. flipflop

    flipflop Prisoner of rock'n'roll

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    Re: Chinese Democracy ~~~ Guns N' Roses

    I must agree with Cosmic here - Axl refused to do promotion for the album. 'The hype' was the media going into overload, that's all. I think Axl was right to stay away from it all - he didn't have to do anything and if he had done something it would've been criticized and now that he didn't that's criticized too. He's in a no-win position and he knows it.

    Concerning the album I must say I love it - it grows on me from listen to listen. I think it's a really strong album. I don't mind the loops and the industrial bits. Lyrics are awsome. The band(s) are great and the guitarists could play circles around Slash. I love Slash(!) but he's not the guitar monster he's cracked up to be...
     
  7. LG

    LG Fade To Black

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    Re: Chinese Democracy ~~~ Guns N' Roses

    I have to agree with Hep,,,it was the one of if not the most overhyped and underachieving album in modern history in my view. It is no where close to Appetite for Destruction, and I realize that only Axl remains from the early years, due to his...mental instability among other things.

    Everyone knows I am not a big fan of G 'n' R, but for all the build up this CD was a colossal waste of time...no offense to his many fans, just my take on the album itself.
     
  8. Flower

    Flower retired

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    Re: Chinese Democracy ~~~ Guns N' Roses



    [FONT="Comic Sans MS]Chinese Democracy, aside from the internet hype was overhyped on local radio and television stations. Here is one of the commercials ~ [/FONT]

     
  9. LG

    LG Fade To Black

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    Re: Chinese Democracy ~~~ Guns N' Roses

    To be a little fair to Axl...(Which is hard for me...:heheh:), taking 15 years to finally release an album would be almost impossible to satisfy expectations. You either write something that with last forever like "Beethoven's 9th Symphony", or "Abbey Road", or you fall short of the mark.

    I think he over prepared and as a result a mediocre CD was released.

    Many bands release such excellent debut albums because they have saved up their best songs from years of writing...and you get the gems on their debut usually. In this case Axl didn't have strong enough material considering the amount of time put into the project.
     
  10. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

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    Re: Chinese Democracy ~~~ Guns N' Roses

    Your entitled to you opinion. I know all too well that "Chinese Democracy" has received opinions from every corner of the board and that's fine too. Though I have to wonder how much of the animosity the album gathers that is unavoidably directed at Axl himself as opposed to an opinion based on that of the album itself or it's content. Like, the main criticism I have heard is "that it doesn't sound like Guns N' Roses" or "it doesn't sound like 'Appetite'." and don't get me wrong I prefer the classic G N' R sound and "Appetite For Destruction" is a top 5 album for me but what else can one expect? When almost an entire band's lineup changes the sound of the band is going change just as much. So for the sake of itself let's hypothetically assume that "Chinese Democracy" was done in a way to try and replicate the hard rock blues sound of earlier Guns release. What would've happened then? Axl still would've gotten crap from people for "trying to relive his glory days", "trying to steal the other member's sound", "never should have broke up the original band in the first place if he was still going to want the same sound", and I'm sure a million other things.

    Now I respect your opinion LG and I am in no way challenging it because everyone is entitled to their opinions. What I am trying to say though is that no matter what Axl Rose does at this point because he is still going to get ripped a new anus. He's built up a reputation as one of the most hated men in rock and I firmly believe the only thing that stands a slight chance of changing that is a Guns N' Roses reunion.
     

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