This is a new topic for you all to enjoy. This topic will explore different bands, albums, and even band members that get a bad rap.
First up… Guns N Roses album Chinese Democracy.
We all know the story about how long it took for the album to come out and how many members came and went but, have you actually really truly sat down and listened to this album? My guess is no or you just skimmed through it and gave up but, let me help you through this one.
There are plenty of songs on this album that are great songs. Sure 14 songs is a lot to take in especially when the hype is so high, and not all the songs on the album are great but, the ones that are great really deserve your attention. First song “Chinese Democracy” is a straight up good hard rock song with lots of melody and some classic Axl vocal moments. Plus it’s a great song to start off the album. “Shackler’s Revenge” explored a bit of the industrial era The Axl was wanting to explore like he did on the song “Oh My God” from the End Of Days soundtrack. “Better” is one of the best songs on the album. It’s an all around great song and I’m glad that they are playing it live with Duff and Slash. This song is one of those that could have been released on Use Your Illusion II. “Street of Dreams” is another great song. It has this great piano arrangement that fits in well with “Estranged” and “November Rain.” “If The World” is another solid song. It’s more of a ballad but it’s such a well written song. “There Was A Time” keeps the mid tempo going. This track is one of my favorites. It’s got all that classic GnR feels in it that you would find on Lies. “Catcher In The Rye” isn’t the best song but it does have some great melodies through it. “Scraped” is one of those songs that is supposed to bring the tempo back up in the middle of the album and it does but as whole this track is very meh. “Riad N The Bedouins” picks up where “Scraped” leaves off and carries the up tempo to a level that the record should be at by this point. Axl’s vocals, lyrics and melodies are top notch on this track. “Sorry” is my second favorite song on the album. It’s got everything you’d expect from a GnR song. It could fit on Appetite the same way “Rocket Queen” did as well as on Use Your Illusion I with a song like “Dead Horse” or “Coma.” Seriously this song is probably better than “Better” but they are both equally as good. “I.R.S.” is a cool rock song but it doesn’t really push the bar in terms of rock. “Madagascar” is another of those mid tempo songs that fits perfectly where it is. You might remember hearing this song when GnR performed at the MTV Music Awards in the early 2000’s. I’ve always thought of this song as part of a the experiment that Axl was trying to convey with songs like “November Rain” and “Estranged.” “This I Love” should have been the song to end the album. It’s a beautiful song through and through. This is another favorite of mine. It also really shows how great of a songwriter Axl is. “Prostitute” is a very solid mid tempo rock song with a huge chorus that when played live is undeniably GnR.
All in all Chinese Democracy is a very solid rock album. Is it overproduced and compressed to hell and back? Yes it is, but don’t let that take away from the fact that this is one hell of a good album. Should it be considered more of an Axl solo album? Sure, it could be thought of that way, and if you do think of it that way then you really need to delve into this album to see how great Axl really is. For one, I’m glad Axl, Duff and Slash are back together. It would be great to see them put out some new tunes even if it’s just an EP. So in defense of Chinese Democracy, I’d definitely say that this is an album worth your time. There are too many people out there that are so quick to dismiss it and not really give it a chance but, it is definitely one of those to give it a few spins and let the music take over.