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ROCKET REVIEW: GUNS N’ ROSES – “Chinese Democracy” (CD/LP)

Chinese Democracy

TMD Rocks!

It’s only taken seventeen years for the gunner dictator W. Axl Rose to deliver an original studio album. Well, was it worth the wait? This reviewer just wants to be frank as possible after listening to all the songs offered up here, albeit as painful as it is to come to the staggering realization that this isn’t the Guns N’ Roses we all came to know and love in the late 80’s into the early 90’s, thanks mainly due in part to their gritty 1987 debut masterwork Appetite for Destruction, featuring the howling, street-inspired “Welcome To The Jungle”, and impart the harsh reality of the situation: Chinese Democracy is a major disappointment on too many levels to even go into. None of the original G N’ R band members appear on this collection of mainly synth’d out, ‘easy listening’ ballads. No more Slash. No More Duff. No more Izzy.   This in all reality – whether William Bruce Rose, Jr. wants to admit it or not – is a solo album that in essence comes off sounding more like a modern day disco project that maybe Olivia Newton John and The Bee Gee’s would’ve produced together than anything truly resembling a hard rock record. However, if that’s what you’re into, the crappy corporate assembled pop acts that are fed into the radio-monopolized machine that is drowning the music industry today and choking-out unique artists in place of mindless, self-aggrandizing fodder such as this, then you’ll definitely be a fan of Axl’s product. While Chinese Democracy at times is certainly reminiscent of Use Your Illusion 1 &2’s epic songwriting with its heavy-handed, all out sappy, clusterfuck of a production, what you ultimately get with most of the tracks on Chinese Democracy is nothing like anything that’s ever been heard from Guns N Roses before, no matter who is in the band. For most of its running time, it even becomes increasingly harder to recognize Rose’s vocals. Honestly, it sounds like he’s spent too much time alone on the piano in anti-depressant-laced seclusion listening to Boz Scaggs. For a man who once represented something very important with his critical, ‘anti-mainstream’ stance, Axl Rose has now literally all these years later morphed into nothing more than a member of what film writer Whit Stillman has coined: urban haute bourgeois.

[starreview tpl=16]



“Chinese Democracy” (CD/LP)

(Geffen Records/2008)

1. Chinese Democracy

2. Shackler’s Revenge

3. Better

4. Street of Dreams

5. If the World

6. There Was a Time

7. Catcher in the Rye

8. Scraped

9. Riad N’ the Bedouins

10. Sorry

11. I.R.S. 12. Madagascar

13. This I Love

14. Prostitute