The album was promised to the public when I was still in diapers, and it has finally come out. Guns N’ Roses said that the album Chinese Democracy was going to wow and astound us. But to be honest, I was not that impressed. So before some of you die-hard Guns fans massacre me, I will here and now profess my love for the band itself. I LOVE GUNS N’ ROSES!
OK, now that is out of the way, I’m going to tell you why I thought it could have been better. I first heard the band when I was in a record store in middle school and just happened to pick the band’s first album, Appetite for Destruction (1987).
I heard and it seemed like the rock gods had given me one of their gifts, and I cherished it. I rocked out to “Paradise City” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” like there was no tomorrow, hair flying and all.
Use Your Illusions I and II (1991) were not that great but I must say that “November Rain” and its orchestra rendered me in a daze.
Chinese Democracy is a little bit off the beaten path and features some songs that are questionable. Now, no one expects the band to equal or even surpass the greatness of the original lineup, but Axl could have done better when picking the new brood.
Being the only remaining member of the 1987 group, he carries the album with his haunting siren-like voice that seems to have matured with time.
The album also carries a dark and at times “emo” feeling. While at others, I have the same feeling as I did when I listened to Appetite. Songs like “Catcher In the Rye,” “Riad N’ the Bedouins,” “I.R.S.,” and “Prostitute” made me think of the debut album because of the ’80s-sounding guitar riffs and drums.
But on the song “If The World” carries a slight R&B/Latin flavor with delay on the bass guitar and the slow violins behind Axl. I must say that songs like “There Was Time,” “Sorry,” “Riad N’ the Bedouins” left me scratching my head as to what was the real meaning behind the songs.
By the time the CD had finished playing, I felt like I had been cheated out of what was supposed to be the album of the century.
Maybe I, being an avid listener, am too hard on the new line-up and the old front man. When you compare Chinese Democracy to GNR’s debut album, it pales in comparison.
But for being 17 years in the making, I think Axl and his new sidekicks did all right for a comeback.