Chinese Democracy

I like to surprise my readers lately, so here you go 🙂 That’s another thing I usually don’t do, though this time I feel like doing it. Today I’m writing my bare opinion about Guns’ latest, Chinese Democracy.

I got this record almost when it came out, though I was somehow “afraid” of listening to it. I feared that I could be let down by what remained of a band that wrote what I call a masterpiece like “November Rain”, and not to mention more songs. Though yesterday evening, in a rush of crazyness, I opened my loyal Amarok and started listening. I knew it would have required much, much time for me to make up my mind about it. says I’ve listened to 90 songs by Guns in the last 24 hours (and that’s from my PC only, so something like less than half the real listenings), so I’d bet I dived into it kinda enough.

I can’t say if it actually exceeded or betrayed my expectations, since while I was listening to it I realized that I wasn’t really expecting anything from it, after such a long time. I’m not saying “they’re not old Guns”, “it rocks”, “it sucks”, I’d bet you read already a ton of reviews saying these things and you’re tired more than me of this bullshit. So I’m getting straight to the point.

I fell in love with Street of Dreams. I like so much Catcher in the Rye, and generally the first 7 songs. Though, I didn’t quite like that record. The reason is simple: I can see it took so much to Axl. Some songs have no connection one each other, it looks like a collage of nice, sometimes good and rarely awesome songs. Songs that I like, but songs that can’t make up a record. That’s what I think about that. An album has to be, in my opinion, something that has its meaning in a whole.

I’ll stay real and give you some well known and recent examples: “Welcome the Night”, “Viva la Vida”, “No World For Tomorrow” (Ataris, Coldplay, Coheed and Cambria), I think that if you’re interested in Chinese Democracy you have almost surely checked out at least one of these three. And they’re all a great example of what a coherent, pleasant and satisfying record is. Because you listen to it from the beginning to the end with pleasure, and not for “ah, I’ll listen to track 3”. And that’s what does not happen with Chinese Democracy. I hope you understand what I mean.

Though, I don’t think singular songs on each of those 3 records outperform the ones on Chinese Democracy; I’ll say more: sometimes it’s the opposite, I think. In the end, my review is kinda strange and can be resumed in:

“Songs are good (some very), the album is bad” (c) 2009 Dario Freddi [Yeah, I’m scared of potential leakers :D]

I know it’s strange, but from such a record, such a band and such a reviewer, what did you expect? 🙂 and at least it’s not the same old shit every journalist writes about a record. I hope I raised some interest in you at least 🙂

I then went ahead and had a look at some live videos, and I was really surprised by how this new lineup played so well the new tracks (such as Street of Dreams, formerly The Blues, a live version I’ve seen completely blew me away), and how they sucked so hard when it came to play old songs. I was kinda happy honestly, that shows how the previous lineup was so unique, and how Slash only could give life to some solos; but at the same time it shows how those guys, somehow, found a good dimension and chemistry with those new tracks (even though Axl should care more about his voice, since in some shows he really sucked ass).

So I’m eagerly waiting for their next record, since I feel it could outperform Chinese Democracy quite easily. Bottom line: I don’t care if they’re 18 or 50 years old, if they are called “Guns N’ Roses” or “What the shit”. What I see here is a band with a lot of potential that could really deliver something great soon, and somehow already did. So, while I’m getting addicted to some new songs, I’m looking forward for Axl and his new fellows to show me what they are really capable of.

I know you wanted the italic part, even though there’s no space for any reflections this time, I said everything I had to say, I told you this post was going to be unusual :). Just one thing: Street of Dreams is so nice, but those notes at the beginning… yeah, you know, it’s her. So bad they forced that song, that was already awesome by itself, to recall November Rain. Also the rythmic pattern is very similar… fear of audience? Ah, yeah, to end this: sometimes I heard a bunch of completely random notes at an insane speed. Buckethead, sweetheart, is that you? 🙂

(Ah yeah, November Rain is my favourite, but I’d bet you already guessed that by yourself. May God open the doors of heaven to Slash for writing the first solo. It gives me real creeps everytime. So sad he’s the only one that can play it, when I (and anyone else) try, maybe I play it even better than him live, he used to miss/screw a pair of notes always. But it feels so damned empty, no matter what. I could talk for hours about this so I’ll stop it now)


~ by Dario on 9 January, 2009.

2 Responses to “Chinese Democracy”

  1. Ok, pretty nice review…
    Not a real album: Completely true, but what would you except, they had ~40 songs written and took the best… also I guess the only “real” album of the Guns is Appetite for Destruction, which has the same style from the beginning till the end, even the Illusions are somehow different (for example “My World” doesn’t really fit anywhere), that’s because all band-members wrote the songs on their own, at least I think so 😛

    So back to Chinese, and the so called “new GnR”:
    My personal opinion: Take a new name and it’s good 😀

    We’ve to add here that they are all professional musicians, not like the old Guns “from the street”. I think that makes a big difference in case of timing and “playing together”…

    “New Guns cannot play the old songs”:
    That’s not true imo, I think the versions of the new guns are sooo much better then the performances on the Use Your Illusion-Tour (which were pretty bad in case of timing etc…). Everything live from 1987 – 1990 (when Steven left) is unbeatable anyway 😀


  2. I just take a flight in your blog from the dell mini flicker bugreport and spotted one thing – this review. I’m also a big fan of the “old” GN’R, they were favorites till the late 90s but the inactivity pulls them down to 2nd now as I’m going with AC/DC now as first. I also take care of the Velvet Revolver and Snakepit and also had this strange feelings when I finally got Chinese Democracy (amazon delay).
    Also the UYI discs are not quite “easy listening” and you need time to get into it (beside November Rain, Don’t cry, Live and let die) so I give myself several shots with the whole cd.
    Up to today I could not really fell in love like with albums where you could talk hours about, but there are strong songs – stronger than expected after all the years. I really hate to complain about names and members, so I take what I get and list “Catcher in the Rye”, “Madagascar”, “This I love” and the “Street of Dreams” as the Amarok-5*-Tracks with several 4* left.

    I think I played UYI 1 a million times (as it was my first (and some times only)) music-cd, so I did not try to compare a “fresh” one like CD right now to it, but the songstructures are pretty even, you can clearly hear the work of Axl (as you better notice on UYI 2) and the miss of the “rockin’ rollin” Parts that Izzy and Slash added to the earlier works. I like the album pretty much, it surely is Top3 of 2008 with AC/DC & Airbourne topping that contest.

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