Guns N' Roses Chinese Democracy

Guns N' Roses Chinese Democracy
Well, it’s here. 14 years, 13 millions dollars, countless punch lines and the expectations of millions of longhairs come down to this: 71 minutes of new Guns N’ Roses material, the first batch since Use Your Illusion I and II in 1991. It’s about as muddled as 14 years of turmoil, secrecy and setbacks would make even the best record. And it’s definitely not the best record. With every founding member but Axl Rose having jumped ship long ago, Chinese Democracy is Axl’s baby, as the extravagant vocal layering and arrangements attest. But without the guiding hand of sweet dudes like Izzy Stradlin and Slash, nothing here even comes close to touching the legendary greatness of the band’s late ’80s material, or the pretty-greatness of the Use Your Illusion-era. While tracks like "Shackler’s Revenge” and "Catcher in the Rye” are definitely almost okay, the simple truth is that it’s possible to listen to Chinese Democracy front to back without retaining a single thing. There’s not one memorable hook, solo or chorus on any song, just overblown, overwrought, watered-down, over-produced hard rock that sounds like it wants to be the world’s shittiest Queen record. Here’s hoping actual democracy in China is a bigger success than this. (Geffen)