Album Reviews

Guns N' Roses CHINESE DEMOCRACY [Geffen]

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'Chinese Democracy' Podcast

Sara Hayden reveals the best tracks from 'Chinese Democracy,' the latest from Guns N' Roses.


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After 10 years of an existence completely devoid of new Guns N' Roses material and still another six years since the release of their last album, upon hearing the news of the debut of Chinese Democracy, you may say to yourself, "What?! Guns N' Roses has a new album?" Why yes, as a matter of fact. And it is a work of brilliance, defying difficulties with shifting band participants and a whopping pool of $13 million being poured into the project. It may just be one of the greatest gifts to music this year.

Listening to Chinese Democracy is a little like reacquainting with an old lover: It maintains the true essence of what made you love them in the first place but brings new, exotic sensibilities that come with time and experience. All of their work is moderated with a hard rock edge, but each song introduces the influence of wildly different genres.

"Madagascar" uses grandiose strings that sound as though they belong to the orchestral soundtrack of Golden Age cinema. "Shackler's Revenge" reaches into the grungier depths of the human vocal range with a distinctive acidic vibe, while "This I Love" transports the listener to a dreamlike landscape with a wholesome ultra-modern choral intro. Of course, all of this is achieved alongside phenomenal guitar manipulations that are so clean they seem effortless, as well as the profound lyrics written by founding band member Axl Rose.

The overall aesthetic of the album constantly introduces elements of surprise, indulging the listener in diverse sounds that are satisfying and enlightening. During the extended wait since the release of The Spaghetti Incident?, fans may have become impatient, but have no fear. Chinese Democracy is well worth the wait, proving that good things take time.

-Sara Hayden






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