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Stepvhen
 Rep: 58 

Re: GNR Evo members' Chinese Democracy reviews thread

Stepvhen wrote:
estrangedpaul wrote:

So its finally here! What an album - I wish I'd never heard any of the songs and was listening to it fresh again. Oh well, have to make do. I bought it a day early in a shop here in Ireland. I felt nervous buying it. Its so surreal.

HEY What Shop did you get It in I can't find it anywhere today!!!! Even the local Xtra vision (Who are a pack of dirty cowboys) haven't even thrown it up on their shelves. Tesco haven't even yet...... Fuckin HMV hadn't put it up as of yesterday.......WTF?

Bono
 Rep: 386 

Re: GNR Evo members' Chinese Democracy reviews thread

Bono wrote:
misterID wrote:

Overall, the album is Very Good, not great, not as great as it could have been.

Rating: 7

Over excess isn't the word I'd use... More like Gluttony. And for all this talk about the "sleazy" guitar that sounds exactly the same each time its used... Here's some advice, Axl, if you wanted real sleazy guitar... There's this guy... His name is Slash... Maybe... Give him a ring... If that's what you were looking for this entire time and felt that's what the album needed to be released. Maybe there's a sub conscious thing going on there... I don't know. I'm just as confused.

One thing is, there is no demo hangover; if I had never heard the demos I'd feel the same exact way... Actually, I'm wrong. Without the demos I would be let down on biblical porportions and I would have walked away feeling cheated for actually giving a shit about this album. The demos are this bands saving grace.

Chinese Democracy shows me that this band has been suffering a slow death since the exit of Buckethead. An exit that's had more of an impact than people think. The album has no real identity. Not like the demos had. All in all, this album is a smorgasboard... Reeking of someone who couldn't make up there mind or choose a direction... Of someone who was stuck. Chinese Democracy has flashes of sheer and breathtaking brilliance that sinks under its own weight. This almost feels like a slow suicide... leaving me with more than a touch of saddness.

Where Do You Go Now, Axl? I have to admit, as a disappointed fan, I'm still interested.

Though I disagree with the high rating of 7 and calling the album "Very Good"(I'd go with a  6 and call it not bad) I do agree wit the way you sum it up here. There's really nothing on this album that makes me think the band has benifited for the abscence of Slash. Some nice moments but nothng really that makes me think it was all worth it. In fact I think maybe had Slash been around rather than alot of "Yes Men" for lack of a better term we'd have a more bare and raw record that would probably sound better. For me when it comes to musc less is so often more and I think Slash has that sensibility. Combine that with Axl's More is better attitude and I think they strike the perfect balance together.

As for the where does Axl go now question, well........ I'm guessing back to his old friends.

estrangedpaul
 Rep: 5 

Re: GNR Evo members' Chinese Democracy reviews thread

Stepvhen wrote:
estrangedpaul wrote:

So its finally here! What an album - I wish I'd never heard any of the songs and was listening to it fresh again. Oh well, have to make do. I bought it a day early in a shop here in Ireland. I felt nervous buying it. Its so surreal.

HEY What Shop did you get It in I can't find it anywhere today!!!! Even the local Xtra vision (Who are a pack of dirty cowboys) haven't even thrown it up on their shelves. Tesco haven't even yet...... Fuckin HMV hadn't put it up as of yesterday.......WTF?

As I said earlier in the thread - Secret Book and Record Store on Wicklow Street beside Tower Records. Golden Discs told me the release date in Ireland has been put back until Saturday (rather than tomorrow the original date). Either way I think it shouldn't be too hard to find tomorrow.

Stepvhen
 Rep: 58 

Re: GNR Evo members' Chinese Democracy reviews thread

Stepvhen wrote:
estrangedpaul wrote:
Stepvhen wrote:
estrangedpaul wrote:

So its finally here! What an album - I wish I'd never heard any of the songs and was listening to it fresh again. Oh well, have to make do. I bought it a day early in a shop here in Ireland. I felt nervous buying it. Its so surreal.

HEY What Shop did you get It in I can't find it anywhere today!!!! Even the local Xtra vision (Who are a pack of dirty cowboys) haven't even thrown it up on their shelves. Tesco haven't even yet...... Fuckin HMV hadn't put it up as of yesterday.......WTF?

As I said earlier in the thread - Secret Book and Record Store on Wicklow Street beside Tower Records. Golden Discs told me the release date in Ireland has been put back until Saturday (rather than tomorrow the original date). Either way I think it shouldn't be too hard to find tomorrow.

Well alright thanks very much

Bono
 Rep: 386 

Re: GNR Evo members' Chinese Democracy reviews thread

Bono wrote:
Smoking Guns wrote:

Is my 7.5/10 going to be the lowest rating?  Shit. Maybe it will grow on me.

Nope. 6  outta 10 for me dude. It's like a  Smashing Pumpkins album for me in the sense that I either really like a song or I don't care one bit about it. For the most part it's not an album loaded with decent songs. They're either really good or fairly bad in my opinion save for CD, Maddy and Shackler's which hover in the middle.

Acquiesce
 Rep: 30 

Re: GNR Evo members' Chinese Democracy reviews thread

Acquiesce wrote:

Chinese Democracy - I think this is a pretty solid opener. Overall I like this rocker, but it seems a bit anti-climatic. 8/10

Shackler's Revenge - This is a pretty average tune for me, but the chorus is pretty catchy. 7.5/10

Better - This is the best track on the record and the one with the most potential to be a hit. I can't get this song out of my head. A true GNR classic. 10/10

Street of Dreams - I've never really cared for this song and I still don't. I think it's cheesy. I also think it's a poor vocal from Axl. 6/10

If The World - I think this is the blandest song on the album, but I like the guitars. 6.5/10

There Was A Time - A classic epic. 9/10

Catcher in The Rye - This is a clear case where less would have meant more. There is just too much going on here when it wasn't warranted. It loses a lot of the charm of the demo. It was also a big mistake to remove Brian May and replace his parts with  inferior parts. 7/10

Scraped - I'm not a big fan of the first 15 seconds, but I'm getting used to it with each listen. This is a pretty solid rocker. 8/10

Riad N' The Bedouins - This is a good, ballsy, rocker. Love the line "But I don't give a fuck about them Cause I am crazy." 8.5/10

Sorry - This is a nice change of pace for the album. Solid tune. 8.5/10

IRS - The album version is a bit more ballsy than the demos. Still, it's just an average tune that is a bit catchy. 7/10

Madagascar - I wasn't much of a fan of this, but it has slightly grown on me. 7.5/10

This I Love - This comes across as a cheesy show tune, but it's pretty decent. 7.5/10

Prostitute - This is a pretty solid closer. I don't really like the guitar solo though.  8/10

Overall rating - 8.5/10

monkeychow
 Rep: 641 

Re: GNR Evo members' Chinese Democracy reviews thread

monkeychow wrote:

Well...i just got my pre-order from my local store today.

Holy shit. I don't know what to say other than: Thank you Axl and co.

Sorry if this sounds dramatic...but I see this whole album as an amazing gift to the world and to music. "This I love" makes me want to cry!

After all the politics and the bullshit and the journey the band and the fans have had on this album...for me it's all been worthwhile. I honestly think it's genius. smile

Re: GNR Evo members' Chinese Democracy reviews thread

Sky Dog wrote:
Olorin wrote:

Scotland now has Chinese Democracy!!

http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/9826/dscf0014tk0.jpg
http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/dscf … 1/w640.png


Comin Thro' The Rye - By Robert Burns 1796

O Jenny's a' weet, poor body,
Jenny's seldom dry:
She draigl't a' her petticoatie,
Comin thro' the rye!

Comin thro' the rye, poor body,
Comin thro' the rye,
She draigl't a' her petticoatie,
Comin thro' the rye!

Gin a body meet a body
Comin thro' the rye,
Gin a body kiss a body,
Need a body cry?

Gin a body meet a body
Comin thro' the glen,
Gin a body kiss a body,
Need the warld ken?

Gin a body meet a body
Comin thro' the grain,
Gin a body kiss a body,
The thing's a body's ain.


The "pre Brian May 99 demo" original! 3

What a night, a little birdy told me of a independent record shop selling CD in the city of Glasgow. Thats about 40 minutes from by car on a good day, with no congestion. I only found out at 5.00 tonight and I knew the store closed at 7pm so I thought fuck it, and I left home at 5.15. I actually got most of the way there with no hold ups, but I hit really bad congestion coming into the city centre and was stuck in a jam for about 30 minutes. At 6.45 I started to panic, I was so close to the store but the traffic was a nightmare.
I seen a dodgy looking side street and shot up it and parked up, I would never park anywhere like that normally, especially in my dads car. But this is Chinese Democracy and patience is a long forgotten virtue.
I had about 10 minutes to get there and I ran as fast as I could about a mile through the city centre to get there before closing. 6.58 I arrived, the store was empty and the guy was just chilling behind the counter, they had quite a good selection of rock and metal and I gravitated to the GNR section and sure enough, there it was.
£12.99 I paid for it, I was going to ask if there had been many people in to buy it, but I was too knackered.
I walked out with a huge grin on my face and sauntered back through all the hustle and bustle to the, thankfully, fully intact car.

I slotted it in and set off for home. There is something about the accoustics in cars and vans, when you turn up the volume and get intuned to driving, the music sounds fantastic.
This was suprisingly good, even though I have listened to all the leaks to death and been listening to the latest batch all week - this still sounded fresh.
Its the first time since Oh My God I have heard new GNR material off an official cd. It sounded great! I mean really great! I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed that journey home, and drove around for a while longer than I needed just for the disc to end.

It was really odd, I bought that cd for a mere £12 and halfway home I realised; I didnt give a damn how much money it cost to make, how long it took, how many people came and went from the project, no other original members etc - all the stuff bogging down reviews and influencing opinion.
I had bought this cd for a few pounds and the pleasure I got from listening to it was immense. The music for the most part is outstanding, its a wonderful collection of songs and thats all that should matter. Its cost me very little and gave me a lot. After the long frustrating quagmire thats been the whole Chinese Democracy build up, I think I, and everyone else , has lost perspective in what it actually means just go out and buy a new album and see if its any good.
This album is extremely good, much better than what the bitter politics of the creation process and the familiarity of the leaks would like to have us believe.

insane...good for you and KARMA.:peace:

shotgunblues1978
 Rep: 11 

Re: GNR Evo members' Chinese Democracy reviews thread

Here is my full review, expanded from the one I posted on Rolling Stone, posted on other GnR sites as well.  Yeah, I'm an Axl fanboy, so sue me


After years of studio time, polishing, and behind the scenes drama that outsiders will never fully comprehend, Axl Rose has resurrected Guns N' Roses and delivered his magnum opus.  Even if the sound and the musical style has evolved, make no mistake about it, this is a Guns N' Roses album in spirit, a group of musicians from different backgrounds with different influences coming together to make a great melting pot of a hard rock album.

Rose was smart enough to realize that they could never make another Appetite For Destruction, not even if the original lineup was still together.   That record was a snapshot of a place they were in at that particular time, a place that they would never return to. 

From the moment the minute long ambient opening of the album, it is clear that this isn't your 42 year old brother who still wears leather pants out to the bar's Guns N' Roses.  From the outset, with the title track's minute long ambient opening leading up to the crunchy, fist pumping riff, it's clear that this is something more ambitious.  At heart this is a straight forward rock song, is filled with a multitude of guitar fills and overdubs, vocal layers, keyboards, and oh yes, two guitar solos back to back, the latter punctuated by Buckethead's trademark beeping and shredding.  In other words, even the simplest songs on the album are chock full of layers and nuances that require multiple listenings to pick up.  But while Chinese Democracy is an example of a simple song that's been beefed up, the second single off the album is proof that Axl was intent that no good (or some would argue bad) ideas would be left on the cutting room floor.

Better, while clearly falling under the hard rock umbrella, is impossible to pigeonhole into one category.  In this sense, it is possibly the definitive song of the album and Axl's vision of where Guns N' Roses needed to go.  An instantly recognizable and infectious processed guitar intro with falsetto vocals soon gives way to a thumping power chord riff with a surprising groove that is topped by vocals and melodies that could never be mistaken for anyone but Axl Rose.  A shred solo courtesy of Buckethead gives way to a heavy metal section, which gives way to a solo and final verse that are vintage Guns N' Roses.  A hook heavy, radio friendly rocker that manages to combined a number of musical styles and ideas into one coherent, awesome track that sounds entirely distinct and original.

After three pulsing, hard rocking songs to begin the album, Better gives way to Street of Dreams, as Dizzy Reed kicks things off with a classical sounding piano intro that morphs into an instrumental that sounds reminiscent of a 70's Elton John song, if it were topped with heavy guitars and bluesy licks (courtesy of Ron Thal).  Meanwhile, Axl shows why he is quite simply the best rock singer of his era; nobody else sounds so completely at home on both brutal hard rock tracks and a sweet sounding piano ballads.  Robin Finck provides a wonderfully fitting guitar solo, which is followed by Axl wailing about a moment of clarity following a broken relationship:  "What I thought was true before were lies I couldn't see / What I thought was beautiful was only memories," leading into a soaring Buckethead outro solo as Axl belts out high notes that few male singers could reach. 

If The World is perhaps the most surprising song on the album, as a mysterious Spanish guitar lick segues into a funky groove that could have been the theme song to a 70's flick starring Fred Williamson or, as many others have pointed out, a James Bond movie.  The simplest and most straightforward song on the album in terms of lyrics, Axl belts out vocals that will silence anyone who doubts that he still has it, before giving way to arguably the highlight track of Chinese Democracy.

There Was A Time is the type of song that mainstream rock has been lacking for many years.  Everything including the kitchen sink is thrown in here.  A choral intro breaks into verses backed by orchestration (both real and courtesy of a Mellotron), wailing guitars, thick and heavy distorted guitars during the chorus, and featuring some of the most personal lyrics on the album:  "If there's something I can make of this, anything at all / It'd be the devil hates a loser and you thought you had it all.....if I could go back in time, to the place in my soul, there all alone / Lonely tear drops, ooh, are calling you / But I don't wanna know it now, cuz knowing you, it won't change a damn thing / But there was a time......"  The following 4 minutes slowly builds to a crescendo, as a mournful solo accompanies subdued vocals:  "Yeah there was a time, didn't wanna know it all, didn't wanna know it all and I don't wanna know it now."  A more uptempo solo accompanied by amazingly powerful screams of "I would do anything for you, there was a time!," which leads into another solo, a minute and a half soaring monster courtesy of Buckethead that is not only the best solo on the album, but one of the best on any hard rock song in recent memory. 

Catcher In The Rye is perhaps the most subdued, restrained song on the album, as a poppy, upbeat musical soundscape stands in stark contrast to the lyrics, as Axl ruminates on themes from the novel and the murder of John Lennon, whose killer was obsessed with the book.  Rather than offering up a preachy anti-violence vibe or sugary tribute to Lennon, Axl offers up cryptic lyrics that could be interpreted in a number of different ways, but seem heavily focused on the concepts of being an outcast, the trappings of celebrity, and the loss of innocence of society as a whole. 

Given the downbeat tone of most of the album, Scraped is a welcome addition.  "Don't you try and stop us now - I just refuse / Don't you try and stop us now - I just won't let you," Axl growls in during the infectious chorus.  The verses are exercises in defiance, "Sometimes I feel like my life's a catastrophe," Axl opines, before coming to the conclusion that "I am unconquerable."  Riad N' The Bedouins is another crowd pleasing rocker, as an amazing intro riff leads into a full on assault of funky basslines, thick sonic soundscapes bursting with powerful guitars, banshee wails, and an off the wall Ron Thal solo, straight from outerspace.

While the overall tone of the lyrical content of this album is reflective, largely rooted in broken relationships and wayward dreams, there are times throughout the course of this album that Axl still displays some of the venomous, nihilistic lyricism he did during the old days.  However, he has matured as a songwriter. Nowhere is this more clear than in Sorry, a scathing "fuck you" of a song. In the past, Rose probably would have been tempted to display these types of emotions in a brutal, aggressive song. Here, he makes his words that much more potent, presenting them in a deliberately paced musical environment that is Pink Floyd-esque during the verses but contains on assault of ominous, heavy guitars during the unforgettable chorus, with a gorgeous guitar solo included for good measure.

However, that's not to say there aren't throwbacks.  IRS is an old school GnR rocker in the vein of You Could Be Mine.  Angry, vindictive lyrics discussing an old girlfriend are backed by a wall of massive sounding guitars, relenting only for several acoustic breakdowns, punctuated by an absolutely blistering solo backed by slamming drums and rhythm guitars.

On This I Love, Axl channels his hero Freddie Mercury, creating a musical piece that (minus the guitar solo) sounds as though it could have been composed 200 years ago, with a classical sounding piano track backed by a tasteful string section.  The lyrics read like a very simple love poem, and cynics will undoubtedly take pot shots and call it cheesy, but the vocals are too genuine and the music too beautiful to be denied.

Closing the show is the grandiose Prostitute, which starts off like a pop friendly ballad, then climbs to the heights you expect for the show closer on an album like this.  "What would say if I told you that I'm to blame? / And what would you do if I had to deny your name? / Where would you go if I told you I loved you and then walked away?," Axl asks, speaking of a relationship that has been damaged beyond repair, to the point where apologies and regrets have become pointless.  One has to wonder if he's speaking of a romantic relationship, or a certain former band member.  Nonetheless, the album closes with a statement that rings true:  Axl refused to compromise himself or his vision to cater to the demands of the public, the press, the record label, and anyone else.  "Ask yourself / Why I would choose, to prostitute, myself / To live with fortune and shame / When you should have turned to the hearts of the ones that you would not save / I told you when I found you, all this amounts to, is love that you crippled for fortune and fame," as the song makes way for one last Buckethead solo before fading off into a sunset of strings.

From top to bottom this is the type of ambitious, over the top mainstream rock album that has become all but extinct in the modern era. The style and sound of GnR is still present in many ways, but Axl embraces the bombastic, unapologetic extravagance of 70's era Queen, combining other influences as wide ranging as Isaac Hayes to White Zombie, with some of the most intensely personal lyrical content he has ever written.  The sheer audacity of including songs as drastically different Shackler's Revenge, If The World, Riad N' The Bedouins and This I Love on the same album deserves respect.  Pulling it off and making it into an effort that is somehow coherent and brilliant is almost unbelievable.  Is the album perfect or flawless?  Nope.  But I think it's safe to say there has never been any singular album quite like Chinese Democracy.  It's a wild ride, and some will say that it's a mess in certain ways, but if it is a mess, it's a beautiful and unique one.  And anyone who writes it off because Slash isn't there or because it took a long time to make is depriving themselves of one of the greatest rock albums in the past decade just for the sake of being petty or doing what they view as cool, and frankly it's their loss.

James
 Rep: 644 

Re: GNR Evo members' Chinese Democracy reviews thread

James wrote:

Chinese Democracy

Starts off with one of the greatest intros ever. Gives off a sense of doom and you know you are on the verge of taking a journey you haven't experienced before whether you like it or not. The song will be regarded as average run of the mill filler by most, but I think its one of the strongest tracks on the album. Ron's additions give it the kick in the ass it always needed. Its a lyrical gem on Axl's part, but the irony of the song is lost now that this record was finally released. That alone makes me wish it had been scrapped and been allowed to be a buried, enjoyed treasure for the long time fans who have followed this saga from beginning to end.

Shackler's Revenge

Why is this here? If this song was going to be on the album, it should have been renamed 'Flow Killer'. It doesn't mesh with any of the tracks on the album, and is even more out of place between CD and Better. Lyrically it's a pretty heavy track. From the moment I heard it I thought it was the unknown track 'Zodiac' renamed, and the lyrics seem to suggest this.  This song received a superior mixing treatment compared to its prior version, and it sure needed it. Shackler's suffers from guitar overkill, and its only fitting that it made it on to Rock Band 2. That's where it should have stayed.

Better

This was the 'Vertigo' of the Chinese Democracy sessions. Key word there is 'was'. This track is the album's first sign of its brutal, cringe inducing, and amateurish production. Whether you have ever heard this track in a prior form or not, you can tell where extra parts have been pasted in. Every drum paste was completely unnecessary. It actually slows down the song. When a song requires  slight hesitations to add something extra in, either leave it out or rerecord the song. If those options are futile, at least mix the added music into the song properly. Many will overlook this aspect, I will not. The song has been turned into a mess of unneeded, useless sounds over some heartfelt lyrics, and fails on many levels. Is now in serious contention for worst song on the album.

Street of Dreams

"All the love in the world couldn't save you....."

One of the most powerful moments of the album lyrically. Axl is exposing his soul to the world in that one sentence. If any of today's youth wants to know what it feels like when you get old(or should I say middle aged), read the lyrics to this song. Its all there. Love. Hate. Anger. Jealousy. Envy. Regret. This song shows you that unconditional love truly does not exist. This song in bootleg form actually brought me to tears many years ago. This is the most emotional song on the album, and I would not be surprised if there was a tear in his beer(or in his lines of cocaine) while writing this song. Unfortunately the song got lost in translation somewhere. Its now an REO Speedwagon power ballad, which does this song a disservice. This is a classic case of Axl and the band unable to rise to the occasion of what he put to paper.

If the World

This song is like the soundtrack to the end of an era. End of GNR? No, the end of U.S. dominance. Unintentionally of course since this song is clearly approaching 10 years old. Song has nothing to do with current events, but offers up a similar theme. Axl is channeling Simply Red here, and it works. Buckethead takes this song to a new level, but unfortunately some of his Colma-ish guitar work is buried underneath layer after layer in sound. Buckethead leaves any doubts behind regarding his talents on this track with his ability to mimic other guitarists. He out Finck's Finck on his solo. This is a beautiful song that gets bogged down by too much noise. Makes you wonder why no one was willing to tell Axl 'enough is enough'. In my opinion, this song sounds like it had a few other song ideas thrown into it at the last minute.

A definite highlight of the album.


There Was A Time

This was never one of my favorites, and the album does nothing to sway that opinion. This is the point where the 'I hate myself and everyone else because I lost Steph' starts to wear thin. Too bad, because the Steph pity party has only begun. This song has always had a Queensyrche Empire era vibe to it,  The shining moment of this song comes at the outro where it sounds like Buckethead is paying tribute to the brilliant guitar work done on previous epics done by GNR.

Catcher in the Rye

This is the equivalent of the album hitting a brick wall. Its actually placed perfectly in the track sequence because we now know there is trouble ahead. This song actually makes me uncomfortable listening to it. Its like the vocals were pasted over music that doesn't even go with it. Another case of a band unable to rise to the talent level of its singer. Axl hits his lyrical peak here, in what seems to be an almost first case account of Chapman's murder of Lennon, and also his own reflection of that day. This track had the potential to be timeless, but instead becomes instantly forgettable. Once again I have to give Axl major kudos for the lyrical content of this track. Not just anyone could write something that moving from such a perspective.

Scraped

Now we know what the first single would have been had this beast been unleashed in 2001-02. This song begs to be an anthem for the post 90's era of Guns N' Roses.. However, its way too contrived to ever reach such a mountain. The only interesting thing about this track is how it seems to be some bizarre alternate outtake of Oh My God. "Don’t you try to stop us now "... Considering everything the band has done the past 10 years, no one needs to try. You're perfectly capable of doing that yourself.

Riad and the Bedouins

An amazing intro that shows someone in the band(Axl? Pitman?) is a huge fan of Asian horror. I cannot pinpoint a specific film as the inspiration since I have watched so many of them, it just gives us that same sense of dread found in those films. The added crowd noise is a really nice touch. Its an ode to the hardcores who complained about the bootlegs for so many years. If anyone needed confirmation of their viewing of the forums, look no further than this track.

This track shows the true potential of the previous lineup musically. They finally gel perfectly, and I can picture Tommy's bass actually smoking. Does it matter what Axl is singing about? Not really. This song would have worked brilliantly as an instrumental.  The only song where Axl himself is the weak link. The song loses all its steam by an absolutely worthless and out of place solo, although recovers its steam before the end.

Sorry

If I had to cherry pick one track to offer to someone as a representation of this album, I would choose Sorry. I remember many years ago Slash saying that when you listen to Sympathy for the Devil, its the sound of the band breaking up. Well, when you listen to this song, you're getting Axl's side of the story. This song gives us one of the album's most emotional solos.

I.R.S.

Extreme paranoia? Megalomania? Bring it on. Unfortunately, this is delivered to us in short spurts because we're constantly being reminded that various government institutions need to be contacted. The band steps up to the plate, and Tommy's bass tone on this track is as good as it'll ever get. Unfortunately it has to compete with and be buried by unnecessary noise. The greatest Axl scream on record is contained in this track, immediately followed by a blistering solo that also clashes against a wall of noise towards its end. This song wants to be great, but falls way short of that mark.


Madagascar

The wannabe epic of the album. Like Catcher in the Rye, its placed perfectly in the track sequence because the album is entering its cheese mode. I don't necessarily have anything against this specific track, but it just runs in place with a promise of a destination that never comes. Lyrics too repetitive, a killer solo drowned out by samples. Next.

This I Love

When Barry Manilow releases his next greatest hits album, This I Love needs to be a bonus track. The insatiable need for a rhyme, the soothing piano backed by an orchestra and mired in the 70's. Even the basic production reminds us of a time long gone by. This could be played on some 70's easy listening station and no one would call to complain.

This song is the audio equivalent of bad sex. It pulls you in from the start, raises your senses, and hints at an incredible orgasmic moment. The orgasm never comes. What we get instead is quite possibly the worst sounding solo ever recorded on a major band's album. It sounds like some kid learning how to play guitar but being rewarded with a marquee position. It taints whatever beauty the song had because you will always know that moment is coming. Its shocking this track wasn't left in the vault until some proper guitar work could be recorded for it, but considering the filler contained on this album, maybe its not a shock.


Prostitute

"Seems like forever......and a day"

Is he referring to how long it will be until I listen to this song again? The song eats a cheese sandwich from that opening line, and has a bit of trouble steadying itself out from that point on. Like Madagascar, this song attempts to be something it cant, although I will give it props for putting in much more effort than Madagascar. I think it works perfectly as the album's closer. Its the only song that could follow up This I Love. However, this song leaves you wanting so much more and maybe that's part of the point.


The album is certainly an odd musical journey. It has quite a few high points, but there are just so many issues with the overall record. As I've mentioned before, the cut and paste nature of the record comes awfully close to destroying it. Its like some rookie was assigned the job of mixing these songs. There are volume fluctuations, amateur cut and paste jobs, and various skips that are just inexcusable for a band and album of this stature.

The vocals are certainly a mystery. While I don't have as many issues with them as some do, it is perplexing that he seemed to consider them finished so long ago and virtually ignored them. If the vocals were wrapped up in 99-01, what was the goddamn holdup?

The album doesn't really go anywhere. It reaches out for an identity yet its reaching into a void. It spends most of its time wallowing in its own hype and self indulgence. It has unnecessary music added for the simple reason that it can. Logic was apparently thrown out the window.

Chinese Democracy has ambition but lacks the vision.

I'm going to give this album a 6/10. There are flashes of brilliance, but not enough to sustain the entire record or give it a rating I would reserve for classics. Even If I did consider it a perfect ten, the production would forever prevent it from achieving such a high mark.

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