Guns N’ Roses – Chinese Democracy

2 stars (out of 5)

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Chinese Democracy - GnRWith the album ‘Chinese Democracy’ welcomed to a chorus of hype-filled fans muttering to each other: “This is it?” – there’s already a black cloud looming over the single.

The question is, will this negative preconception turn out to be true or false? The answer – both. The opinion of ‘Chinese Democracy’ has been very openly announced by the country-sized fan base of Guns N’ Roses – it simply isn’t good enough for them. For every step ‘Chinese Democracy’ takes towards the Guns N’ Roses we all know and love, it takes another gigantic leap backwards toward mediocrity. With all original members having already abandoned ship, Oral Sex… sorry – Axl Rose, has been the only one left to captain the original GnR boat, but that does not begin to excuse the 45 second long introduction of nothing. Yet, the solo (though not quite Slash calibre) is exactly the quality we were hoping for after over a decade long wait.

I don’t want to jump on the bandwagon of hating the $13,000,000 piece of average passable music, but I am continuously finding it difficult to at least not agree. The vocals leaping out of Axl are very Pumpkin-esque, more precisely ‘The Beginning of the End is the Beginning’, which I guess is hugely ironic given the intro. In fact, that sums up the single’s downfall  as a whole, it just doesn’t feel like a Guns N’ Roses spectacular. The guitarist is the one who deserves all the praise, the guitar work is hands down the best part of this single; it’s hugely complex and headbangingly catchy.

No Dr. Pepper promotion, amount of money thrown at it, or time taken could apparently save this album from being another interchangeable CD of the moment. Perhaps the hype and patience generated by the delays set expectations which were thoroughly unattainable, but in the end it boils down to some fantastic finger work and a dull political message, nothing more. It seems that the captain does always go down with the ship.