Chinese Democracy was never going to live up to the all the media hype – but one can hear Axl Rose trying hard to do something different, branch out and incorporate newer elements into this album. So the irony is that most of the tracks sound very much like the bombastic epics on the Use Your Illusion albums. I’m not convinced the fret-shredding guitar work compliment the songs, and to be honest, on the ballads, Buckethead even sounds like Slash (I’m referring to the guitar tone).
Oddly, while I really would not call this album superior to any of Guns N Roses’ previous releases, I find myself listening to it quite often. I wouldn’t call Chinese Democracy great, but it isn’t bad either. While nowhere near the greatness of Appetite for Destruction, it nevertheless presents itself as a solid rock album.
A solid but not exceptional hard rock album Probably too many ballads. Still, recommended for fans of Axl Rose.