Chinese Democracy – Guns n Roses
by Aidan Roberts
As one music journalist has said, “the world will be a far less ridiculous and amusing place when this stupid album finally comes out.” In a sense, that is true of this comeback album from Axl Rose and club, a truly Odessian 14 years in gestation, stewed upon and over-worked, and finally delivered to the world amid a storm of anticipation and the inevitable trendy backlash. To be fair, this album doesn’t entirely suck. There is a semblance of the old school GNR guts, and Rose’s snake-like theatrics are still there; his trademark snarl and whiplash screams, although slightly thickened with age, still ring true. The tile track is a good NIN-inspired belter. Later on, the wild and theatrical Better takes things into intriguing musical terrain, and Street of Dreams brings out the Yellow-Brick-Road balladeer in Axl, complete with Paul Buckmaster orchestral arrangements. but overall it’s a bit of a silly affair, laden with hideous pro-tools trickery and misguided stylistic choices. There are some quality songs hiding in the madness, but Jesus, after so long, it’s hardly going to live up to anyone’s expectations; so in that regard, a moment’s silence for Axl’s track record, everybody.