After 13 years of recording what The New York Times reported to be the most expensive album never to hit the streets, the long-awaited Chinese Democracy is finally here. But it's not worth the insulting wait.
No original G N' R members remain other than vocalist Axl Rose, so Chinese Democracy should be credited to The Axl Rose Circus rather than G N' R. Musicians including Brian May, Buckethead, Dave Navarro and Sebastian Bach either contributed to the recording process and/or were once part of the "new" G N' R lineup. Chinese Democracy does not even sound like a band effort; rather, it seems like Axl was in control of every piece of music recorded.
Rose spent more than a decade trying to reinvent the classic G N' R sound. Instead, Chinese Democracy sounds like either B-sides from 1987's Appetite for Destruction or sequels to the G N' R hit "November Rain." The opening, title track is reminiscent of the in-your-face "Mr. Brownstone," while "Madagascar" sounds like a typical G N' R epic accompanied by electronic beats. "If the World" features acoustic Spanish guitar accompanied by more electronic beats--how is that rockin'?
Sorry, Axl, but you can't force a masterpiece.