Thursday, November 27, 2008

Chinese Democracy

chinese.democracy.front This post is not about political stuff, “Chinese Democracy” is the latest album of American rock band Guns N' Roses, released on 23 November 2008. I did not listen to the leaked song became aware from the internet and media sources (the album was in the making for the last 15 years), so all the songs from this album is new to me, but before reading this post till the end, go to the nearest record shop and get this album.

The first and most noticeable thing on this album is the heavy use of orchestral compositions on this album, which fitted every song assigned to it. The 12 songs album begins with the self-titled, takes the listener to a place where Chinese is spoken by a number of people, then the main riff bitch in the middle until a doubled-voiced Axl Rose starts singing. Very powerful song that has a mesmerizing guitar solo in the middle part of it.

The wait is over, Guns N’ Roses is back

The second song “Shackler’s Revenge” is another fast and heavy song. It didn’t fit with my taste on the first listen, but the second listen to it proved me wrong. Check out the singing immediately after the stunning guitar solo part in the middle of song.

“Better” is a unusual song, one of my favorites from the album. Axl Rose singing on this heavy and powerful song is indeed the evidence why he is considered as one of the best rock vocalists ever. In addition, it is obvious that there is a lot of emphasize on different guitar work parts, more than on any other song on the album.

Here comes the orchestral arrangements: "street of dreams" starts with a piano flair through the whole song, but it interrupted gently by the heavy guitar riffs and the change in melody throughout the song. Amazing! The orchestral arrangements here reminds me of another “November Rain” with a twist of blend and with a better taste to it.

I had a big smile on my face while listening to 1970's style arrangement on "If The World". The song starts in a Spanish like percussion in a mid-tempo, just beautiful. I think the intention was to give a Spanish flavor to the song, check the classic guitar solo out at the end of the song, excellent.

"There was a Time" is the longest song on the album is a masterpiece, another song with a lot of string arrangements, in addition to wizardry work on guitar. Axl Rose shines on this song, I can't say other than that. My favorite song on this album.

The next song is “Catcher In The Rye”, a heavy mid-tempo tune based on excessive riffing all along and continuous soloing while singing with soft highlights on piano. Nice, but least favorite

“Scraped” starts with double or triple vocal harmonies for 20 seconds till a bunch in the face riff with a welcome-to-the-jungle-look-alike feel to it.

The next song is one of the fastest, "Riyadh N' The Bedouins" is a difficult song, in my opinion, a song of more than 4 minutes with beats and changes in scales. This another song Axl Rose where he is doing one of his best performances.

“Sorry” is the heaviest ballad and one of the longest songs on this album. Straight forward rock song, nice, but I didn’t see some special in it. By the way, rock vocalist Sebastian Bach sings backing vocals on this song.

Guns N' Roses did not forget the I.R.S on this album, the song is a dark and heavy tune that breaks into a couple of second semi-acoustic rhythm guitar to embark into another heavy riffing with a med-tempo and beat.

The string arrangements with some horns background are the main elements on next song “Madagascar”. The middle part of the song includes Martin Luther King speech with a solo guitar and heavy string arrangements in the background. The distinguished thing on this song is the way Axl is singing

It is like Queensryche’s, Geof Tate who is singing on “This I love”. This was my first impression when I that song began. It is a ballad melody: with no drums till after 3 minutes of strings in the background, piano and guitar/bass all through.

The second longest song on this album is the last one, “prostitute”. Fast, heavy, and very strong lyrics. This song is the most complex song among all the songs, the variation in the building up of the song is just beautiful.

There is nothing more to be said, this is album is excellent. It is enjoyable, it is heavy and powerful, and it carries high level of musicianship.

Songs List

Song Music Length
Chinese Democracy

Rose, Josh Freese


Shackler's Revenge

Rose, Brian Carroll (Buckethead), Caram Costanzo, Bryan Mantia, Pete Scaturro


Rose, Robin Finck


Street of Dreams Rose, Tommy Stinson, Dizzy Reed 4:46
If the World Rose, Chris Pitman 4:54
There Was a Time Rose, Paul Tobias, Reed 6:41
Catcher in the Rye Rose, Tobias 5:52

Rose, Costanzo, Carroll

Riad n' the Bedouins Rose, Stinson 4:10
Sorry Rose, Carroll, Mantia, Scaturro 6:14
I.R.S Rose, Tobias, Reed 4:28
Madagascar Rose, Pitman 5:37
This I Love


Prostitute Rose, Tobias 6:15

Band Members:

  • Axl Rose – lead vocals (all tracks), backing vocals (track 7), keyboards (tracks 1, 6, 13), guitar (tracks 6 and 12), Producer
  • Robin Finck – lead guitar (all tracks), backing vocals, keyboards (tracks 3, 5)
  • Bumblefoot – lead guitar (all tracks)
  • Richard Fortus – rhythm guitar (tracks 1, 3, 4, 6, 14), backing vocals
  • Tommy Stinson – bass guitar (all tracks except 5), backing vocals
  • Dizzy Reed – keyboards, piano, percussion, backing vocals
  • Frank Ferrer – drums, percussion (tracks 1, 3, 5, 6, 11)
  • Bryan Mantia – drums, percussion (all tracks except 1)
  • Chris Pitman – synthesizer, programming; bass (tracks 5, 6, 12)
Former members who are featured
  • Buckethead – lead guitar (all tracks except 7, 13)
  • Paul Tobias – rhythm guitar (all tracks except 2, 8, 13)

Additional musicians
  • Sebastian Bach – backing vocals (track 10 - “Sorry”)
  • Bob Ludwig – Final CD Mastering @ Gateway Mastering Studios, Inc. in Portland, ME
  • Patti Hood – harp (track 13)
  • Marco Beltrami – orchestral arrangement
  • Paul Buckmaster – orchestral arrangement
  • Pete Scaturro – keyboards (track 10)

Link to information on “Chinese Democracy”

TV Spot of Chinese Democracy

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