Yesterday we heard Chinese Democracy had leaked. Now we’ve actually heard Chinese Democracy. Or most of it. It wasn’t just an urban legend — Axl really was working on something (but “overworking something” is more accurate). It’s good to hear Rose’s signature yowl, but the attempt at compositional and “modern” eclecticism via added electronics and the like sink it. Guns ’N Roses were good at being epic — hello, “November Rain” — but they kept it wisely within the rock ’n’ roll idiom (even the more pompous side of said idiom). Here, when tracks like “Better” tap into “trip-hop” it feels like some bad ’90s alterna-fluff outtake, not something that hasn’t even officially come out yet. On the other hand, when Axl sings that main vocal line in the same track? It’s hard to deny the power or catchiness of that voice. Not the bad funky part or when the song goes on for way too long, but otherwise. Unfortunately, it gets more and more difficult to say nice things as the album progresses. That guitar solo in the title track? Oy. Judge for yourself.

“Chinese Democracy”

“This I Love”

This is what the leaked tracklist looks like:

01 “Better”
02 “Chinese Democracy”
03 “IRS”
04 “Madagascar”
05 “Riyadh & The Bedouins”
06 “This I Love”
07 “If The World (Would End Today)”
08 “The Blues”
09 “There Was A Time”

Where’s my Dr. Pepper?

Comments (50)
  1. mp  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2008 0

    wait…it’s not April Fool’s, is it?

    • Axl  |   Posted on Jun 25th, 2008 0

      I really should have changed the name of the band when EVERY OTHER MEMBER was gone. Now, I am the JD Salinger of hard rock. If Salinger was trying to copy Joan Rivers. I honestly feel like a douche. But I kept spending and spending and I couldn’t stop. I spent more money trying to perfect a (now deleted) synth wash than Stevie Adler spent on horse in all of ’92.. Oy vey. And the plastic surgery. Don’t get me STARTED!

      • clarese76  |   Posted on Jun 29th, 2008 0

        I am going to state perhaps a very obvious question that you have perhaps have heard about 100 times or more. What would it take to get the original line up back for an incredible sold out tour. Kiss did it, and it was an absolute success. I would happily spend lots of cash for tickets to that show.

    • Nick  |   Posted on Aug 19th, 2008 0

      I think that you made up your mind about this album before you’d heard any of it, as so many people have done.
      I really like the new stuff I’ve heard and I’m pretty hard to please

  2. as someone who lived through the first era of G N R 20yrs ago, i ask… why? why put out more crap let alone crap that was recorded 10,12 years ago and pass it off as new? i’m sorry to piss off under 25′vers but guns n roses sucked then AND THEY SUCK NOW. i make fun of my thitysomething peers beacause they hold on to old music, old movies, old shit in general. there is so much NEW music and NEW artist’s available to us why rehash an artist (i use that term loooosely) who wasn’t even viable then? G N R was an mtv commodity, like, say nickleback or puddle of mud is today.. how will you feel mr 24y/o when in ten years some 24 y/o says to you, “i can’t wait for the new nickleback! they haven’t put out a record in 10yrs! this one is gonna rock! it’s the shot in the arm rock and roll needs!”…

    i would venture to say you will feel as i do, sick, disgusted, mortified and yes.. old. ha

    • Greg  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2008 0

      No matter how you feel about Axl and how tired you are of hearing about Chinese Democracy, it is absolutely stupid to compare Guns ‘N’ Roses to Nickelback. That is just a dumb statement, plain and simple. In three albums, they put them self in legendary status. That band had the attitude, the talking guitar player, and the controversial lead singer with the swagger of Jagger. Even if you did not like their music, a rational person could acknowledge this.

      • Comparing GNR to the Nickleback is more accurate than comparing them to the Stones, let’s just be honest. Much like Nickleback, Puddle of Mudd, Chevelle, Staind, etc., GNR put our LCD rock, appealing to a “let’s get fucked up and party brah” kind of crowd. Which is cool, whatever, it takes every kind of people, but that comparison puts Axyl Rose in a class with rock’s elite, where he certainly doesn’t belong.

        • Greg  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2008 0

          I never said they were the stone Brah. I said Axl had the swagger of Jagger. I don’t even think Axl, as egotistical as he is, would put himself in the same catagory of the Stones. But it is easy to see they took a lot from them stylistically. Listen I get where you are coming from (especially from the brah comment), this music is not your thing. I get it. You like to pin yourself up in a hole and listen to sad, sappy, music all the time because, I assume by your comments, you got beat up by brahs alot. I like my sad, sappy music as well, but prefer not to pigionhole my tastes and hate on everything that do not fit them. It is called be openminded or at least being able to appreciate something without necessarily liking it. It cool brah, I understand.

        • joa  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2008 0

          To say that the Stones never appealed to the “let’s get fucked up and party brah” crowd is ridiculous – basically all they did was make racuous, blues-inspired party music for about ten years. From Under My Thumb to Beast of Burden, quiet introspection was never really their thing.

    • Nickleback could record music from now until the sun explodes and still never come close to touching Appetite for Destruction. Hell, they couldn’t come close to Lies or the shit tracks off Use Your Illusion.

    • Mnsotapop  |   Posted on Jun 23rd, 2008 0

      Regardless of what you think of GnR now or circa 1987, saying they weren’t “viable” is just plain not correct. And to compare them to Nickelback? Nonsense

    • LB  |   Posted on Jul 7th, 2008 0

      This comment is for Steven… You sound younger than you claim to be… You obviously don’t know much about GNR. My advice is to pick up a book and read. Reading is knowledge. Knowledge is power. GNR is the only band in the 80′s who had 2 albums at #1 and #2 on the charts. In ’87-’88 Appetite and Lies were at the top while others dwelled below them. Not to mention, they had the highest sales ever in music history for 2 albums released on the same day, Use Your Illusions 1 and 2. Both records have STILL yet to be beaten by any other musician or band to date. Unlike most musical acts today, they weren’t a product of MTV. First off, back in the 80′s, MTV could live up to the name Music Television. Even at that point, they didn’t get love from MTV. In fact, they had a falling out with MTV over their drunkin antics at the music awards, never to be invited back. They also trashed the set on a show with Rikki Rocket (I believe it was him) prior to the music awards. As their success grew, and as ratings demand, it would have been stupid for them not to play GNR video’s since they were on top of the rock world. As for MTV now, it’s a bunch of washed up Real World Reality garbage. With a lineup of other garbage filling MTV, such as Justin Timberlake, Ashley Simpson, Avril Lavigne, Nickelback, and so forth…. One should be able to look back and appreciate when a good band actually got some are time. To say or think it’s uncool to listen to “old” music is a stupid. Say that to the fans who consistantly sell out The Stones, Metallica, Kiss, Motley Crue, or Aerosmith show’s. I consider myself young being only 27, but I have come to appreciate rock n’ roll that was edgy with thrashing solo’s. For the record sales to date and the number of cd’s sold by GNR since their time, I’d like to see a band today do that. I agree that there is plenty of good music out there that is “new,” and I am a fan of many genre’s of music, but no band on MTV will accomplish in a lifetime what GNR accomplished in such a short amount of time. If your waiting for Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, or Disturbed to do it, don’t hold your breath….

    • lindsay  |   Posted on Aug 20th, 2008 0

      wow thats harsh man, but you make GNR sound like they were commercial from the start, not true. just because youre using your age as a base doesnt mean you know better, yes this “new” album has been a little overworked sounding but it’s just because it’s a new band and youre hearing and old voice in a different way, youre being way to critical, the way i see it, if youre a good musician and enjoy what you do, you should continue making music until youre voice is shot, and actually its seems as if axl has perfected his, considering the time he started working on the songs that have leaked out this year on the big tour his voice literally was destroyed for some time, i think there should be more support for a come back, if you had never heard these songs before not knowing its “GNR” -or now its axl- i guarentee you would like it

  3. Allah  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2008 0

    I always wondered what meeting God would be like. And I’m sure after listening to this I will continue to wonder.

  4. Rob  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2008 0

    i see what youre saying steven, but come on, wouldnt you say that g n r have a shit ton more creativity than nickelback or puddle of mudd? this album is going to fail regardless of how good it may or may not be because of the hype alone. it bothers me when has been bands release new material because like you said, people get stuck on the past and dont let it go. id be a lot happier if this was released under a different name, since its basically axl anyways. i feel the tracks are decent, but dont need to be as long as they are. to each his/her own though.

  5. bim  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2008 0

    >>>but come on, wouldnt you say that g n r have a shit ton more creativity than nickelback or puddle of mudd?

    based on these tracks…ummmm, marginally, but not much else.

  6. Greg  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2008 0

    Let’s be clear here, this is not GnR, this is Axl Rose solo. Don’t eve try to compare it to GnR 20 years ago.

  7. sed  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2008 0

    agreed. maybe with the dual guitars of slash and izzy, the songwriting skills of izzy, the thundering bass of “duff” mckagan, and whoever their drummer was- that dude that had all the strokes and started a party band in vegas- maybe with them, axl’s g’n'r universe was a self-contained, unstoppable unit. they made one killer album and a decent, bloated follow up.

    this shit…this is embarrassing.

  8. Johnnyboy  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2008 0

    He’s had over 10 years to make this record and this is the best he could do? This is really, really making me dread the new MBV album… if we ever get to hear it. Then again, I’d rather hear Kevin Shields fart than Axl try his hardest any day.

  9. Kenobi  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2008 0

    I heard Velvet Revolver’s looking for a lead singer…

  10. erik  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2008 0

    worse than i ever imagined. and i really actually though this would be pretty good, considering it’s taken about 12 years to come out. i hope this is no reflection on the forthcoming my bloody valentine album.

  11. Zachra  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2008 0

    I have about 7 tracks that were leaked in what seemed like completely polished form about a year ago. Half of them were awful, the other half were promising and even great at times. I think Axl would get a lot less crap from everyone if he had dropped the GNR and just gone by Axl Rose or the Axl Rose Band, granted I doubt the label would care about the album at all if he had indeed cahnged the name. But like my friend said, “It doesn’t take that long to sound that bad.”

  12. The best thing about this is that I might get a free Dr. Pepper.

  13. hcashew  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2008 0

    Man, this is crappy.

    And Im a huuuuge GNR fan.

    And yes, they came very close to taking the Rolling Stones crown in the late 80s/early 90s.

    Dont throw them in the Chevelle/Puddle Of Mudd/Nickleback wasteland.

    GNR had a bona-fide five star classic rock album, unlike the others that were named that my 12 year old neighbors are currently rocking at full-blast.

    But, yes this is embarrasing.

  14. adit rao  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2008 0

    what i think is most interesting about this thing is that it kinda illustrates what’s GOOD about the music industry. we all like to complain about how the industry blows and usually it does. But one thing that’s nice about it is that sometimes you need a producer, a label rep, or a VP of Marketing to remind a self-involved millionaire like Axl Rose of what it is that he does best, and where he should draw the line between his personal experiments and his “magnum opus”. I used to love GnR when i was a kid. They made one uber-classic rock record. We can’t take that a way from them. But clearly even Velvet Revolver, with their over-the-hill mentality and lyrical sensibilities, seem to have a better grasp of their role in the whole circus of pop culture. Axl’s wealth has clearly hindered him because he could’ve made a better record if he were given 12 weeks to do it, rather than 12 years.

  15. poindexter  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2008 0

    that beat on ‘this i love’…i’ve…i’ve never heard a beat like that before. it’s revolutionary.

  16. Fernando Darin  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2008 0

    way to go axl!!
    but this steve-vai-piece-of-crap is absolutelly unecessary.

  17. Chadams  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2008 0

    My guess is that Axl spent six years tracking tambourine parts alone. It’s a tougher instrument to truly master than it looks.

  18. Greg  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2008 0

    Now Axl will get all indignant about the leak and claim this material is bad because it’s way unfinished. This, of course, will be a lie, but will still prompt him to work on the album for another another fucking five years or something.

  19. jo  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2008 0

    still better than heart songs.

  20. cj  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2008 0

    does anyone have a link to download the songs?


  21. Johnathan  |   Posted on Jun 20th, 2008 0

    hey CJ, i have the new leaks, give me your email

  22. jeff  |   Posted on Jun 20th, 2008 0

    After hearing these, all I can say is Axl made a big mistake breaking up the band in the mid 90s. Too bad he lket his monster ego get in the way. Out of these 9, Better, IRS, Chi Dem, and TWAT are the only decent songs there but they’ve been floating around for what, 5 years now? Just relase the album and get the monkey off your back Axl. I hear Velvet Revolver is looking for a singer…

    01 “Better”
    02 “Chinese Democracy”
    03 “IRS”
    04 “Madagascar”
    05 “Riyadh & The Bedouins”
    06 “This I Love”
    07 “If The World (Would End Today)”
    08 “The Blues”
    09 “There Was A Time”

  23. Joe  |   Posted on Jun 20th, 2008 0

    OK – I admit that given this small slice of Chinese Democracy the album isn’t actually shaping up to be Lies of\r Appetite. However, being one of the last “Real” rock bands to hit the scene (freaky looks, good short lyrical compositions, great players who can actually play an interesting solo. etc…) these guys should always get a last look from any serious rock lover. Even though on the surface it pales to the previous works of GNR (and that’s not really fair because I haven’t given this much time to sink in) its still a lot better at first blush than most of the dogshit that passes for rock-n-roll today. Too many words that mean too much of nothing, no talented players, limited vocal abilities and general Prozac lameness make most of todays “Rock” artists appear shitty even when compared to a substandard offering of GNR.

  24. Megan  |   Posted on Jun 20th, 2008 0

    This makes me so sad…even more sad than when I finally got to go to a GNR concert and it turned out…THEY SUCK. They made us wait an hour and a half, did two songs…badly….and then went off stage again to have some sort of diva fit about bottled water or something. I didn’t even wait for them to come back. One of the most disappointing days of my life. And yet, with all that talent, I really expected this to be better. And to think…I wasted my first lust on Axl!

  25. Lorina  |   Posted on Jun 20th, 2008 0

    The word “overproduced” does come to mind–but honestly, these songs are better than 95% of the crap that I hear on the radio.

  26. Ludicrous Speed  |   Posted on Jun 20th, 2008 0

    I actually purchased a copy of “Chinese Democracy” in of all places Dongguan, China last month. It had 9 of these tracks in a mostly finished state and in my opinion sounds great! The era of the Change the World Rock album selling 10 million plus has passed in my opinion regardless of the band with file sharing and the age of ripping.

    G’NR or Axl Solo – regardless these are epic songs – that are timeless in sound for this Rock fan. While I would happily skip out on my corporate job and tour the West Coast for a couple weeks following GnR around it will never compare to the days of camping out in front of ticketmaster outlets in Boston, MA before you could by tickets online or going to the midnight release of Illusion 1 and 2 before you could get leaks off the internet. The times have changed. For those of you who heard “Civil War” the first time and thought it had to be a long lost cover because it was so good – We will buy Chinese Democracy legitimately long after it was obtained through alternative channels. For new fans – if you are patient enough to dive into the lyrics, the textures and the music – you’ll find an album worthy of your attention and obsession. Axl while a legend in many minds, and a target of scorn in others, at the end of the day is a guy with a voice and a vision trying to turn it into reality without losing his mind and soul in the process. and Really – for those of us who are truly walking through life with our eyes open, and willing to risk our pride and privacy; aren’t we attempting to do the same.

    You don’t get back 14 years, in just one day. (or one album).

    • Of all places CHINA??? That’s where 90% of World audio piracy takes place, which makes it the most logical place to get bootleg copies of Nuns & Posers. Chinese Democracy indeed!

  27. Squish  |   Posted on Jun 21st, 2008 0

    I heard a few songs so far, and I cannot get enough of them, replaying them over and over and over, I last did this for a band when I got my hands on Appetite……put it this way, GNR are going to blow away the top radio crap that’s out there now and remind people of what good music is… face in ten years from now when the album is finally released officially everyone is going to have a copy of this album downloaded into a port right into your brain and listen to it all day long!!!! with videos too, do you have your brain port installed yet?

  28. Rolling Stones going on tour again? what? where?

    old music is old.
    horribad music is horribad.

  29. gnrfan  |   Posted on Jun 22nd, 2008 0

    My guess is, based on the comments some people have written here, is that most of the critics of GN’R either know nothing about the band, or think they know everything about the band, and don’t. I, along with most other GN’R fans, am in the mindset that the band is never going to be what it was without Slash, McKagan, Stradlin or Adler, but, after listening to a few Chinese Democracy tracks, its clear that this CD, whatever you critics might conceive it to be, is going to be a decent buy. Comparing GN’R to Nickelback or Puddle of Mudd, is basically calling them annyoing. A band that is just going with the times and putting out the same music as all other bands and success is guaranteed because that’s where the industry is at. Once again, I tell all you critics to LEARN a bit about the band before u condemn them. For example, just for starters, have a read of Slashs’ autobio. You might remember, way back when, in 1987, the music scene was all about trashy “Glam” and “Foxy” bands who got by on looks rather than necessarily playing good music. And then a CD called Appetite for Destruction was released, by a band that was not glam, and had a totally different edge. All logic says “No Way,” and the CD and the band would fail. Do i need to continue? Yes critics, I do. The CD changed the face of the music industry forever, and propelled these non-glamorous nomads to being the biggest band in the world. The point being, they did something different, and it payed off. Now, jump to 2008 (or whenever the CD will be released) and do you see any similarities? Axl is going for a totally different edge, has totally different band members, and, based on the few tracks i’ve sampled, has pulled it off pretty decently, which is only all the more harder for him because hes got to live up to the expectations that the CD was in production for so long that it HAS to be better than Appetite for Destruction. If you dislike the music that’s fair enough, but you can’t condemn a superband like GN’R until you have done what they did. Alcoholics, drug addicts, parties, yeah sure, you take the bad with the good, but also brilliant musicians.

  30. tummy trouble  |   Posted on Jun 22nd, 2008 0

    this is why everyone listens to rap music now.

  31. What I don’t understand is, how can this have taken 14 years? Come on, people: it’s not as if Axl Rose is Brian Wilson…

    Anyway, all this GN’R stuff takes me back to the horrors of my adolescence…

  32. GW  |   Posted on Jun 26th, 2008 0

    Guns N’ Roses – Chinese Democracy (2008)

    (9 tracks from CD)

    1. Better
    2. Chinese Democracy
    3. IRS
    4. Madagascar
    5. Riyadh & The Bedouins (New Song #1)
    6. This I Love (New Song #2)
    7. If The World (Would End Today) (New Song #3)
    8. The Blues
    9. There Was a Time

    Ripped @192

  33. Ryan Brown  |   Posted on Jun 26th, 2008 0

    Just wait until it’s time to start tracking cow bell.

  34. Haxl  |   Posted on Jul 2nd, 2008 0

    The new music is awesome.

  35. CG  |   Posted on Aug 20th, 2008 0

    A guitar can be replaced Axl cant. Song Number 2 isnt This I Love its Prostitute

  36. CAM  |   Posted on Sep 10th, 2008 0

    Bloated, over-produced, weak vocals overwhelmed by TOO MUCH STUFF! Have also heard Shackler’s Revenge. Ugh. Nice elephant though. LOL! These songs are so bloated with dubbing and over-dubbing and remixing I can’t imagine they will sound the same when played live. Axl has a unique voice but it’s weak and the music usually overpowers it. Guns fans will love Chi Dem because they love everything Guns does, however, this does not mean that this album will be embraced by all. Turthfully, a lot of people outside of Guns fans didn’t even know about Chi Dem; so far I have asked 52 people ranging from 60 to 13 and not a single one knew about this album. Sure, you can slam and say they are ignorant or whatever, but 0 out of 52 in that age range is pretty significant. These were people with all types of musical tastes, but not a single one was “anticipating/waiting” for this album.

    Oh well, GnR fans, enjoy Axl’s new music!

    For the rest, not sure you’re missing anything.

  37. Doggy  |   Posted on Nov 4th, 2008 0

    First off I don’t think this album is over bloated with dubbing and over-dubbing. If you’re been to their concerts almost all their guitarists plays solos or alternate lead guitar, also guitarists like Buckethead and Bumbblefoot are virtuosic and have the ability to play a million notes per second.

    People should also not overplay Slash, Duff and the drummer’s part in the original GnR the main two people in GnR were Axel and Izzy. These two actually wrote lyrics and composed the songs, so when Izzy left the band went down hill. However Axel’s voice was the main ingredient and that can’t be replaced. Also I don’t know why Slash is in such bad terns with Axel because even Izzy played in one of Axel’s new band concerts.

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