After 14 years at 14 studios with five producers for a cost of almost $14 million, numerous relationships and various label jobs, the big question concerning Chinese Democracy remains, Was it all worth it? Of course not.
Chinese Democracy isn't a great rock 'n' roll record. It isn't even a great Guns N' Roses record. Without Slash and Duff McKagan, it's more of an homage to the Guns N' Roses sound by a tribute band fronted by Axl Rose. Admittedly, guitarist Buckethead can solo his ass off and the rest of the hired Guns can definitely play, but that sleazy Sunset Strip swagger is gone for good.
For all the wank and bluster throughout the album's 14 tracks, the bottom line is that the shit simply doesn't rock. Years from now, you'll still hear pimply faced teens in guitar stores struggling through the changes of Paradise City and Sweet Child O' Mine, but don't count on hearing I.R.S. or Riad N' The Bedouins.
Top track: Chinese Democracy