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Music The Sound

Notes on the new Guns N' Roses album

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Earlier today we attended a listening party for the new Guns N' Roses album, Chinese Democracy, which has been an incredible 15 years in the making. Without further ado, here are our first impressions:

  • The majority of the album features the same industrial beats and heavy guitars of the single - anyone hoping for the sleazy Sunset Strip sound of their debut may be disappointed. In the main, it veers between NIN-style industrial rock and piano ballads.


  • You like guitar solos? Well there's more here than you could shake a KFC bucket at. The most noteworthy are the outros to 'Shackler's Revenge' and 'This Is Love', both which will have you dusting off your air guitar moves.


  • There are a couple of attempts to match the bombast of 'November Rain', and with several tracks featuring orchestras and Elton John-style piano, Axl will need a massive dry ice machine come the world tour.


  • 'Streets Of Dreams' sounds in parts like Bon Jovi, features some ball-clenching squeals from Axl and has a huge key change right at the end that even Mariah Carey would consider crass.


  • If you ever wanted to hear Guns N' Roses do a Bond theme then skip straight to 'Madagascar', which features trumpets, tons of strings and an overblown crescendo. It also nabs samples from Martin Luther King speeches and Mel Gibson in Braveheart.


  • Axl shows his romantic side on 'This I Love', crooning: "I heard she'd never leave me, please God you must believe me." Aww, sweet!


  • 'Catcher In The Rye' should probably be the next single. It has an operatic, stadium rock feel and sounds like it could have sprung from Axl's recording sessions with Brian May.


  • We're not sure what the barmiest track is, but the near-emo sound of 'Better' and mixture of dub, Spanish strings and robotic drums that is 'If The World' are prime contenders.


  • Guns N' Roses release Chinese Democracy on November 24, with our full review to come nearer to release date. Get your cans of Dr Pepper at the ready!

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