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7 out of 10
WOW, the first original release from Gn'R for 17 years and I get to review the First Single, title track Chinese Democracy, cool. Well it starts well, with some interesting ambient noises like seagulls and then hundreds of Chinese voices, after nearly a minute the drums build up with some guitar and then it breaks into the main riff, which is meaty and quite cool.
So far so good and choosing Bumblefoot for his lead guitarist was a very wise choice on Axl's part. The vocals then kick in with Axl double tracking with his old high pitched style in the background but with the main vocals being deeper and maybe a sign that he can't do the old style so much any more. It's a good way to cross the 14 year transition from the last Gn'R release.
I'm not entirely sure what Axl is singing about, I think it might be about a relationship? The solo is a scorcher and sounds like a cross between one of Slash's and one by Tom Morrello, which shows Gn'R have moved on whilst retaining their own style. Overall this track is at best average at first listen. It's certainly a grower but I can't help but feel that too much time has been spent on it.
1. Chinese Democracy