With the release of Guns N' Roses' 14-years-in-the-making album still several weeks away, it may come as a surprise to find 83 reviews of Chinese Democracy already on Best Buy (the album's exclusive retailer in the US). But with album leaks and demo-sharing a plenty, fans have found a way to hear most of it. And the general consensus so far is overwhelmingly positive…
Out of 83 reviews, 64 have the maximum five-star rating, nine have four-stars while the other 10 are split between one and three stars. It's easy to presume only loyal fans would bother to rate the album at all, so let's start with the relatively few bad reviews…
"Very generic rock. None of the emotion and fire of previous."
"It pales in comparison to earlier GN'R."
"This is the sound of Axl spending $1 million per year to make an over-hyped album."
"This album/band will never have the rawness that the original GN'R had."
"I'm going back to listen to Appetite For Destruction and cry myself to sleep."
"This record sucks. It's an Axl solo record, not a real GN'R album."
"It's pure slop on a CD. There are only two new songs on there, everyone has all the other ones, unless they've been living in a computer-less cave. This album will fail miserably."
And some positives…
"Everyone [should] tell a friend about this album and get them to buy it and reward Axl for all his hard work. Awesome 5 stars!"
"It's going to be in my CD player from the second I get it until I have to buy another."
"For me, this is a dream come true… the lyrics are amazing."
"Only one word to describe the album: amazing."
"This record rocks! I've listened to 10 tracks and loved them all."
"Guns N' Roses are immortal. Axl Rose is the best producer on earth!"
"This album is going to bring rock back where it should be. Let me tell you all, this record puts Axl Rose/GN'R light years ahead from ANY of the "best" bands that are out now. Guaranteed."
Axl Rose is the only surviving founding member, and as former bassist Duff McKagan puts it, continuing under the GN'R moniker is - for many - a hard pill to swallow.
Read MusicRadar's review of Chinese Democracy.