8. Scraped- This song has a weird a capella beginning. Strange. Other than that, it is a pretty straight forward rocker. Not bad. OK.
9. Rian N' the Bedouins- This one here is another rocker that is straight forward. The verses actually sound like something off Appetite From Destruction. The chorus is cool, but I'm not sure it fits with the verses. Axel is really going for something with this tune, but I'm not sure if it works.
10. Sorry- This is a slow moody jam with guitar straight outta a western movie. It sounds a ton like Alice in Chains. When it gets to the chorus, it gets louder and even more AIC-ish. Now I love AIC, so I can deal, but Axel usually doesn't mimic others to this degree.
11. IRS- Here we go. This is another simple rock song, but much better than the last two. This song and Better are the most radio friendly. I like this song. This and Better are better than anything off of the 2 Use Your Illusions.
12. Madagascar- This is the first song on the record that sounds exactly how I expected this record to sound. It is a semi-symphonic, quasi-epic that doesn't really catch me. It reminds me more of the Estranged and November Rain type songs from the last albums. It is full of audio samples from movies and MLK Jr. speeches. I think Axel is trying to sound deep. This is the most boring song on the album.
13. This I Love- This is a piano and symphonic ballad. Fragile and pretty, it has a great vocal performance. I don't like this kind of song, but this is not bad for what it is.
14. Prostitute- This is another big, multi-layered, inspirational rock song like There Was a Time and Catcher in the Rye. This is where Axel needs to stay. This is his new place. Axel is no longer the rocker that he was when he was in his 20s. He has grown into a pretty excellent composer/arranger. He coulld put out albums of songs in this style treading water somewhere between Elton John, Queen, and Steely Dan, and I would buy them all. It's time for Axel to drop the GNR moniker and do this style of music under the name William Rose.
Overall, I still can hardly believe that I own Chinese Democracy and that I have listened to it about 5 times in the last 2 days. Forget the 15 year build up for this record. No record could ever fulfill that kind of grand expectation. To be honest, I had pretty low expectations for this record, and I am suprised to say that it is a lot better than I thought it was going to be. There are some definite missteps, but there are a number of great songs, and some moments of true musical brilliance. And you get your money's worth. The ambition and "packed to the gills" feeling of some of the production sounds like the over grandiose piece of musical theater that it is. I would recommend that every rock fan check this out. You will find something on it to love and there are very few boring moments. I tip my hat to Axel. Mr. Rose, you are much more talented than I gave you credit for.
This album is my second favorite GNR album (obviously behind Appetite.)