I'm new to this forum, so bear with me.
My wife took me to Best Buy for my Valentine's Day present and I had to have "Chinese Democracy." I have every album GnR recorded and have been a fan since the beginning. A fan of the music, that is. And I like this new album. It is a growth in a number of directions and it all makes sense. A say that after a week of listening to it constantly, staying the cd player of my car.
Maybe I identify with the music because it also represents a maturation. I'm the same age as Axl Rose or close enough by a year. "Chinese Democracy" has quite a bit of the classic sound from the old days. "Rhiad and the Bedouins" is definitely heavy metal. "Prostitute" has a pop sensibility that should get it some radio play, too and I don't say that as an insult. It's just a very accessible tune.
But the instant favorite was nearly a toss up between "Better" and "Street of Dreams." Even though I have listened to the album through a few times and even tried it on random function, I play "Street of Dreams" a couple of times. I can't help it, I'm a crazy fool for melody. But I like every song on the album and the range of influences that went into. I like what Axl is doing with his voice. And he hasn't lost a bit through the years, as many other singers lose their upper range and power. He's still got it. And the virtuostic guitar work is amazing.
I agree with Mr. Rose in his recent statements. This is fully a Guns and Roses album and every bit as good as Appetite ever was. When Appetite came out, I knew they were the next big thing since Led Zepellin. Not in the same style but in music, in general.
Just the musings of an old guy who's too stubborn to quit rock and roll.