Does Chinese Democracy offer glimpses of the paranoid, misogynistic genius we once heard on the soundtrack of Interview With the Vampire? Absotively. "The Blues" might be Rose’s crowning career achievement: It’s an epic combination of mid-period Stevie Wonder, early Elton John, and side two of In Through the Out Door. This is the kind of gutter-glam boogie ballad that makes "November Rain" seem like a bucket of burro vomit warming in the afternoon sun. Chinese Democracy is simultaneously propulsive and ponderous, and there are some electrifying guitar arpeggios on both "Silk Worm" and "Thursday Morning Strip Club" (performed, I assume, by either Buckethead, Robin Finck, Zakk Wylde, Johnny Marr, or Brian May -- all five are listed in the liner notes). But this transcendence is sporadic at best: All too often, Rose’s sonic neurosis plunges into self-reflexive self-indulgence, most notably on the outdated 14-minute rap-rock anthem "Pound You (Good)" and an embarrassing "roots rock" duet with new buddy Dave Pirner titled "You’re Still Too Sweet Not to Be My Baby Anymore." Several songs make thinly veiled references to the architect who designed Rose’s backyard topiary garden, a move that may confuse casual listeners.I have no idea how they got the album but the review does look genuine. Come on! Give us Chinese Democracy now!
Update: Borivoj Krgin of Blabbermouth tells me that he thinks it's an early April Fool's Day joke. Hmmm...... No! No! No! It can't be! Tell me it isn't! No!!!!!!!
Update: Spin.com has changed the url of the Chinese Democracy review and even changed the date to April 1. Damn! It is indeed an April Fool's Day joke.