I've listened to a few songs and I'm mixed. I did like the Chinese Democracy single. But I'm a huge fan of the original GnR, not the watered down version of Axl and his revolving door band. I just can't get past the fact that Slash is not he guitarist and that just kills it for me. I know it shouldn't but it does. GnR with all the changes just isn't GnR anymore. This just doesn't have the GnR feel to me...it's got some good music, don't get me wrong. I think though a number of people (me included) are trying to compare this album to previous GnR albums and maybe we shouldn't. The band is different and we are 15+ years after the last true GnR albums. Maybe it would be better to compare CD to the other current rock/metal albums out right now.
BTW, if you want a really good read on one perspective of what happened to GnR, read "Slash". Obviously it's Slash's insight into his life and what ended up happening to the band after UYI came out and how they fell apart.
Sorry, ROB, but I know if I like music when I am constantly choosing to hear it.
I've listened to songs like Better, IRS, There Was A Time, The Blues/Street Of Dream, & Catcher in the Rye
for the past couple of years. Not b/c I "thought" it was good, but b/c I liked it. The final album is only half new to me, and while I love the classic blues-rock sound of AfD, that was a completely different band playing and writing those songs. Those were 5 kids living day-to-day, and their music reflected that. If you really want that, then look for the next starving rock band, b/c that will never again be Axl, Slash, Duff, or Izzy.
This new sound is still great for me. First, it starts with Axl. I am a fan of his voice and vocals. No one else sounds like him. And while I am big fan of Slash and his music, I can still hear Slash in these songs. Honestly, what has Slash done since leaving GNR? Played for anyone that has paid him? When you compare all the GNR-related albums by Duff, Matt, Steven, Izzy, Gilby, and Slash, this GNR-Axl record is far better IMO. If Axl wants to call it GNR, so be it. No one was ever fired - they all quit. And you see what they've done.
Axl's music is still better and to me, what defined GNR. My biggest problem with this curent GNR is the fact that Axl is STILL IN HIDING and the band is in limbo. No Buckethead? A freak to be sure, but a guitar player that could rival SLash in mastery. No Finck? He was my favorite new member of the band and somone who had been with axl for over 10 years. No Brain? No Freese? Hard to really get excited about the "band" when you don't know who is in the "band". Unless Axl comes out of his Malibu house, this GNR album (despite how great it is) will be better known as "Axl & Friends" since so many people worked on it, but never supported it as one band.