Guns N' Roses is often times--on and off--within my Top 5 favorite bands. I view the original lineups of the band as the next logical succesors to the torch carried by The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith. Appetite for Destruction is a great rock album, if overrated; Lies is a fun little stop gap; The Use Your Illusions as flawed masterpieces, The Spaghetti Incident is downright fun, a great time. I love their cover of Sympathy for the Devil. Having followed the history of Chinese Democracy's creation for years, we were led to believe Axl was crafting something truly epic in those years locked away in the studio. Insiders described the album as a mix of the Wall and Physical Graffiti in sound, remixed by Trent Reznor and produced by Beck....As such I came to expect sonic masterpieces, pieces that brought the epic back to rock. Pieces similar to Achille's Last Stand, Queen, and the best of the Wall--an album of epics that would electrify the rock world--An experimental album, a perfect marriage of the clasic Hard Rock sound of the original Guns N' Roses and all the best sounds of the '90s--Grunge, industrial and so on. Ten minute long magnum opuses similar to Estranged and Coma in their complexity. Instead, we got 14 fairly straight forward songs. For all the hype by the media and Axl himself about the album's complexity, it's a fairly straight forward album made artificially complex by adding hundreds of layers upon simple songs. It's a decent album but not at all what I expected. What about you? What do you feel about it?