22 January 2020
Here's how it works: The Recent Releases chart brings together critical reaction to new albums from more than 50 sources worldwide. It's updated daily. Albums qualify with 5 reviews, and drop out after 6 weeks into the longer timespan charts.
Browse specific styles
Eventual third album from the rock giants, a mere 17 years after Use Your Illusion
Let's get right to it: The first Guns n' Roses album of new, original songs since the first Bush administration is a great, audacious, unhinged and uncompromising hard-rock record.
The music toggles between two primary modes: grinding industrial rock and keys-and-strings balladry.
The songs are epic, long-winded, cleverly stitched together, and subject to constant mood-swings - much like Rose himself.
These aren't songs, they're suites, energetic and skittering and unpredictable hard rock hydras cut with miasmic industrial grind, stadium rattling metal solos, electronic drift and hip-hop churn.
So rather than taking popular music one step forward, it's an unashamed Nineties rock album, hence the grunge tinge to Shackler's Revenge and the gigantic ballads Street Of Dreams and There Was a Time.
The stomping of an imperial army on the march? Or a nod to the self-serious metal monoliths of the '90s - less hair and more scare, perhaps?
Chinese Democracy's Finnegans Wake-esque gestation means that each track is dense, heavy and will take multiple listens to unravel.
Clearly not the greatest rock album ever made, but nor is it an absolute and utter failure.
Woefully flabby in places... but there are still enough momentary flashes of the old steel that made the Appetite for Destruction so good.
Packs both volume and aggression, but its pleasures are buried in the rubble of 14 different studios and a surfeit of Nine Inch Nails-style industrial rock
It would be a miracle of Sistine proportions if this album amounted to anything coherent and consistent since 1991.
The only laughs are unintentional
Let it be known: ‘Chinese Democracy’ is not the disaster it could have been. Not quite.
Guns N' Roses: Chinese Democracy
Debris can join Nick Cave’s last two albums as the soundtrack to your loneliest moments, the hand you will want to grasp when you come apart, a voice that will touch your sadness and change your world tonight
God Is In The TV
Forsyth’s familiarity and confidence with the material can be heard through every inflection and recitation. This is a boldly honest and startling debut
If more debuts from 2020 are this good it’ll be a fine year
Loud And Quiet
Forsyth's emotional power is entirely here and now. Print edition only
This deeply melancholic brand of haunting, sparse folk is as intoxicating as it is unsettling. Print edition only
An astonishing debut, not just for the power of the songs, but for the journey that they trace. Print edition only
An engrossing, depressive, and highly addicting mood piece that is guaranteed to carry you to dark places while forcing you to question your own sanity
Sputnik Music (staff)
It may be only January, but Debris gives the overwhelming impression that one of the defining releases of 2020 may already be upon us
The heavy-hearted G.O.O.D. Music debut from the young singer is a refreshingly new take on eclectic, lovesick soul music
With easy hooks, surprise structural twists, and a gift for non-sequiturs, the Canadian quartet’s debut is a vivid portrait of the big-city struggle. Pavement’s influence is impossible to ignore
Striking the perfect balance between sound and message
Long story short, if you’re a young person and you like dance bangers, this one is probably for you
Whether or not the future is as dark and dire as Wolf Parade make it out to be, critically minded works like Thin Mind will stave off a total eclipse
While the songs are among some of the best he has crafted, Circles fits in perfectly to Miller’s oeuvre and will possibly give some of his most ardent fans a chance to say goodbye
Music To Be Murdered By
The majority of these songs are instantly forgettable with similar and familiar beats and tempo Eminem has recycled from his previous LP’s. Whilst his ability as a world-class rapper has been repeatedly demonstrated and continues to be demonstrated here; the subject matter of his lyrics is over-familiar
Since we've been around, that is. So, the highest-rated albums from the past eight years or so. Rankings are calculated to two decimal places.
To Pimp A Butterfly
D'Angelo And The Vanguard
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
You Want It Darker
Carrie & Lowell