The Real "Chinese Democracy" May Have Leaked

June 18, 2008 5:30 PM ET

As the inexorable march towards Chinese Democracy stomps along, the dangling carrots of periodic leaks and hints have made the decade-plus dry spell all the more tantalizing. But today's latest batch of tunes — which are purported to be, finally, the real thing — really may signal the end of the wait. [UPDATE: Not shockingly, the site may already be down]. With all the curious "free Dr. Pepper" talk a few months back reeking sweetly of a publicity stunt to come, the timing doesn't feel all that off for tunes to really start making it through the cracks.

Today's leak features nine tracks, and besides the six which have already made the rounds (including a stunning version of "Madagascar," complete with a chorus of Axls singing on top of each other), a trio of thus far unheard and unnamed songs offer further suggestions as to what may be around the corner. Axl's howl is unmistakable, and one track features a porno-guitar wah-wah, hard-edged synths, flamenco guitar and delicate piano for what's perhaps the most unique mish-mash of sounds in a GNR tune to date.

If it's just another batch of demos, then they're perhaps the most well-produced and complete demos in the history of the industry. And damn, they're really pretty good.

Related Stories:
Is "Chinese Democracy" Close? Axl Rose Gets Top Management Team

Axl Rose Thanks Dr. Pepper For Supporting "Chinese Democracy"

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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