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Chris Cornell

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  • Scream,

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    Chris Cornell

    Carry On 5 ( 2007 )
    No Such Thing / Poison Eye / Arms Around Your Love / Safe and Sound / She'll Never Be Your Man / Ghosts / Killing Birds / Billie Jean / Scar on the Sky / Your Soul Today / Finally Forever / Silence the Voices / Disappearing Act / You Know My Name / Today

    Hey, it's not just me giving this album a poor rating. The average score for this effort on metacritic is 56/100. Fairly poor, really. I wasn't expecting anything else, to be fair. Soundgarden were fairly good, Audioslave fairly mediocre. 'Carry On' sounds like one of those 'rock' American Idol/X Factor contestants, right down to the 'ironic', stripped down rendition of 'Billie Jean' done in post-grunge power ballad fashion. Tellingly, the song itself is the best composition here by some measure, even with Chris hammering home the vocals in an unsubtle, unconstrained manner. Sounds more like Rod Stewart doing the great american songbook than anything actually interesting. The most exciting, dramatic and by far and away 'best' moment on the album is of course the James Bond theme 'You Know My Name'. He wasn't perhaps everybodies first choice to sing a bond theme, yet much like the new bond Daniel Craig, Chris Cornell was able to bring something new to the franchise. The strings sail dramatically through, accenting the drama of the piece. He really bellows the lyrics most enjoyably, too. The song had to be placed last on the album, because nothing else here even remotely touches upon it's sonic and dramatic atmosphere. We've instead 'solid' middle of the road power rock numbers such as 'Killing Birds'. Plenty of tunes that contain a nifty rock guitar solo here and there, yet the suspicion is that Cornell needs a group of young, hungry musicians with him with plenty to prove. He seems to be resting on his laurels too much throughout 'Carry On' rather than pushing himself.

    'No Such Thing' which opens 'Carry On' seems to intially indicate the album will 'Carry On' from where Audioslave left off. This is a fine, angry and accomplished rock tune. Elsewhere, there are plenty of mid-tempo, chugging, radio friendly rock songs of the kind it's very easy to imagine Bryan Adams singing with a slight lyrical tweak here and there. 'Carry On' is an album that simply lacks any kind of distinctiveness, bar the vocals of Cornell. His vocals are in fine shape, but too often he resorts to belting out the lyrics to try vainly to inject some genuine excitement into these pedestrian rock songs.

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    Readers Comments

    Michael McDonell michael-mcdonell@hotmail.com
    I agree with your rating for this album. It was a total bore to listen to. His first solo album, "Euphoria Morning" (1999) is a million times more interesting. It's the best album Chris has ever made, maybe bar "Superunknown."

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    Scream 3 ( 2009 )
    Part Of Me / Time / Sweet Revenge / Get Up / Ground Zero / Never Far Away / Take Me Alive / Long Gone / Scream / Enemy / Other Side of Town / Climbing Up the Walls / Watch Out

    Chris Cornell is never one to sit still. From an impressive bond theme tune to now working with Timbaland. One thing is for sure, he must be aware not all fans of his fans are going to follow him this far. 'Watch Out' is fairly typical of this set, mixing rock with dance, the hand of Timbaland never very far away from the way the music sets itself out. The vocal chords of Cornell actually work better for my money in this setting than they did with Audioslave and I do praise Cornell for taking risks with his career and hope it pays off for him.'Enemy' is bloody awful though, why put a vocoder effect on the voice of Chris Cornell? I mean, would you put a vocoder and a 'hip' beat behind Pavarotti, Mr Timbaland? I don't mean former Audioslave singer Cornell resembles Pavarotti, whom I despise in any case. Just trying to make a point, hope you understand. Anyway, 'Long Gone' is even subtitled 'feat Timbaland' and is nothing at all like anything Chris Cornell has done before. It's also, quite sadly, a not very good at all dance/pop ballad.

    'Other Side Of Town' does quite hideous things to the voice of Chris Cornell. Wrapped in weird electronic effects, he sounds like a rapper who can't rap and he has no groove. He sounds strangely monotone and even though when I sing i'm hideously out of tune, flat and without character, even I would sound exactly like this, eg very poor indeed, when placed within the timbaland production effects. The tune by the way is standard dance/pop r'n'b fare. Did Chris even listen to this album before agreeing to release it? Is this even Chris Cornell at all? 'Get Up' suffers from exactly the same fate and i'm sure Timbaland has better tunes than this that he's saving up for Britney or Madonna or whomever. 'Climbing Up The Walls' is good because Cornell's voice resembles Cornell's voice. This album though is almost definitive proof that Timbaland doesn't really know what's he's doing at all.

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    this page last updated 22/03/09

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