Chris Cornell: Scream


(Chris Cornell)
Release Date: 
Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chris Cornell’s latest record just may prove that Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo could have a second career as a prophet. Though his satirical line from “Pork and Beans” (“Timbaland knows the way to reach the top of the chart”) is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, Cornell will have to forgive the skeptics and doubters if they seriously question the wisdom of his new album.

Yes friends, it’s true. Cornell’s newest effort features an album-long collaboration with none other than Mr. Timbaland himself. To be honest, I had to double-check when I first saw the liner notes myself. I mean, we’re talking the voice of Soundgarden and Audioslave here. Cornell’s got one of the best and purest straight-up rock voices left. The dude can growl and soar like no one else. Yet here he is keeping company with flavor-of-the-minute producer Timbaland. Don’t get me wrong: Cornell is certainly not perfect and Timbaland is no slouch. It just seems like a very odd coupling at best.

But enough talk. How does it play out in actuality? Not too bad, to be honest. The biggest thing will be adjusting your expectations. The guitars that are being smashed by Cornell on the cover and in the album art? That’s about the only time that guitars even show up. Dance-floor ready beats and hot loops are the name of the game here. Shoot, maybe the destroyed guitars are a metaphor for the new direction that Cornell has chosen.

In the end, this isn’t a bad record per se, just one that comes out of left field (at least for me). Once you wrap your head around the idea of this odd couple doing an album together, it’s not a bad disc of music. I’ll be especially curious to see how the general population reacts to this transformation. Only time will tell...

Jeremy Hunt
Review by Jeremy Hunt
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