The Hated Opinionated One

Chris Cornell Screams Sell-Out

Posted by Scotio on February 2, 2009


Ok, I’m all for artists exploring and expanding. I can’t stand anything stagnant and dull. I’m one for change/growth. Still, there are some things that you should just know better than to do. Chris Cornell, this goes out to you. The new album, Scream, is produced entirely by Timbaland. Wait. Pause. Stop. Rewind. Timbaland? Are you being for real? Mister “Friggy-Friggy”? With Chris Cornell? The man who pleaded to the Black Hole Sun? Ok, I normally don’t like doing negative review posts, but there are just some things that need to be talked about. This album is definitely one of those things. Now, granted, I was thrown off when I found out about the collab between to the musical . . . umm . . . entities? Yeah, that’s a good choice of words. But, I decided that, maybe it isn’t so bad. I mean, Cornell did team up with the musical crew of Rage Against The Machine, right? Timbaland couldn’t have convinced Cornell to do anything drastic right? Right? Hello? Is that an echo?

Umm . . . hmm . . . I feel bad doing this. Why? Because I’m a serious old school Cornell fan. But, I guess . . . just like that crazy lady that I’m eternally romantically attached to say . . . medicine isn’t always pleasant tasting, but it’s needed. So, yeah, “Ground Zero” is a song on the album. The music and the Timbaland “Ey!”‘s that were featured on Nelly Furtado’s album screams out radio single. Chris Cornell seems uncomfortable on this song(actually, on all of the songs, but we’ll get to that). It doesn’t seem like a good match at all. This track just feels like it belongs in the hands of someone who relies on studio magic to come across as a moderate(read: successfully climbing up today’s musical charts).

“Part Of Me” is the album opener. And, yeah, man it was the start of bad things. A prologue of despair would be trying to be polite. The Chorus seems like something some Wack&B singer would croon out for a commercial rapper’s goofball ranting track. To sit there and say that you’re so into the girl but her problems just seem to be too much is one thing. But, to just freely toss out the bitch word just seems like a sad attempt at being edgy. I mean, cool. Feel that she’s a bitch. But, say that under your breathe(or out loud when you’re all alone). Don’t take this crappy route, man. Come on, Chris. What are you doing? The Spoonman bows his head in shame because of this.

“Never Far Away” HAS to have been a Justin Timberlake song. There isn’t ONE single solitary piece of this song that doesn’t scream JT. The beat, the singing melody, the lyrics  . . . all of it seems like a b-side to FS/LS. It’s really bowel movement inducing to sit there and deal with that. Like, let me get something straight here: If JT did the song. Sure, it would have been a cool track. It would have been one of those closet pleasure songs that I’d have to hide from people knowing that I enjoy. But, with Chris on this track, it just feels like he lost a bet or something and had to do the song. No, he doesn’t half-ass the song. I think that’s the problem. His voice isn’t suited for Candy Pop. There’s too much edge to it. There’s a strain laced through it from the years of dishing out good Rock music(save for the last Audioslave album, of course). But, no, don’t think that I’m being a bully. Let me show you why, the song “Long Gone” falls under that same category. JT or Rihanna or one of those other half talented singers would have aced this right out of the park. Chris Cornell makes you sit there and wonder “Dude, was reuniting with Garden really THAT bad of an idea for you to end up deciding to do this?” I mean, to just be fair, it’s as confusing as seeing Shaggy & Scooby performing in a Tag Team MMA event. Yeah, doesn’t settle right with your mental, does it? I know.

“Take Me Alive”, I’ll admit, did start off pretty damn “sexy”(to steal from the crazy woman, yet again). It had like a Bollywood feel to the song(Someone saw a Slumdog Millionaire preview?). The sitar and string sounds work well with him singing like was playing Jafar in an Aladdin Rock Opera. Hell, I’ll be truthful. If the whole album had this feel, I would have felt like I was eating Shell Toes for dinner. But, such wasn’t the case. I don’t know whether I was happy for being right from the start . . . or upset for predicting the failure that was to come once I pressed play. I’d rather take this song 13 times than any of the other tracks once. “Watch Out” plays out like some sort of angry pop track. Yes, the oxymoronic statement has been put into play. The synthesized guitar loop is annoying at best. The Timbaland Stutters before the Chorus makes you do a double take at the sadness that is the track. The cheap titty bar drum loops makes you re-evaluate what type of downward spiral must one be stuck on to make this sort of crud. I’ve heard more angst on some songs from Daughtry than what this tried to sneak over(or under) people. It’s quite strange having to state that and then look at whom I’m reviewing here.

Outside of that one track, the rest of the album just plays out like the same old song and dance that you’ve heard from Timbaland ever since he got his new MMG label. It’s very disappointing to see Chris Cornell sell his soul like that. I understand that everyone wants to make dynamic impacts all across the board, but this is just like something from Faust. I’m crying flagrant foul with this release. It’s heartbreaking and tragically desperate in every sense of the phrase. And, adding in small uses of profanity throughout the album won’t stop the people from calling this Justin Timberlake’s unreleased album. I’m sure there’s a very strong chance that the countless number of pop music drones will probably gobble this up, and Cornell will, for once, feel like a Mega Media Star. He should have been content being a Rock DemiGod. Now, he’s lower on the respect totem pole than he’s ever been. Only a Soundgarden Reunion album will wash away the pain that has been dealt with this blow. And, yes, this blows.

*Note: I know I didn’t get into great detail on the actual pieces of the song that makes them fall or fail . . . but if you’re familiar with the type of pop music that he’s doing now, I don’t even think the details need to be addressed.




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