SYNDICATE
Posted by: Dave on March 18, 2009 at 5:30 pm

ChrisCornellScreamNote: On the former Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman’s third solo album, he throws out a major curveball. The entire LP is produced by pop/hip-hop hitmaker extraordinaire Timbaland, and features additional production contributions by Top 40 luminaries like Justin Timberlake and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder.
Sound: Digital, shimmery electro pop and thickly orchestrated ballads with the occasional funk groove, rock riff…or hypnotic sitar. The golden-throated rock god’s vocals are considerably more restrained than they’ve been with Soundgarden/Audioslave and sometimes take on a soulful quality.
Heavy Rotation tracks: none
Medium Rotation tracks: “Ground Zero”; “Long Gone”; “Time”; “Enemy”
Recommended: The unlikely juxtaposition of Cornell’s and Timbaland’s worlds isn’t quite as ridiculous as it sounds on paper. Though much of the time the music is inappropriately slick for the rocker’s vocals, there are several moments where the two disparate ideas sound like they belong together—almost in the way that Cee-Lo’s powerful rasp matches up so nicely with Danger Mouse’s rhythmic, vintage production to make Gnarls Barkley sound so special. In fact, if Chris Cornell teamed with Danger Mouse instead of Timbaland, they might really have made something exciting. Danger Mouse’s darkness and peculiarities could have channeled Cornell’s earlier twisted Soundgarden side and conjured up some great music. But alas, we’re left with a collaboration that is unique and interesting, but not particularly satisfying. The real problem is the lyrics. When Cornell tries to incorporate the urban vernacular—presumably in an effort to match the musical vibe—he sounds truly out of his element. And in many other instances, the words just seem like lazy filler. The greatest accomplishment of Scream, though, is its cohesiveness as an album. Each track masterfully segues into the next without ever pausing. So Timbaland should feel pretty happy with his part of the equation, if nothing else.
Grade: B-

Listen to Tracks/Buy Music:
On iTunes
On amazon.com



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