Today I plan to begin a series of music reviews that will be posted on Tuesdays. Tuesday is typically the day of the week that new music is released for purchase in retail outlets. I will not always be reviewing brand new, just released music, but most of my reviews will be on new music. I may throw in the occasional older release just because I want to or due to it’s being a topic of conversation either here or in the news.
Today I will start the series with an artist I been fond of over the years and has just recently released a new record album. (I know, old school term) The artist is Chris Cornell. Chris Cornell has been recording music for quite some time. He has been the lead vocalist for some very popular bands such as Soundgarden and Audioslave. He also collaborated with musicians to create the “Temple of the Dog” project in 1991. These same musicians later formed the multi-platinum record selling group Pearl Jam. Chris has done one other previously released solo project in 1999 which did not fair well commercially.
Chris Cornell’s newest project is entitled Carry On. Carry On was released a few weeks ago on June 5th. The album is produced by Steve Lillywhite who has produced albums for U2 and Rolling Stones. The songs on the album are fairly different than anything Chris has done with his other bands. The tone of the songs is smoother than the usual rough edges like those from Soundgarden and Audioslave, but the voice is definitely the same powerful instrument most of us have come to love.
The album contains 14 songs, including the hit “You Know My Name”, the main title song from the recent James Bond film “Casino Royale”. There are also some diverse songs on the album, from the blues flavored “Safe and Sound” to the slow paced cover of “Billie Jean”. The music of each song is unique on its own and definitely very different from Cornell’s previous projects. The album begins with “No Such Thing” one of the harder songs on the album and a potential hit with folks wanting for more Audioslave oriented style. For most of the album I get the overwhelming hint that the intent of the album was to focus on his distinctive vocal prowess. The lyrics are pretty good in a definite secular tone. No theology here.
Album highlights are “Scar On The Sky”, “Your Soul Today” (music sounds like old Stones), “Billie Jean” (even though my daughter Crysta frowned on it), “Silence The Voices”, “Safe And Sound”, “You Know My Name” (James Bond rocks!). My favorite is “Disappearing Act” for its diverse orchestration. Overall, I really like Carry On and I really appreciate Chris Cornell’s raw emotion found in the songs.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars.