Some of our older readers may remember Chris Cornell during awesomer times, as the lead yelling guy for Soundgarden. Others among you may recall his later work with Audioslave (all of which sounds like he sang through a mouthful of crushed-up sleeping pills) or his sensitive coffee-shop guy solo records (ditto). You may notice a downhill pattern here.
Judging from recent photos, Cornell seems to be going through a rough midlife crisis. But instead of nailing 19-year-olds or buying a Porsche, he has decided to record an album with....Timbaland. Yes, the same guy who worked with Missy Elliot/Justin Timberlake/whoever. As you can imagine, I was more than curious to hear the abomination that would come from this -- and fortunately, you can hear the resulting album Scream on MySpace for free.
After an orchestral intro, opening track "Part Of Me" limps out of the speakers. Tim's beats and production are fairly non-threatening, but as soon as Cornell started singing, my immediate thought was "Jesus Christ on a cock, this is the worst thing I have ever heard in my life." This song sounds like if Saturday Night Live did a skit about what would happen if Chris Cornell tried singing pop R&B, and would easily be just as funny if it wasn't so goddamn embarassing. About 90 seconds later I realize that this is almost exactly the same song as "I Need To Know" by Marc Antony. Holy shit.
Cornell, pre-op and post-op
I'm not going to bother talking about the rest of the CD because it doesn't get any better from there. All of this stuff is generic as hell, with all the texture and variety of baby food. There's a lot of that cheesy vocal effect that Cher used, and drum loops that sound like man-sex. There's almost no guitar work on here to speak of, and the little that is here is apparently played by...John Mayer. Yeah. Not good.
It shouldn't be hard to guess Timbaland's intentions here ($) but the whole thing reeks of a ploy for relevancy on Cornell's part -- which is a shame, because if he wanted to remain relevant, all he had to do was keep writing good songs. Instead, he put a disc that ranks high on the "bad idea" scale, right up there with St. Anger and that Megadeth song about wrestling or whatever.
I'm not even sure who the hell Cornell expected to enjoy this-- I highly doubt that the clubbin' types want to hear Cornell screaming about bitches and getting crunk, and we all know how open-minded hard rockers are about dance music. Even if this was the best rock/R&B crossover EVER, it would find its way to the cutout bin quickly. Fortunately, it's hilariously bad, so nobody's really missing much.
So, in conclusion: Fuck off, Chris Cornell. I'm done with you and your bullshit. If you're lucky I'll put on BadMotorFinger once in a while and remember how, 15 years ago, you used to not suck. Go kill yourself.
Hugs & Kisses,