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Album Review

In case you didn't catch the symbolism, Chris Cornell is smashing a guitar on the cover of Scream because he's done with those six-strings — he's leaving it all behind for Timbaland, who has long wanted to leave hip-hop and R&B behind to make a rock album. As an idea, this rock-dance fusion has some merit; clearly, Cornell needs to do something to shake himself out of his solo stupor and Timbaland is an imaginative, daring producer whose gifts are not limited by genre, although as much as they want to stretch, neither Cornell nor Timbaland is willing to leave his comfort zone here. To be fair, Timbaland's tracks are often augmented by additional production by anyone from Justin Timberlake to OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder. Whoever was directly responsible, the result sounds like skittering dance-pop, graced by Cornell's sometimes looped, sometimes manipulated caterwaul.

Customer Reviews

Bland and Uninspiring

Listening to 'Scream', it's easy to forget that Chris Cornell is, arguably, one of the greatest vocalists of his generation. Blessed with terrific range - from high-pitched scream to smoky growl - he has proven himself over a career spanning 15-odd years. Which is why this new album is so, so disappointing. While Cornell has had no problems making himself heard over drums and guitars in the past, the production on 'Scream' by Timbaland is so heavy-handed that, on a number of tracks, Cornell is overshadowed by computer-generated effects. In fact, it's a sad indictment of the whole album that Cornell could be replaced by any number of average singers and it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference. Cornell seems to have been in a musical funk for a while - the last Audioslave album, 'Revelations' was their weakest and his previous solo effort, 'Carry On' was a patchy, middle-of-the-road affair - but with 'Scream' he's surely hit rock bottom. Don't get me wrong, it's to his credit that he is willing to experiment. Many a talented musician has steadfastly refused to change and have long since ceased being relevant but, sadly, Cornell has chosen the wrong avenue with 'Scream'. Having worked wonders for the likes of Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado and One Republic, it's easy to see why Cornell has chosen Timbaland to get his career back on track. But it has spectacularly failed to work. Togther with the over-powering backing tracks, the main problem is that 'Scream' is so incessently bland. Only perhaps 'Climbing Up the Walls' and 'Ground Zero' (despite it's infuriating background yelps) seem to rise above the monotonous, repetitious nature of the album. Every track is as forgettable as the next. What's more, the paucity of good material is consistantly evident. For the man who wrote (or co-wrote) tracks such as 'Fell on Black Days', 'When I'm Down' and 'Jesus Christ Pose' to come up with sub-par nonsense like 'Watch Out', 'Other Side of Town' or 'Get Up' is sad indeed. It's actually embarrasing to listen to some of the more up-tempo songs, given that they effectively nail the suspicion that 'Scream' is a musical mid-life crisis in full flow. It says something that the best track is the secret one. 'Two Drink Minimum' (which can be bought individually elsewhere) is a stripped-down, blusely number which, frustratingly, hints at the type of album we could have had if things had been different. Ultimately then, 'Scream' is something of a failed experiment. Dull, insipid, confused and hopelessly generic, it won't live long in the CD player or the memory.

Its Cornell but not as we know it...

This is an unexpected move from the Audioslave and Soundgarden legend but by God it works. Speaking as a die hard Audioslave i was sceptical but Chris is proving his versatility once again. Songs like Two Drink Minimum provide a reminder of the past while the title track Scream show that the future is bright for the one of the greatest voices of all time - also i highly recommend listening to the end of songs like climbing up the walls for messages from the man himself

It's still Chris Cornell

I imagine this album will get a lot of negative reviews from those who expect Chris Cornell to release a "rock" album everytime - my advice is no to listen to them. Granted, it takes a couple of listens to get your head around Timbaland's particular style, but once you have, you'll see that this album is a great piece of work, with the vocals standing out more so than if they were found in a traditional rock album. Remember, just 'cause a die-hard Soundgarden or Audioslave fan won't like it, doesn't mean it's a bad album!!


Born: 20 July 1964 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Originally finding success as the frontman of Seattle's Soundgarden, rock vocalist Chris Cornell forged a successful career after the band's 1997 demise, both with the supergroup Audioslave and as a diverse solo artist. Born in Seattle on July 20, 1964, his music career didn't take shape until he was a teenager, when he began playing drums in a local cover band. Although he spent most of his teenage years as a loner, rock music helped Cornell overcome his uneasiness around others. After dropping...
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