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Out of Exile

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Album Review

Given that most supergroups last little longer than a single album, it was easy to assume that Audioslave — the pairing of Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell and the instrumental trio at the core of Rage Against the Machine — was a one-off venture. That suspicion was given weight by their eponymous 2002 debut, which sounded as if Cornell wrote melodies and lyrics to tracks RATM wrote after the departure of Zack de la Rocha, but any lingering doubts about Audioslave being a genuine rock band are vanished by their 2005 second album, Out of Exile. Unlike the first record, Out of Exile sounds like the product of a genuine band, where all four members of the band contribute equally to achieve a distinctive, unified personality. It's still possible to hear elements of both Rage and Soundgarden here, but the two parts fuse relatively seamlessly, and there's a confidence to the band that stands in direct contrast to the halting, clumsy attack on the debut. A large part of the success of Out of Exile is due to the songs, which may be credited to the entire group but are clearly under the direction of Cornell, sounding much closer to his past work than anything in Rage's catalog. Even the simple riff-driven rockers are tightly constructed songs with melodies and dramatic tension — they lead somewhere instead of running in circles — while the ballads have a moody grace and there's the occasional left-field surprise like the sunny, sweet psych-pop gem "Dandelion"; it's the strongest set of songs Cornell has written in a decade. Which is not to say that Out of Exile is without excesses, but they're almost all from guitarist Tom Morello; his playing can still seem laborious, particularly when he clutters single-string riffs with too many notes (the otherwise fine opener, "Your Time Has Come," suffers from this), and his elastic stomp box excursions verge on self-parody on occasion. Still, these are isolated moments on an album that's otherwise lean, hard, strong, and memorable, a record that finds Audioslave coming into its own as a real rock band.

Customer Reviews

It will leave you amazed.

This album was the start of my Audioslave fandom, and I was amazed. Chris Cornell's vocals are some of the best in rock music today. I don't care what anyone says, Tom Morello IS THE BSET GUITARIST OF OUR AGE. If you disagree with me, just listen to this CD. The things that man does with a guitar is unlike anything people of the generation have ever heard. Along with Tim Commerford's incredible bass playing and Brad Wilk's power drumming, the boys of Audioslave have done it again, only this time around, creating one for the ages.

nicely done

This is pretty good. I can't lie and be like "OMG BEST ALBUM EVER" because that's not true. But it does deliver really really well. Compared to their last album it's amazing. They sound like one bona fide band here instead of Chris Cornell getting confused and finding himself in a studio singing over Rage songs. "Your Time Has Come" is indisputably the best song on this album. Just stunning. The first 7 tracks are great. And so is "Dandelion." The rest is kinda disposable. But Chris Cornell is one of the best singers in rock, Tom Morrello's guitar innovation is unbelievable, and Tim C. and Brad are a really really solid rhythm section. Highly recommended.

No Sophomore Slump here

Audioslave's "Out Of Exile" is a great followup to their self-titled 2001 debut. The first 4 songs on the CD really highlight the band's musical talent with a handful of solid offerings after. The opener is anti-war song "Your Time Has Come" highlighted by one of many powerful guitar solos by Tom Morello. After that comes the title track, with a catchy chorus and more great guitar work. Top 5-single "Doesn't Remind Me" comes next, and while it seems like the lyrics are pointless and quirky at first, it's actually a nice job of writing by ex-Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell...and guess what, another great guitar solo. Track 4 is the album's inspirational lead single "Be Yourself," which may sound like the title of a new Hillary Duff song but it actually works for the band. There's nothing too special after that, but the rest of the album is highlighted by solid work such as "The Worm" and "Drown Me Slowly" before the powerful ending song "The Curse." Audioslave once again proves that the power of Rage Against the Machine is still alive and well.

Biography

Formed: 2001 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

When Zack de la Rocha left Rage Against the Machine in October 2000, the band's future was put into question. Within months rumors flew that ex-Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell would replace de la Rocha. And gossip fueled truth, for Cornell joined the rest of Rage in the studio in May 2001. The mix was great and a musical bond was in the making: Cornell, Tim Commerford, Brad Wilk, and Tom Morello spent the next year writing and recording. By spring 2002, the foursome were no longer going by the...
Full Bio
Out of Exile, Audioslave
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