Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Carry On - Chris Cornell

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Despite initial indifference to Cornell's Casino Royale effort, You Know My Name, I did actually grow to like it. It encompasses everything that you would want from a Cornell solo track; it's cool, raw and rocking...and sadly there's not enough else on the album like it.

There's also the lack of dark brooding that permeated his best work with Soundgarden; he may well be a happier, and perhaps more importantly sober, Chris Cornell these days but that doesn't make for a particularly thrilling album.

There are highlights; alongside the Bond theme there is No Such Thing, a vivid reminder of Cornell's Soundgarden days and Poison Eye. It's far from a coincidence that these heavier songs are the best of the bunch and indeed taken out of context of the album as a whole they could convince you in isolation that this is going to be a great album indeed.

Sadly it all falls apart from there somewhat. Avid fans have been labelling the album as triumph of moving away from his previous sound and whilst this may be half true (he has attempted to spread his sonic wings) the plain fact of the matter is that what he tries simply doesn't work consistently enough.

Indeed there's far too much of it that resembles Bon Jovi-meets-American Idol style posturings; too much of it is reminiscent of MOR rock that pleases the radio but please few listeners. And that's before I've got to his cover version of Billie Jean, which it is safe to say doesn't work on any level you might choose.

Carry On is not a dreadful album, and is quite listenable, but a sense of disappointment hangs over it. You would like to think Chris Cornell is capable of much more than this.

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