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Chris Cornell Carry On

By Debby Rao, Boston Contributor
Friday, July 6, 2007 @ 8:44 AM


On Interscope

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Carry On is the second solo album from former Audioslave and Soundgarden front man Chris Cornell. The popular 90's grunge singer, steps into the spotlight and sheds his former grunge roots with an album that is filled with melodic ballads that have a reggae, soulful appeal.

Earlier this year, Chris departed Audioslave due to musical differences. On Carry On Chris never loses his powerful, soulful edge of reaching his audience with his heart felt, poignant lyrics and hypnotic vocals. Carry On features, an artist that is clearly writing for himself, and not trying to fit into the same grunge genre that has long been passé'. Although there are a few tracks that do captivate that classic Chris Cornell- Audioslave/Soundgarden grunge sound that he is known for, the majority of the fourteen tracks on the album features a more, melodic Cornell that sings about subjects that he holds true to his heart.

The opening track, ”No Such Thing", features slithering, hard driving guitars, and vibrant vocals that put Cornell at the top of his game in the 90's. Chris generates the anger and passion that is reminiscent of his Soundgarden days. Definitely, one of my favorite tracks on the new release.

Another highlight includes the beautiful ballad, ”Arms Around Your Love". This song features great acoustic guitar work, and lyrics that make you want to fall in love. Chris hasn't lost his touch for taking you into his world and making you feel the intensity of his music.

Next up, the song, ”Safe and Sound", Chris recently said in concert was a song he wanted to write all his life. It is a song that is rich in melody, and acoustic guitar work that deals with violence in this ever-changing world.

"She'll Never Be Your Man", has an Eric Clapton bluesy kind of appeal with sauntering guitar and percussion rhythms, and blues inspired vocals. It sort of takes you down to the Blues and Jazz clubs of New Orleans, where blues is the music by choice, and the artist feels the pain in every chorus. Catchy guitar rhythms and up-tempo vocals are among the qualities that rule this track.

One of the most surprising songs on the album is the remake of the Michael Jackson hit, "Billie Jean". For a moment, I almost didn't recognize the tune, as Chris does a 180-degree turnaround, and turns the previous funky groove of the 80's hit into a compelling, sensual love ballad. Cornell's voice whispers, ”She Was More Like A Beauty Queen From A Movie Screen”, illustrating a real depth and rich quality to his voice, with a vibrant reggae appeal. Chris also pays tribute to all of the lives lost around the world to war and other violence in the politically-oriented song, ”Silence The Voices".

Carry On ends with a song that was in the James Bond movie, Casino Royale called, ”You Know My Name". Fans of the Soundgarden years will enjoy this song.

I had the opportunity to hear "No Such Thing", "Arms Around Your Love", and "Safe and Safe", in his recent concert in Boston. I was really impressed how these songs stand up lyrically and musically.

On Carry On, Chris Cornell takes on the challenge of a solo artist, and uses his distinctive, warm melodic voice as his weapon. His vocals are reminiscent of a soulful Bob Marley, painfully honest and real.

On July 10th, Cornell kicks off his second U.S. leg of the Carry On tour. Check out www.chriscornell.com for tour listings.

****

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