Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Is it Pandering or Artistic Expression?

Taking a break from my exploration of Irish rock for a bit. Mostly because I felt this song and the subsequent album needed my attention, and not for a good reason. I have enjoyed CHRIS CORNELL's work for a long time. I bought into his vocal wail early on in the SOUNDGARDEN days and was truly disappointed when they broke up. I enjoyed his interplay with EDDIE VEDDER on the TEMPLE OF THE DOG album. I indulged his early solo work as an artist searching for his place in a the post band world (a hard transition for most front men to make...and most do not). When he joined AUDIOSLAVE I thought that maybe he had found a happy medium between the metal side of Soundgarden and solo work, but alas it did not last.

And now we have his collaboration with TIMBALAND on "Scream". Here's where I have my issues. Let's ignore for a minute that the record is very, very bad. The question is simple; is this a creative release for a wandering artist or an attempt to pander to a pop artist to sell records by selling out your "sound" for a contemporary flavor of the week. I have, in the past, enjoyed Timbaland's work and when I heard the lead single and title track I was intrigued (and it is a decent song), but listening to the whole record it is apparent that this is subpar work on both artists' accounts. The beats are lazy, the synths are tepid and Cornell spends most of the record restraining his vocals. What exactly is the point of this whole exercise? Was Cornell so unhappy with his prior work that he feels no allegiance to it? The record only serves to frustrate fans who, I do not believe, are going to accept this as a genuine artifact of his talent.

So ignore this album and go get "Badmotorfinger" instead.

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