Carry OnFeatured review by: UG Team, on june 06, 2007 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Ask 5 different people's opinions about Chris Cornell and you'll likely get 5 very unique perspectives. Whether you loved him in Soundgarden and hated him in Audioslave -- or vice versa -- Cornell has made some incredible songs that have spanned almost 2 decades. His latest release Carry On marks his 2nd record as a solo artist, and in similar fashion to his more recent efforts, the results are mixed.
The tracks on Carry On are another huge leap away from his music in Soundgarden and Audioslave, which will probably have some people furious off the bat. While there are guitar riffs here and there that are reminiscent of mellower Soundgarden songs, they are still subtle. The opening song No Such Thing is one of the true rock songs on the album, which features a nice guitar line that is carried through much of the song. If you have heard the James Bond theme song You Know My Name that Cornell performed for Casino Royale, then you'll have a good indication what No Such Thing sounds like. They have a similar feel and tempo, and are fairly solid pop-rock tracks.
Cornell is actually most impressive when he really slows the tempo down surprisingly enough. Safe And Sound, a 1960's flavored soul song, and his version of Michael Jackson's Billie Jean are a few of the best tracks. Cornell's vocals just seem more passionate when placed against a slower rhythm. There will be rock purists who despise both of the tracks, but if you can get past your adoration for Soundgarden (this sing a quality reviewer is a big Kim Thayil, too) then you'll discover that Cornell can still be effective at performing a soul song.
A few tracks like Arms Around Your Love and Your Soul Today just feel like generic rock tracks and seem a bit hollow without guitar backing from Tom Morello or Kim Thayil that often times carried the tunes. This doesn't necessarily mean the whole CD is full of generic material. The CD contains 14 tracks and there are still some memorable moments like the Beatles-esque intro in Finally Forever. // 7
Lyrics: Cornell's lyrics cover a lot of ground on Carry On, particularly considering he's got everything from a soul ballad to a James Bond theme on the CD. You Know My Name does fit the Bond persona pretty well, and it even throws in some nice lines that allude to the gambling in the movie. Cornell sings, If you take a life, do you know what you'll give; Odds are, you won't like what it is; When the storm arrives, would you be seen with me; By the merciless eyes I've deceived. Considering he did have boundaries to work within, he did a pretty solid job.
He gets a bit more introspective in Safe And Sound, but still manages to not ever get hokey. He sings. You'll open your eyes; Reading your paper, a drink from your cup; No one was burning down time; While you were sleeping. Cornell can always pull out an interesting lyric here and there, and that is one of his strengths. // 9
Overall Impression: Cornell still has some incredible vocal chops and that's something that hasn't faded over the years. Even when he is singing a laid-back track like Safe And Sound, he still has a very effective bluesy delivery. Strong vocals are aplenty on the latest record, but underneath the voice are songs that are primarily basic rock tunes that feel a bit lacking.
The hardest part for most listeners will be not to reminisce too much about the sound of Soundgarden when listening to Carry On. There was a very unique quality about Soundgarden and some early Audioslave that just outmatches Cornell's latest material. While there are those who adore anything Cornell performs, there is still something missing on the latest record. There's nothing wrong with going in another musical direction by any means, but the songs just don't feel as memorable as his earlier work. // 7
unregistered, on june 06, 2007 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Chris Cornell returns with his second solo album Carry On, which marks his 20 year anniversary as a musician. In that time he has fronted the critically acclaimed bands Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog and Audioslave as well as a brief solo career. Carry On is a very much mixed affair musically that will have something for all fans of his previous work, from the grunge-like sound of "No Such Thing" & "Poison Eye" to the blues styled "Safe & Sound". Other stand out tracks include "Scar on the Sky", a beautifully dreamy love ballad and the powerful & haunting "Disappearing Act".However across all songs the musical craft & ability and lyrical genius of Cornell shine through. // 10
Lyrics: As with all of Cornell's work, the lyrics take centre stage. However his lyrics seem to be deeper and have more feeling than those of his work on the last 2 audioslave albums. His newfound happiness since kicking addiction and settling down to family life can be clearly seen through the album. Songs such as "Finally Forever" & " Roads We Choose" are love ballads dedicated to his wife, with the themes of redemption & rebirth clearly seen. On the other hands the darker side of Cornell's lyrics can be seen in songs such as "No such thing" & "Silence the Voices" where he questions the state of affairs today. This gives the album a diverse feel lyrically, and again the consistent quality of his lyrics can be seen. Cornell's voice is also back to it's best, with him hitting high notes with ease again following a clear deterioration of his vocals in the latter days of this audioslave career. One Listen to the closing stages of the song "ghosts" immediately shows this. // 9
Overall Impression: Overall I feel this album is must for all fans of anything Cornell and also for new fans looking to get into his music. It is a must for anyone who calls themselves a true music lover. The album is very accessible with a very "pick up and listen feel" about it. However it is the type of album you could live in for a month. Each listen brings forth new little things that you did not notice last time, much like his 1st solo effort "Euphoria Morning". Lyrically & musically it is near flawless. // 10
En_zed, on january 21, 2008 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: In this album, I think we get to see a different, softer side of Cornell, and a huge contrast to Audioslave. While his legendary Soundgarden roots have been lost from the music (with a few exceptions, such as No Such Thing), he has produced something quite different and curious. With some soulfelt acoustic songs thrown in with some hints of progressive rock and the occasional heavy part, this makes for very interesting listening. Favorite song of mine: Disappearing Act. However, I do now believe the music in album is exploited enough. It's all shuffled away as accompaniment to Chris's voice. This is all very well, but there are some nice riffs and chord progressions which I wouldn't mine hearing more of. // 8
Lyrics: Not much to say here, other than Chris's voice is brilliant and always will be. The lyrics themselves are clever, full with metaphoric meanings to ponder on, as well as some strait up relationship songs (e.g. With his arms around your love). By the sound of a lot of the words in this album, many of the messages Chris sings are from personal experience. Whether this is true or not, I do not know. What matters is that they are done well and he does not sound 'artificial' singing them. // 8
Overall Impression: While this may not be Chris's usual style, it is certainly good music worth giving a try, especially if your already a fan. With a mix of easy listening, curious listening and mosh-pit kinds of music, it kept me interest right the way through. The only problem, is that it could have done with a little more 'heavy moments' (as I call them), and a little less songs about relationships; because, lets face it, we can all get very sick of those. // 8