Sound — 10
After listening to this collaboration (of sorts) between Rage Against the Machine and Soundgarden, you will be left salivating long after the pure power Chris Cornell's vocals are finished riding over the wave of sound produced by guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Timmy Commerford, and drummer Brad Wilk. Two years after frontman Zack de la Roche departed his fellow Rage members, and five years after Cornell and Soundgarden split, the two parties joined together to create Audioslave. This album can best be described as Rage Against the Machine featuring Cornell, although the group develops a more signature sound on later efforts. This is not a bad thing, of course. The purpose of this debut is nothing but intense, overwhelming rock, and you'll be panting when it's over.
Lyrics — 9
Cornell's lyrics are once again nothing special, and his work on "What You Are" and "Cochise" exemplify his bland, ambiguous messages. However, the refrain lyrics in "Shadow On The Sun" and "I Am The Highway" are impressive and draw the listener in. Despite his shortcomings in the writing department, Cornell's voice is still one of the best in the game, and his style is the perfect complement to Morello's extremely heavy chorus riffs. Kim Thayil of Soundgarden was a very exceptional guitarist, but when working with Morello, Cornell displays more vocal freedom and excitement.
Overall Impression — 9
There is no doubt that "Audioslave" was a huge breath of fresh air for the rock industry coming into the 21st century. Cornell's voice reaches new highs when paired with the Rage trio, although Morello and his pals produced more original music with de la Roche. That being said, the album is a classic, spear-headed by 7 powerful songs, and backed up by a 7 more very solid tracks. The top songs are "Like a Stone", which produced the band's first Grammy award, "I Am The Highway", a softer song that still packs a punch, "Cochise", one the best pump-up songs of this decade, "Show Me How to Live", "Shadow On The Sun", "Gasoline" and "What You Are". The rest of the songs are fairly good as well, and you should definitely invest in a full copy of the album. I did, and it is now a staple in my collection.