Sound — 10
When I had at first heard of Audioslave, as well as essentially what it was. I thought it sounded like a gamble, but potentially could be a great collaboration. It's not very often that we see a supergroup form. In Audioslave's musical legacy you will still find the primal riffing and sonic pioneer Tom Morello, sharing visceral riffs with Timmy Commerford on bass, and the foundation being rounded out with the most solid and most overlooked post-grunge drummer, Brad Wilk. The musical intensity you'll find here is a matured version of what was the first chapter of Rage's career. This band is definitely a departure from Rage Against the Machine, because #1: There's no political motivation about what they did, no efforts or hints of advocating for social justice; and #2: It's all about the MUSIC. The band and the music that they've written, gels wonderfully with the unique and piercing power of Chris Cornell's voice. Originally they were going to be called Civilian (or something similar, I can't recall clearly), but due to another group having and owning the name; Cornell christened the band Audioslave, in what Morello refers to a shaman-like vision.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics that can be seen in the sleeve for Audioslave's self-titled album, is nothing more than further testament to Cornell's lyrical, and poetic genius. His lyrics create a mental environment for us to walk in and understand what he's trying to say; instrumentally, Tom, Brad, and Tim do a great job of intensifying and amplifying the message of the lyrics. Chris Cornell's voice is in very fine form on this album. Despite rumors circulating that he's completely worn his voice out, and allegations that ProTools saved face for him on the record. I just love every vocal performance he gives on this record. It's also nice to hear Timmy C. harmonizing here and there with Cornell. Good to see him start to come out of his shell.
Overall Impression — 9
A lot of people argued that this was the beginning of Rage Against the Machine, "part II." Yeah the riffs have the intensity, but there's no question that we have a NEW, and different band on our hands. The only fair comparisons anyone can make are fairly abstract, in my opinion. The most impressive songs on this album? That's a really hard question, especially given that there isn't a bad song on this record. The songs that I would define as what will be considered "classic" out of this record are: "Show Me How To Live," "Cochise," "I am The Highway," "Set It Off," "Shadow On The Sun," and "Light My Way." I love everything about this album. The music, the lyrics, the vocal work, the production. I wouldn't change a thing about it. There's no doubt in my mind that this is one of the greatest debut albums of all-time. Probably the greatest debut rock album of this decade. One song that probably should've been added to the album is the exclusive iTunes single, "Give." This is an album that has profoundly influenced me as a musician, one of the few modern examples of "how to cover all your bases and do everything right." It's a damn shame Audioslave broke up... they could've saved rock 'n roll.