Sound — 8
Speaking from a non-biased point of view, aside of the fact that I am a huge Audioslave fan, I'll actually be the first to admit that when I heard the album's first released single, Original Fire, being played on the radio, I nearly broke down like a rental car from Enterprise. What the hell is this? I asked, no, screamed aloud to my brother who sat beside me, hearing the same disaster-piece unfold. He said something similar with more expletives. Irregardless, we listened to the entire song, trying to pull out something from this hit instead of the hair from our heads, but failed. Eventually it happened, but we're talking five, six listens later. Neither of us treasured the gospel-like chant chorus, or the verses that were almost completely absent of anything resembling rock guitar, not to mention Cornell's vocals being droned out by a trite, single note bass line. The solo was the final clincher, if you will, that conjured the acidic remains of my last meal up into my mouth. That's right, I flat-out barfed. I have this weird tendency to do so when I hear solos that sound reminiscent of a wounded bird laughing at me. Now that I've let all of my frustration out, let's move on. After all, this is an Audioslave album we're talking about, so there's bound to be a positive side. The next radio single (which also happened to be the title of the album and a very good song), was what convinced me that Audioslave haven't lost their aptitude for making wonderful, hard rock sculptures. Revalations was an instant classic with me because it has the funky, hard-hitting riff that I was ultimately expecting earlier from Original Fire. As I continued listening, I began to realize that I had made a very foolish assumption that this album would be sub-par because there wasn't one song that didn't impress me on it's first rotation (sorry, Original Fire not included). Eleven out of Twelve isn't a bad percentage, and as I mildly implied earlier, after listening to Original a few more times, I began to show some respect for it. In my opinion, I just feel that it was a poor choice for the album's first single, or to be released as a hit at all for that matter, because there are too many songs that overshadow it musically. Standout Tracks: One And The Same, Broken City, Jewel Of The Summertime, Moth.
Lyrics — 7
I have always been fond of Cornell's lyrics, even from his Soundgarden days. He has a unique way of combining rather deep sections of writing whilst still making the song suitable to appreciate the great riffs and hooks. Basically I feel his lyrics aren't always the main focus of the song, but there are always a handful of tracks where he solely ends up stealing my attention. Black and whites, alarms and lights, plain clothes and miranda rights, at the right place but in the wrong life. Lyric taken from Somedays. The track Wide Awake seems more politically directed than anything I've seen from him thus far. Although subtle, he gets the point across, and listeners can easily deduce what he's talking about when he states: The poor and undefended left behind, while you're somewhere trading lives for oil as if the whole world were blind. It's pretty obvious that he's bashing the current war(s) the United States are involved in, and even more specific, our beloved, elf-eared cattle driver, uh. I mean president. But don't worry, there'll always be someone stupid enough to think it's just another song about drugs. It always amazes me. Personally, the lyrics contained in their past effort, Out Of Exile, were just a step above these. However, I thought that these complimented the album's music betternot exactly an oil meets water kind of relationship.
Overall Impression — 9
Lesson learned: never judge an entire album by one song you hear on the radio. This can also apply to horrible records that have one good hit song, so just be on the look-out. Basically use you head: a band as good as Audioslave honestly has to try to make a crap album, whereas this action comes naturally to such artists that have fake boobs or have been shot in the head nine times and still remain alive, not to name names or anything. After this album came to an end, I immediately began to debate the idea of having another thumb surgically attached to my right hand so I could give this album three thumbs up instead of just two. I guess the easier option would be to find a partner to review albums with. Think the Ebert And Roeper of new musicbut I don't want people to think I'm gay.