Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009

Things That Make You Want to Scream

By Evan Rytlewski
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Chris Cornell’s cursed third solo album opens with the singer denouncing a “bitch” he met in a club, and doesn’t get any more tasteful from there. The oft-delayed album has long been a laughing stock on music blogs, and sure enough, the final product is every bit the travesty it was portended to be.

Managing to conjure the execrable masculinity of rap-rock without actually rapping or rocking, Scream pairs Cornell’s unctuous, hard-rock wail with Timbaland’s minimalist bump ’n’ grind. The production certainly isn’t the problem here. Timbaland's beats are fine, if uninspired. They could very well be leftovers from his Nelly Furtado sessions, only here promiscuous girl has been replaced by greasy dude.

Scream is an album that aims for the clubs but is too icky for even the dankest strip club. Between the post-modern synths, disinterested, vocoded backing vocals and hammy, butt-rock groaning, it plays like one of Prince Paul’s scathing satires of contemporary music, but with every dire, desperate note, Cornell attests that he’s dead serious.

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