6.14.2009

Listen Up

Scream, Chris Cornell
Scream2.jpgChris Cornell. Best screaming vocals in rock music... Timbaland. One of the best hip-hop producers around... Two great tastes that taste great together? Not so much...

At most, this is an oddity. Sort of a train wreck in the middle of a circus side show.

I've listened to this, and I just can't figure it out. I don't know if I like it, or if it's crazy and bizarre, which is why I find it intriguing and slightly appealing. I think that the one thing you can get out of this without a doubt, is that Cornell NEEDS to be in a band for his own good. For the good of all mankind. In the name of all that is holy, please get this guy into a group of other musicians... His only good solo stuff is a song he did while still in Soundgarden, the song "Seasons".

All of the songs on this album blend into each other like a huge club-jam-ultra-mega-mix. The beats sound like out-takes from a Justin Timberlake CD. I don't know if Cornell — or his management — is trying to appeal to a new audience. Trying to sound young and hip and relevant with the times and new musical landscape.

This is just one big "What The Fuck?!" and I think that would have been a better album title. It would tell everyone exactly what they were in for... I am more confused by this than just about any twist in the whole history of the television show Lost.

I. Just. Don't. Know.

Favorite Track: "Climbing Up the Walls"...





The Hazards Of Love, The Decemberists
The Hazards Of LoveThe Year Of The Concept Album...

Holy Fucking Shit! I love this album.

First listen through — three songs in — I knew this was gonna be great.

Indie/classic rock/rock opera sounding. Lots of guitar groove, which really pushed it over the edge for me...

I've heard most of their previous album, The Crane Wife — heard it on the In-Store Play at work when it came out — and I liked it. But I never heard the whole thing. Probably gonna break down and get it from iTunes one of these days.

But this one — judged all on its own — is excellent. I NEED to buy this... I like the storyline — it really fits in the the "The Hazards of Love" title. And before listening to this, I hadn't read any of the reviews of what the story was supposed to be.

I could get a little bit just listening to the lyrics, but got lost around the song "The Queen's Rebuke/The Crossing"... But I had to go online and read the music mags to figure out that there was a shape changing witch and forest nymph, or some other crap going on. So I guess knowing that makes a little more sense listening back to it over again. But still, even without knowing any of that, it was impossible to listen to this album and not be completely drawn in.

I had no idea that this band could rock this hard. I always just assumed that they were all about the Indie-Folk, but they end up channeling some serious 70's hard rock groove. So good! Especially the female guest vocals. But then again, I'm always a sucker for that.

Most definitely an early favorite for one of my Picks Of The Year.

Favorite Tracks: "The Hazards Of Love 2 (Wager All)", "The Wanting Comes In Waves / Repaid", "The Rake Song", "The Hazards Of Love 4 (Drowned)", and "A Bower Scene"...


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