Chris Cornell: New Music

Chris_Cornell_Higher_TruthIf I could sing like anyone, Chris Cornell would be at the top of my list.  He’s always been one of my favorites, but since he stopped smoking in between the production of the first and second Audioslave albums, he’s ascended to a new plateau.  He’s always had range, but now there is a bucket full of soul splashed onto his vocal rainstorms.

Cornell is following up the successful release of Soundgarden’s triumphant return, King Animal, with a new solo effort, Higher Truth.  The first single, “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart,” was recently released.  It opens with an eerie acoustic riff.  Is that a mandolin?  It reminds me a bit of the opening from Joan Osbourne’s “St. Teresa” from back in the dark ages.  Cornell’s voice has never been better, but I could have done without the distortion on the chorus.  The track pushes the envelope on being “over produced,” but it is very catchy.  I’ve probably listened to it a million times all ready.  Lyrically, it is dark and thought provoking, everything I’ve come to expect from the crooner.  Pain and suffering often comes in cycles, often by our own repeated choices.  But maybe it is something we shouldn’t attempt to avoid?  Interesting to think about…

The full set is due out in September.  It can’t some soon enough.  For now, you can listen to the lead single and cry yourself to sleep:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/higher-truth/id1028592877

*Husky Harlequin is the author of the new time travel novel Time’s Alibi or The Quantum of Jazz Between the Sun and the Grave.  It’s more than SciFi; it’s a political statement.  Grab a copy and visit another dimension during your lunch break.

www.HuskyHarlequin.com

 

Collective Soul: New Singles

see-what-you-started-by-continuingThey snuck up on me.  Collective Soul has released three singles this summer from their upcoming release See What You Started By Continuing.

The first, “This,” is a rocker with a catchy, chord based riff.  It is reminiscent of their older work and Ed Roland does a fine job getting the most out of his voice.  I am a big fan and it is a reminder to a world in love with American Idol, The Voice, and the like that a perfect singing voice is not required to front a great rock band if you have passion and write songs that compliment strengths and minimize weaknesses.  The “oooh-ooohs” remind me that the band is really a power pop outfit now, but I am okay with that reality in a post grunge age.  Newcomer, Jesse Tripplet’s solo sears, invoking the band’s glory days.

“AYTA (Are You the Answer),” the second single is more of a ballad and hooked me with the fancy picking during the chorus.  As it is often the case with Collective Soul, the song works as a love song, but even better as a spiritual hymn.  Thought provoking. Compare to classics like “Better Now,” “No More, No Less,” and breakthrough “Shine.”

Blues is the name of the name of the game in “Hurricane,” the most recent release.  The main riff is fun and a upbeat version of something I’d expect from Queens of the Stone Age.  Yet, it is heavy, both musically and lyrically.  I hope there are more moody tracks like this on fully album.

I’m grateful for new music from a band from my youth.  The full album is due out in October. Listen to the singles now:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/see-what-you-started-by-continuing/id1023916182

 

*Husky Harlequin is the author of the new time travel novel Time’s Alibi or The Quantum of Jazz Between the Sun and the Grave.  It’s more than SciFi; it’s a political statement.  Grab a copy and visit another dimension during your lunch break.

www.HuskyHarlequin.com

 

Star Wars: A Review of Wilco’s New Album

Star_Wars_WilcoI know. I know. I know.  I’m late to the Wilco party.  But, their new album, Star Wars, is a rockin’ masterpiece.  Known as audio chameleons, Wilco’s offering is punchy and surprisingly straight forward.  That’s not to say it is without its lovable quirks that place the album firmly in the alt rock category.

Perhaps my favorite thing about Star Wars is the mixing.  No muddled instruments, a common theme in recent pop music.  I know, I’m a snob.  Here, each guitar seems to occupy its own edge of the spectrum, resulting in a recording that actually sounds like a band.  Well done, Wilco.  Oh, and did I mention that it’s FREE on iTunes and on the band’s website, Wilcoworld.net?  What are you waiting for?  Go get your light saber.

*Husky Harlequin is the author of the new time travel novel Time’s Alibi or The Quantum of Jazz Between the Sun and the Grave.  It’s more than SciFi; it’s a political statement.  Grab a copy and visit another dimension during your lunch break.

www.HuskyHarlequin.com

For the Love of Grunge

From the first distorted chord, I was hooked.  I had never heard anything like grunge before.  Raised on a steady diet of oldies, gospel, Motown, and The Beatles, my musical appetite was starved, emaciated even, but I didn’t know it.  Don’t get me wrong, I still consider many of the hits from the 50s and 60s among my favorites, but Stone Temple Pilot’s “Plush” awakened a hunger within me that I’d never felt before.  Angst.  The tension of teenaged years combined with sonic moxie equaled empowerment for my generation.  For me, it opened the door to new emotions and undiscovered creativity.  I still visit the halls of grunge daily.  There is no escape for me; it is in my latent DNA, and it is a prison I’m glad to dwell in.

*Husky Harlequin is the author of the new time travel novel Time’s Alibi or The Quantum of Jazz Between the Sun and the Grave.  It’s more than sci/fi; it’s a political statement.  Grab a copy and visit another dimension during your lunch break.

www.HuskyHarlequin.com