"Carry On" (Suretone/Interscope; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

The lead singer of such successful groups as Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog goes solo again. Chris Cornell fans will be thrilled. Fans of the bands he fronted ... well, maybe not so much.

On "Carry On," Chris Cornell leaves behind the grungy pioneering of Soundgarden, the alternative rumbling of Temple of the Dog and the slick modern rock of Audioslave and instead presents (you guessed it): the bluesier and more soulful sound of Chris Cornell.

The result is a mixed bag that runs from the hard rockers ("No Such Thing"), to the bizarre (but sometimes surprisingly effective, as on a cover of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean") and the slow and soulful (as on "Safe and Sound" and several others). It's an uneven mix that, when it works, it works well. As a whole, however, it's a difficult, sometimes confusing listen. The CD closes with "You Know My Name," the impressive theme from the James Bond film "Casino Royale." Even that seems out of place here, however; tossed in at the end just because it has never before been featured on a full-length CD.

Cornell's voice, as you may imagine, is close to perfect throughout and the production and musicianship are of the high quality expected of a rock star of Cornell's status. Still, "Carry On" is probably a CD for Cornell fans only and those fans will no doubt be pleased with the end result.

Performing on "Carry On" are Chris Cornell - vocals, guitar; Brian Ray - guitar; Miles Mosley - bass; Nir Z - drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09 Dec 2018 12:03:11 -0500.