Show Me On This Album Where Are Emotions Touching You
Album reviewed by:
New collection of Chris Cornell called Higher Truth, is not a middle age crisis catastrophe as his previous album Scream. That being said, fourth studio album of one of the best male vocals that music has ever met does not leave me speechless. Chris Cornell is still on the top of his game when it comes to vocal range, which seems to be even more extraordinary when his guitarists Tom Morello (Audioslave) and Kim Thayil (Soundgarden) are right by his side.
Representatives of 90's grunge scene always had a tendency to complement their raw energy with acoustic, unplugged gigs, always expressing their interests to experiment with different genres. If we exclude Eddie Vedder with his ukulele, Chris Cornell is maybe the master of intimate escapism to a completely different music style.
Ideologically, Higher Truth is similar to his previous live album Songbook, released in 2011, where Cornell gave us his heart while singing acoustically best records of his discography. His new work is aspirating variation, but it doesn’t function as nearly good as his mentioned best of.
Production and vocal wise, it starts promising, with mandolin and synthetic strings in Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart and traditional folk Dead Wishes. But, on the third track of the album, things start to decompose. Worried Moon shows how magnificent roots music can be contaminated with irritating loops. If we were not talking about long term rock vocal, someone could easily confuse Cornell with some rookey MTV superstar. The confusion culminates in Our Time In The Universe, a desperate potential disco hit at the end of the album.
Spring-fall tune Through The Window is one of this record’s savers. Murder Of Blue Skies has a great electric guitar riff. Still, loops made the track sound like nonsense. This modernization of roots music played with traditional instruments is kind of pretensions and it is hardly going to make this album an evergreen. It is not at the same league with Nick Drake’s Pink Moon. It just sounds like popular music of postmodern age. It is truly refreshing to hear a real drum on the lead song Higher Truth. It reminds me of The Beatles, filled with interesting and strong vocal parts, prosaic atmosphere and cacophonic crescendo. Bonus track Wrong Side is definitely a pearl in this collection and the music label should have replaced one of the cheesy ballades from the regular record with this phenomenal track.
Overall, each song has something worth listening but it doesn’t work as a whole. Not one song is impressive. Cornell’s biggest foe on this album is his insensitivity for melody, even though his vocal is still emotionally strong. The higher truth is – true fans are not going to hate him because of this album because he still aspires to touch us with his music.