Change has been a constant in Chris Cornell's life since Soundgarden split in 1997. Sober and over 40 now, he lives in France with his wife and daughter. His first solo album (1999's Euphoria Morning
) was lauded in the press, but disregarded by the public. And his supergroup Audioslave eventually fizzled after a trio of albums. But on Cornell's long-awaited sophomore solo effort, it's obvious something hasn't been altered: the voice, a distinguished instrument still pure and resonant--and authoritative enough to take on Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" and turn it from throbbing dancefloor anthem to portentous ballad. The unforeseen cover is sequenced midway through 14 tracks that have Cornell softening the edges of his music without losing the power of the messenger. No less than a half-dozen songs have hit potential, including "Arms Around Your Love," with its soaring chorus, the R&B-flecked "She'll Never Be Your Man," and "No Such Thing," where restrained verses give way to crunchy-riffed choruses. He uses the bluesy "Safe and Sound" to call for peace, asking "Why can't we pull it together?" Ten years after the breakup of his pioneering band, Chris Cornell has done just that, and it's evident that the change has done him good. --Scott Holter
2007 Solo Release from the Former Voice of Soundgarden and Audioslave, featuring Three Tracks that Don't Appear on the Us Edition, Including a Live Version of "Thank You".