Chris Cornell

Picture of Chris Cornell

Euphoria Morning

Chris Cornell - Euphoria Morning ©1999 A&M
1. Can't Change Me
2. Flutter Girl
3. Preaching The End Of The World
4. Follow My Way
5. When I'm Down
6. Mission
7. Wave Goodbye
8. Moonchild
9. Sweet Euphoria
10. Disappearing One
11. Pillow Of Your Bones
12. Steel Rain
13. Can't Change Me (French Version)

This is the first solo album by Soundgarden's former lead singer since the band split up a couple of years ago. Incidentally, it also happens to be one of the best albums to have come out of Seattle, ever.

If anything, Soundgarden was a waste of talent: Cornell's emotional, skillful singing, intelligent lyrics and unpredictable chord progressions barely shone through layers of the worst guitar playing in the galaxy (yes, Thayil sucks - take off your blinders, clear the wax out of your grungy ears, and listen to the abominable solo in Black hole sun, you'll see what I mean). So I have to say I secretly hoped for the best for this solo album, which I suspected would be free of Thayil's monstrous incompetence and thus would allow Cornell's talent to surface.

I was right.

Overall, the music is a lot quieter than Soundgarden's. Still rock, mind you; simply less of a tank and more of a Mercedes. Cornell's signature chords and progressions are still there ("Moonchild"), and his singing really shines. A particularly enjoyable aspect of Euphoria Morning is the absence of Seattle clichés: the backing musicians can all play their instruments, the guitar doesn't sound like a $125 setup for beginners, the mix is clear and well-balanced, and the lyrics, while nothing to write home about, are miles away from the pathetic teenager's-notebookishness of Cobain's or Staley's I-hate-myself-and-I-hate-the-world drivel. Many of the songs evoke late-period Beatles ("Can't change me", "Flutter girl"), there's some Zeppelin in there ("Follow my way"), a jazzy lounge thing ("When I'm down"), and one can even hear some of the spirit that pervaded Jeff Buckley's one 'real' album Grace some years ago (although the music itself is very different). From the first listen, this album feels like a classic, and it should outlive every single album released by Seattle bands since 1990.

Take it from a major Seattle skeptic with metal roots: buy this album now. You'll never be able to listen to Soundgarden again.

Review by Rog The Frog Billerey-Mosier

Review date: 09/1999

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