Sunday, October 28, 2012

Song Of The Week: 10/28/12

Song: "Ordinary Girl"

Artist: Chris Cornell

Album: "Scream"

Year: 2009

"Ordinary Girl" appears to be a song about a woman who's beauty is so mesmerizing that you fall totally in love with her. The problem is that she uses that against you. She uses her beauty to draw you in, then she takes you for everything you have. She not only wants to take you for your money, she also wants to take you for your soul. Basically, the vocalist is saying that looks can be deceiving. What's beautiful on the outside is cold and evil on the inside. Chris Cornell is one of the greatest rock and roll vocalists of all time. He has one of the strongest vocal ranges of any lead singer in rock history. His story starts in Seattle, Washington back in 1984 when he helped form one of the most influential hard rock bands to ever come out, Soundgarden. In the mid to late 80's, Soundgarden was very much in the underground of a music scene that was about to explode. Soon bands like Soundgarden and Alice In Chains began creating a buzz. Along the way, there was also the band Nirvana which was set to change the way people looked at hard rock music. Cornell's roommate and best friend, Andrew Wood, lead singer of the band Mother Love Bone, would fall victim to the abuses of heroin. This left a huge void in the whole Seattle music scene and personally affected Cornell in a big way. Now it's 1991. Cornell has put some song tribute songs together for his fallen friend Andy Wood. He enlists the help of former Mother Love Bone members Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament as well as a San Diego surfer, Eddie Vedder and a shredder on guitar Mike McCready. A couple of songs turn into a whole album, "Temple Of The Dog". The Seattle grunge explosion is on the verge of happening. Vedder, Gossard, Ament and McCready form Pearl Jam and release "Ten". Nirvana rocks the world with the release of "Nevermind". Alice In Chains strike gold with "Dirt" and Soundgarden drops "Badmotorfinger". The music world has turned upside down and "hair" metal is dead!! Cornell and Soundgarden would go on to drop landmark albums in the 90's. Along with 1991's "Badmotorfinger" came 1994's classic "Superunknown" and 1996's "Down On The Upside". After 13 years as a band, however, tensions began to arise and a break-up was inevitable. In 1997, Soundgarden officially split up. In 1999, Cornell released his first solo album, "Euphoria Morning". This album began to show Cornell's range as an artist. It was definitely a softer side compared to the aggression that was Soundgarden but it really highlighted Cornell's songwriting abilities and showed he could still shine on different kinds of music. The solo career would prove to be short-lived however, as the remaining members of Rage Against The Machine would come calling Cornell after the departure of their lead vocalist Zack de la Rocha. The supergroup would officially get together in 2001 and take the name Audioslave. Audioslave saw huge success as a band. The meshing of one of the greatest vocalists of all time, Cornell, and one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Tom Morello, proved to be a smash. Audioslave sat atop the rock world from 2001 till 2007. During that time they dropped three successful albums, "Audioslave", "Out Of Exile" and "Revelations". Once again, however, tensions arose in the band setting that would ultimately cause Cornell to leave the band. In 2007, Cornell began to focus on his solo career once again. He contributed the theme song to the James Bond film "Casino Royale" titled "You Know My Name". He also dropped a new solo album called "Carry On". In 2009, Cornell wanted to expand in an even further direction musically when he hooked up with R&B producer Timbaland and created the album "Scream". Though "Scream" was Cornell's highest charting solo album, #10 on the Billboard 200 charts, it was also mostly panned by music critics. The R&B feel to the album just didn't click with longtime fans and critics who felt Cornell should stick with what he does best, heavy rock. There were rumors that Cornell was going to rework the entire album as a rock album, but he would only do two alternate "rock" versions for the songs, "Never Far Away" and "Long Gone". In 2011, Cornell released an acoustic live album entitled "Songbook". It's a real treat to hear the power of Cornell's voice in an acoustic setting. Before the release of "Songbook", Soundgarden fans rejoiced with the news that the band was getting back together. After headlining a few festivals such as Lollapalooza, it was announced that the band had been working on new material and a new album, titled "King Animal", would be released in November of 2012. Currently, Cornell's focus is on the beast that is Soundgarden. Fans couldn't be happier because, really, this is where he belongs, fronting one of the heaviest and most influential bands of all time!

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