Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog front man and critically acclaimed solo rock legend Chris Cornell releases his new record this month following a tour that has taken the musician to all corners of the US. Songbook is the musicians fourth solo record and plays a live role within the stars already hefty catalogue showcasing a number of Cornell’s self penned material as well as a few covers thrown in for good measures and the odd Soundgarden hit.
Recorded while on the road the songs featured on the record aren’t taken from any one single performance but instead are tracks performed throughout the tour at various venues in the United States. Songbook is also Cornell’s first solo live release.
Regarded as owning one of the most acclaimed and familiar voices in the rock arena and known for his belting vocals and impressive range, Cornell took to the road between March and May 2011 on the acoustic Songbook Tour and wowed audiences and critics with the intimately set performances and some of the best renditions are what is featured on this new release.
With so many songs to pick from Cornell’s chosen 16 to feature on the record couldn’t have been better chosen. From his own solo recordings we are given some outstanding acoustic versions in the form of Scar On The Sky which was taken from Cornell’s 2007 sophomore solo release as well as Ground Zero from his most recent 2009 Scream record. Both bode well amongst the acoustic versions here but it is without doubt the performance of Can’t Change Me that gets the big thumbs up. The only single that was released from Cornell’s debut solo record Euphoria Morning back in 1998 the song gets a huge crowd applause and insight from Cornell as he gives an introductory overview of the tracks conception. Cornell belts out some impressive notes on this one and backs up his standing as an iconic rock vocalist with ease.
Soundgarden’s nod comes together with the two notable tracks Fell On Black Days and the mammoth Grammy Award winning Black Hole Sun from the collectives breakthrough 1994 record Superunknown and both prove popular additions to the rock craving audiences that holler throughout the track-listing to the icon.
Cornell’s projects within the music world have been vast and with that comes every punters dream when attending one of the performers concerts as they get the opportunity of hearing a range of the musicians work tied together into a brimming set of hits. Putting his solo and Soundgarden hits to one side we are offered some of his time in Audioslave a band that he formed with Rage Against The Machine instrumentalists Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk. I Am The Highway is played gorgeously by Cornell as he delivers a track full of sentimentally drenched melodies while Like A Stone finds a place within the latter half of the record.
A treat for fans comes with Cleaning My Gun and applause is given to Cornell as he proclaims to the crowd ‘Here’s a song I wrote a while ago that’s never been on anything’ giving us a bit of an exclusive within the track-listing.
A couple of covers are thrown into the mix as Cornell takes on rock juggernaut’s Led Zeppelin’s Thank You and John Lennon’s iconic Imagine giving both tracks a new angle with Cornell’s husky vocals.
Songbook is an impressive mix of the old and the new with some impressive versions of some of the musicians most loved and rarely performed tracks as well as some outstanding covers that offer that extra something to a fans and music aficionado’s alike and come together to form yet another fantastic addition to the Chris Cornell catalogue.
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