Talk about a misleading opening track. No Such Thing, the hard-driving first song on Chris Cornell's second solo effort, has the famed shrieking Seattleite giving Soundgarden fans a blast of Superunknown-era magmagrunge. But that's where it ends.
Likely eyeing phase three (Audioslave being phase two) of his career, Cornell slows down, softens up and stops shouting, crooning soulful pieces like the tellingly titled Safe And Sound or the manly ballad of Arms Around Your Love. His bizarro metallic cover of Jacko's Billie Jean doesn't work and should have been cut. The decent Casino Royale theme You Know My Name is slapped on as well.
A 40-plus, sobered-up dad, Cornell has earned respite from the guitar-centric hard rock world, but he doesn't sound convincingly comfortable in this power-ballad terrain that once worked so well for him in Temple Of The Dog. Maybe he should give Eddie Vedder a call next time.
Chris Cornell hits Massey Hall July 20.