Listeners got an unpleasent surprise when this CD was first released, as Morello plays much less complicated, much less impressive riffs and licks here than he did with RATM, and the sound is much different from RATM's.
The thing that has to be realized is Audioslave and RATM totally seperate bands and thus have different sounds.
Audioslave is rarely compared to Soundgarden, but they also sound different there too.
This cd takes a few listens to get into, especially if you're expecting RATM with a new vocalist--if this is what you are expecting, then you WILL be disappointed.
Keeping in mind that this is a different band, here is my track by track review of the album:
Named for a Native American leader, the lyrics are completely differing from what the title suggests. This is the highest energy track on the CD, and at times sounds like Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love. It opens with Morello grating on his guitar, giving off a helicopter type noise, befor it kick into the main riff, and heavy duty lyrics. Standard song base of --Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Bridge-Chorus-- goes out on a high note where the music just stops. Great song
Show Me How to Live--
this song starts off with a less than stellar guitar/drum riff, a verse that starts off slow, but picks up tremendously, to a climax just before entering into the heavy chorus, and then repeating this structure in verse 2. (different verse, same set-up) The music is tight, and the sound ids great. Morello throws in some nice effects on this song. slows down considderably for the thirds verse, but maintains a fast heavy beat. Great Chorus to this song. The lyrics are liek a conversation between Cornell and his creator. he says "You gave me life, now show me how to live" somewhat depressing actually. good song
this song is slower than its predecessors, however it maintains a loud and clean sound. Musically this song is a giant step forward from Show Me How to Live. One of Morello and Commerfords best songs on this CD. A very simple chorus, but it projects Cornells message excellently. The chorus is loud but at one point in the song all music stops, with the exception of a continuously repeating guitar lick, then comes the climax of the song. it continues for some time after that, with another chorus, and bridge. one of the better songs on he album.
What You Are--
At the start, this song slows down considerably from the first three, drums are the main instrument in this song, taking centre stage over Bass and Guitar. Cornell's voice is solid, the verses are quiet and the chorus is loud and heavy, but great. Weird guitar effects about halfway through. This song is about a person who gave anything to the person who he loved, but "now I'm free, from what you are"
Like a Stone--
This song begins with a very nice guitar section. It is considderably softer than the previous songs on the cd, seemingly taking it in a new direction halfway through. I'm not sure what the lyrics are about, but they fit the tempo of the song. The song gives off a depressing aura, but it is a great one nonetheless. Technically; one of the best songs on the cd.
Set It Off--
Opens with crazy sounds before settling into a heavy sound, driven by Commerford's Bass and Morello's guitar. this is the heaviest song since Cochise. This song (in my opinion) flows better than Cochise, and sounds the most like a RATM song. Cornell's vocals are raw and emotional. He sings with passion, and emotion. Musically powerful, and lyrically sound. I dislike the bridge, simply because it loses the flow of the music, but they do get it back. (that's the only blemish in this song)
Shadow of the Sun--
this song opens with a simple, and yet emotional guitar lick. Cornell's vocals kick in at about 14 seconds, bass and drums kicks in around the 40 second mark, giving more emotion to this song. it's got a very slow and depressing tone throughout 90% of the song. The short choruses pick it up nicely, however the depressing slow edge is what gives this song it's majesty. Depressing lyrics fit the songs tone. Morelloo goes crazy here too.
I am the Highway--
The opening sounds like it could (or should) be done on an organ, but there is no organ or keyboard player, so I'm assuming it's done on guitar. This slows the pace considerably. At its heaviest part, this song doesn't touch any of the others.the emotion is there, the drive is there, and the motivation is there. This is just slowing the pace of the album. A test of sorts, as none of the instrumentalists are used to it. the music fits Cornell's voice extremely well, and Cornell makes the best of it. great song, great pace, great sound.
opens with an explosive sounding drum beat sustained with guitar. Bass and vocals kick in later. this song progressivly gets louder, taking the tone from the previous song up a notch. Softer verses mixed with louder choruses make this song do just what the name suggests. it explodes into the chorus, and defers back to verse (repeat sequence). lyrics could be done better, as cornell sounds a little bit whiny in parts, but it's corrected and it sounds overall well.
The music all starts at once, fast paced, quietish sound. Cornell sings in a low pitched voice, which at first doesn't suit the song, but in later verses, and especially in the chorus sounds amazing. Morello throws around some crazy effects here. the low pitched-ness doesn't last, and Corcell is back to his regular voice in the second half of the song, however the chorus is still low. this song ends around 3:23, and that is almost too short. It leaves you wanting more out of that song. (which may por may not be a good tactic...I haven't decided yet)
Bring 'Em Back Alive--
this song picks up a heavier beat, driven by bass. The drums are very fitting to the song, but in places almost inaudible. Cornell sings well, fitting the music as well as could be expected. MOrello throw out some cool effects, but the song overall is nothing stellar. I like it, but I find myself skipping over it a lot of the time. I do however enjoy the chorus...even though it's short.
Light My way--
Song blasts off hard into a kickass riff, followed by a weird sound from the guitar. Cornell sings to slow for the music to start off. although, it sound thought provokingly good. The verse slows down, almost to a wisper, before exploding into a (very) short chorus. and back to the almost monotonous verse. (not the word almost
) an otherwise impressive song, nice drumwork, uncomplicated guitar/bass sound well here.
this songs starts with just drums and guitar, and has an almost
Beatles-esque feel to start, once Cornell starts, thats gone, but the music remains soft and sweet. Cornell sings a little too loudly, but otherwise, it's enjoyable. the music is great, the lyrics are emotional, and I like this song. It's good to sit and relax to. Around the 3:10 mark, it breaks into a bluesy feeling guitar solo. Returns to its original sound a few seconds later, and overall, gives off an emotional, feeling that is just amazing.
The Last Remaining Light--
This track has a very odd feeling sound to it. Cornell's voice fits, Commerford's bass fits. Wilk's drums fit. Morello's guitar gives this song a spooky feeling. I don't know any better way to describe it. it's a good song, not great. ther are many that are better on the album, however, its not the worst song. The pace is slowed leading up to this track, and that is continued into this song. overall I give it
--ALL IN ALL--
This album is excellent, if you go into it with the idea that it is a new band, and not a reincarnation of Soundgarden or Rage Against the Machine. Although is some areas, musically this band resembles RATM (being becasue all 3 instrumentalists are from that band) they are to be treated as you would treat any new band on the scene.
I recommend this CD, as it is good. Like A Perfect Circle's 'Thirteenth Step', this album does take a few listens to get into, however, once you get the pace of the album, it is very good, and highly enjoyable.
I give it
3.75 out of 5 stars.
If you are a fan of RATM you will enjoy some of this album
If you are a fan of soundgraden you will enjoy most of this album
If you hated either (or both) band then you will probably still enjoy it.