Magazine article Newsweek

He's Flying Solo: Former Soundgarden Singer Chris Cornell Hits the Charts

Magazine article Newsweek

He's Flying Solo: Former Soundgarden Singer Chris Cornell Hits the Charts

Article excerpt

Things are looking a little bleak to Chris Cornell, which is how he likes it. He's just released his first solo album, and, to get a sense of how he feels about the music industry at large, you ask if he watched the MTV Video Music Awards a while back. "That s--t's really depressing to me," says the singer, 35. "I couldn't watch it. You can't expect to live in some utopia where everybody plays music you like, but it's gotten to the point where no one's playing music you like--at least that's being presented on television... The music channels don't even show much music anymore. They're more interested in documentaries. They're going to start doing documentaries about David Crosby's dog pretty soon." Cornell figures all this is a good thing--"a sign that something cool is about to happen." While MTV is choked with teeny-bopper pop, more adventurous musicians are off somewhere plotting a revolution.

Cornell knows something about swimming against the tide, having spent 12 years with the seminal Seattle band Soundgarden. Now his first solo effort, the brooding, retro "Euphoria Morning," has debuted at No. 18. Musically, Cornell is taking more chances than ever with his dark, enormous voice, gliding through R&B, acoustic ballads and '60s pop, as well as the Zeppelin-ized hard rock that Soundgarden trafficked in so gloriously. Lyrically, the singer's still a moody s.o.b. specializing in tortured love and self-hate. In the groaning ballad "When I'm Down," Cornell tells a woman he loves her only when he's bummed out. …

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