For the past two decades Chris Cornell has been one of alternative rocks most revered artists, often considered one of the most prominent figures of the 90’s grunge movement as the singer, songwriter and rhythm guitarist of the band Soundgarden. Cornell has also found success as a solo performer, as vocalist of supergroup Audioslave, featuring members of Rage Against The Machine as well as the founder and front-man of Temple Of The Dog.
This reissue of his debut solo album was received well critically, however it did not sell as much as his previous outings with Soundgarden. The title was first released under the name Euphoria Morning, however this reissue gets its original working title, Euphoria Mourning, nonetheless it evokes no euphoria and instead leaves you mourning the waste of time you spent listening to it.
The album itself is bland and unoriginal, a series of twelve semi-ballads of basic instrumentation, unimaginative production and forgettable lyrics. The opening song, Steel Rain, is a strained and elongated drone about nothing in particular, culminating in Cornell screaming the title of the track in what I would classify as the most boring chorus of all time. Following this, the second song Can’t Change Me, nominated for a Grammy, is the only song on the album that I would go as far as to call listenable, again it features basic instrumentation, however the lyrics and vocals are straight forward enough that the song stands out against the rest of the album in that it could be a mainstream chart-rock tune.
The fourth song Preaching The End Of The World features Cornell mindlessly recycling, without any lyrical imagination, the trope of seeking a friend for the end of the world. After listening to this album I struggle to see how anyone could possibly tolerate him enough to spend the apocalypse listening to his voice. The rest of the album features very little in the way of imagination on Cornells part, the guitar tone stays poor throughout, there is no discernible musicianship, every track follows the same pattern of weak verses, belted out choruses, unimaginative guitar bridges and then repeats over and over again.
While the longest song on the album clocks in at just under six minutes long, every track drags in until you’re sick of hearing it. The final track, Pillow of Bones is another song that features bland guitar and production, with the chord sequence played in the exact same time as the Radiohead song it was taken from and the synthesizers in the background makes the whole song sound muddy and overproduced.
Overall the album does not reflect Chris Cornell’s talent as a vocalist, songwriter or musician, it lacks the imagination and attitude his work with Soundgarden had, kicking his solo career off with a whimper rather than the bang that should be expected from such a proficient musician. The fact of the matter is that reissuing and remastering the album was not worth it and unless you enjoyed the album first time around, avoid it like the plague.