Chris Cornell, 'Scream' (Interscope/Mosley)

5
Scream
Critical Mass
Label: Interscope/Mosley

by David Marchese

Produced with a heavy hand by Timbaland, the third solo album from ex-Soundgarden and Audioslave singer Chris Cornell is strangely appealing in its elaborately empty efficiency. Gleaming ballads like "Long Gone" and the title track wring mild drama from a combination of Cornell's husky crooning and stacks of portentous Phil Collins–derived synths. As Akon knockoffs go, some of this stuff isn't bad, but the fast numbers ("Time," "Get Up"), with Cornell's angsty rock-god vocals ricocheting off Timbo's skittering beats, are fresher and more enjoyable, at least in a monkey-riding-a-tricycle sort of way.

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