The new issue of Billboard has a rundown of albums that are coming out in the coming months, and nestled among the usual suspects—Franz Ferdinand, 50 Cent (haha), Kelly Clarkson—is one album that I thought had come and gone from the consciousness long ago: Chris Cornell’s Scream, his much-maligned collaboration with Timbaland that somehow hasn’t been released yet despite cell phone company-sponsored minitours and New Yorker writeups and watery OneRepublic-ish balladeering.
“Scream” (Mosley Music/Interscope, March 3)
In one of the more unlikely pop music pairings of late, Chris Cornell drafted hip-hop maestro Timbaland to produce his third solo album. As to be expected with Timbaland behind the boards, songs like “Long Gone” and “Watch Out” move Cornell in a much more R&B-oriented direction, with busy drum machine beats, buffed-up chorus vocals and string samples filling the nooks and crannies. “I don’t care what anyone says,” Cornell says. “What we did together is different than anything that has been done before.”
After the first two disappointing leaks from the album, I was actually sort of intrigued by “Ground Zero,” which opened the season premiere of Life On Mars (it’s back next week!) and which, at the very least, had a bit of a pulse, as opposed to the other two tracks:
Still, it seems kind of odd to me that the label’s waited so long for this album to come out, resulting in a delay that’s near-Scherzingerian. And what with all the publicity it received last autumn making me think that the record had already come out and tanked, what on earth is the label going to do as far as a rekindled press campaign? A Sweding of Singles? More Life On Mars tie-ins? A week-long stint on that new Jay Leno show?