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Chris Cornell|Higher Truth

Higher Truth

Chris Cornell

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Chris Cornell flew toward the sun with 2009's Scream but he got burned. The Timbaland-produced album marked a sudden shift toward electronic pop, a move that did not sit well with either critics or Cornell's audience, but he didn't react swiftly to the derision. He moved slowly, revisiting his catalog on 2011's Songbook and then reuniting with Soundgarden before releasing Higher Truth some six years after Scream. Hiring producer Brendan O'Brien, a fellow veteran of the grunge wars of the '90s, suggests Cornell is backpedaling from the chilly electro surfaces of his last solo album, but Higher Truth isn't quite a retreat. Cornell possess an easy, quiet confidence throughout this handsome, burnished record, an album that occasionally recalls the breaking twilight of Euphoria Mourning but feels warmer and looser than that 1999 solo debut. Despite the ornate accouterments of the opener "Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart" -- a pop single so stately it's almost Baroque -- Higher Truth isn't especially dramatic. O'Brien favors subtle shading over bombast, so even when the tracks are built up with pianos, strings, harmonies, and fuzz guitars, it feels intimate, almost acoustic. This illusion persists because there are a fair share of spare, delicate solo numbers here, interwoven among those bolder but still quiet pop tunes. While Higher Truth never seems as self-consciously confessional as Euphoria Mourning, this mellow simplicity is an attribute: a relaxed Cornell creates a comforting mood piece that's enveloping in its warmth.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Higher Truth

Chris Cornell

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1
Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart
00:03:54

Brendan O'Brien, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Cornell, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tom Syrowski, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Billy Joe Bowers, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kyle Stevens, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 Chris Cornell, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
Dead Wishes
00:04:55

Brendan O'Brien, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Cornell, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tom Syrowski, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Billy Joe Bowers, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kyle Stevens, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 Chris Cornell, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Worried Moon
00:04:31

Brendan O'Brien, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Cornell, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tom Syrowski, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Billy Joe Bowers, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kyle Stevens, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 Chris Cornell, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Before We Disappear
00:03:50

Brendan O'Brien, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Cornell, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tom Syrowski, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Billy Joe Bowers, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kyle Stevens, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 Chris Cornell, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
Through The Window
00:04:40

Brendan O'Brien, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Cornell, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tom Syrowski, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Billy Joe Bowers, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kyle Stevens, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 Chris Cornell, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
Josephine
00:03:36

Brendan O'Brien, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Cornell, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tom Syrowski, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Billy Joe Bowers, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kyle Stevens, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 Chris Cornell, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
Murderer Of Blue Skies
00:03:40

Brendan O'Brien, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Cornell, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tom Syrowski, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Billy Joe Bowers, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kyle Stevens, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 Chris Cornell, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
Higher Truth
00:05:05

Brendan O'Brien, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Cornell, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tom Syrowski, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Billy Joe Bowers, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kyle Stevens, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 Chris Cornell, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Let Your Eyes Wander
00:03:41

Brendan O'Brien, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Cornell, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tom Syrowski, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Billy Joe Bowers, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kyle Stevens, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 Chris Cornell, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
Only These Words
00:03:28

Brendan O'Brien, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Cornell, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tom Syrowski, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Billy Joe Bowers, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kyle Stevens, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 Chris Cornell, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

11
Circling
00:03:28

Brendan O'Brien, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Cornell, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tom Syrowski, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Billy Joe Bowers, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kyle Stevens, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
Our Time In The Universe
00:04:19

Brendan O'Brien, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Cornell, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tom Syrowski, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Billy Joe Bowers, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kyle Stevens, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 Chris Cornell, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

13
Bend In The Road
00:03:37

Brendan O'Brien, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Cornell, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tom Syrowski, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Billy Joe Bowers, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kyle Stevens, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 Chris Cornell, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

14
Wrong Side
00:05:12

Brendan O'Brien, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Cornell, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tom Syrowski, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Billy Joe Bowers, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kyle Stevens, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 Chris Cornell, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

15
Misery Chain
00:04:40

Brendan O'Brien, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Cornell, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tom Syrowski, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Billy Joe Bowers, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kyle Stevens, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 Chris Cornell, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

16
Our Time In The Universe (Remix)
00:03:58

Brendan O'Brien, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Cornell, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tom Syrowski, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Billy Joe Bowers, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kyle Stevens, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2015 Chris Cornell, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Album Description

Chris Cornell flew toward the sun with 2009's Scream but he got burned. The Timbaland-produced album marked a sudden shift toward electronic pop, a move that did not sit well with either critics or Cornell's audience, but he didn't react swiftly to the derision. He moved slowly, revisiting his catalog on 2011's Songbook and then reuniting with Soundgarden before releasing Higher Truth some six years after Scream. Hiring producer Brendan O'Brien, a fellow veteran of the grunge wars of the '90s, suggests Cornell is backpedaling from the chilly electro surfaces of his last solo album, but Higher Truth isn't quite a retreat. Cornell possess an easy, quiet confidence throughout this handsome, burnished record, an album that occasionally recalls the breaking twilight of Euphoria Mourning but feels warmer and looser than that 1999 solo debut. Despite the ornate accouterments of the opener "Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart" -- a pop single so stately it's almost Baroque -- Higher Truth isn't especially dramatic. O'Brien favors subtle shading over bombast, so even when the tracks are built up with pianos, strings, harmonies, and fuzz guitars, it feels intimate, almost acoustic. This illusion persists because there are a fair share of spare, delicate solo numbers here, interwoven among those bolder but still quiet pop tunes. While Higher Truth never seems as self-consciously confessional as Euphoria Mourning, this mellow simplicity is an attribute: a relaxed Cornell creates a comforting mood piece that's enveloping in its warmth.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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