Scream (Chris Cornell album)

Scream is the third solo studio album by American musician Chris Cornell. Released on March 10, 2009 through Suretone Records and Mosley Music Group, it marked a shift from Cornell's previous musical efforts with the exclusion of some guitar and rock elements that were replaced with producer Timbaland's electronic pop soundscapes. The album was promoted with the release of five digital singles and three music videos, and was met with mostly negative reviews. The album debuted in the U.S at number 10 on the Billboard 200 with 26,000 copies sold.

Scream2.jpg
Scream2.jpg

Production

Recording history

With the idea of remixing songs from his previous album Carry On (2007), Cornell first came into contact with Timbaland. However, the collaboration evolved into the duo writing and recording an entire album in just six weeks, notably with the conceptual direction of "tying it all together musically", which Cornell describes as "[harkening] back to albums that I listened to when I was a kid, where the music never stops" and that it "begs to be listened to on headphones all the way through".

Musical style

Billboard reported that Scream shows Cornell moving "in a much more Pop-oriented direction, with busy drum machine beats, buffed-up chorus vocals and string samples filling the nooks and crannies", comparing it to Gnarls Barkley and less that of "the guitar-driven music of Cornell's past with Soundgarden and Audioslave". Despite the controversy caused by teaming up with Timbaland, Cornell insisted that he still played an integral part of the album's creation and didn't do what "Timbaland told me to do," further noting that they "didn't really have that relationship" and "it wasn't that type of a process. It was more, he would bring in a beat, an idea, I would write to it and sing it, and we would move on kind of to the next thing."

Describing the album as a whole, Cornell compared it to Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon and Queen's A Night at the Opera, citing the psychedelic elements that Timbaland brought into the production.

However, while a majority of the album is an R&B styled album, the hidden track "Two Drink Minimum" sees Cornell playing a blues-influenced rock song, with an acoustic guitar, organ, drums, and harmonica.

Reception

In the U.S, the album debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200 and thus became Cornell's first top 10 solo album. The next week it dropped 55 places to number 65, which was the largest second-week drop for a top 10-debuting album in two and a half years. It was also a commercial disappointment, spending only 10 weeks on the Billboard 200.

Initial critical response towards the release was mixed to negative. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 42, based on 19 reviews. Scream received positive reviews from Entertainment Weekly and Hot Press who felt that the collaboration between producer Timbaland and Chris Cornell worked. The mixed reviews were more prevalent, with Spin stating the album was "strangely appealing in its elaborately empty efficiency", while Billboard noted that "sometimes it's good bizarre. Other times it's bad bizarre." Rolling Stone wrote that Scream "veers between drab–sleek and rock–dude soulful; Cornell's yowl never sounds at home". Among the negative reviews, Allmusic wrote that "Scream is one of those rare big-budget disasters, an exercise in misguided ambition that makes no sense outside of pure theory."

Nine Inch Nails creator Trent Reznor attacked the album, condemning it as "embarrassing" on Twitter.

Track listing

All songs written by Chris Cornell, Timothy Mosley and Jerome Harmon, additional writing credits below.

No. Title Writer(s) Additional Production Length
1. "Part of Me" Johnkenun Spivery, Ezekiel Lewis, Balewa Muhammad Co-produced with Johnkenun Spivery
Backing Vocals: Timbaland, Ezekiel Lewis and Jim Beanz
5:14
2. "Time" James Washington, Lewis, Muhammad Backing Vocals: Ezekiel Lewis & Jim Beanz
Co-produced with Jim Beanz
4:39
3. "Sweet Revenge" Washington, James Fauntleroy Backing Vocals: James Fauntleroy and Jim Beanz 4:10
4. "Get Up" Washington, Fauntleroy Backing Vocals: James Fauntleroy and Jim Beanz 3:35
5. "Ground Zero" Washington Backing Vocals: Jim Beanz
Co-produced with Jim Beanz
3:09
6. "Never Far Away" Washington, Ryan Tedder, Lewis, Muhammad Co-produced with Ryan Tedder
Backing Vocals: Ezekiel Lewis, Ryan Tedder and Jim Beanz
5:06
7. "Take Me Alive" (featuring Justin Timberlake) Washington, Justin Timberlake Backing Vocals: Jim Beanz 4:36
8. "Long Gone" Tedder, Lewis, Patrick "J. Que" Smith, Muhammad Backing Vocals: Ezekiel Lewis
Co-produced with Ryan Tedder
5:15
9. "Scream" Washington Backing Vocals: Jim Beanz
Co-produced with Jim Beanz
6:14
10. "Enemy" Washington, Tedder, Spivery, Lewis, Muhammad Co-produced with Ryan Tedder & Johnkenun Spivery
Backing vocals: Ezekiel Lewis, Ryan Tedder and Jim Beanz
4:35
11. "Other Side of Town" Washington, Tedder Co-produced with Ryan Tedder 4:48
12. "Climbing Up the Walls" Washington, Tedder Co-produced with Ryan Tedder 4:48
13. "Watch Out" Washington Backing Vocals: Jim Beanz
Co-produced with Jim Beanz
4:02
14. "Two Drink Minimum" (Hidden Track) John Mayer 3:03

Bonus tracks

No. Title Writer(s) Additional production Length
15. "Ordinary Girl" (Availability: iTunes US & UK) Washington, Tedder Co-produced with Ryan Tedder 4:33
16. "Lost Cause" (Availability: iTunes UK, Barnes & Noble) Washington   4:20
17. "Do Me Wrong" (Availability: Amazon.com & Japanese Editions.) Tedder, Evan Bogart, Fauntleroy Co-produced with Ryan Tedder 2:54
18. "Stop Me" (Availability: Verizon Wireless - Blackberry Storm Exclusive, Rhapsody digital-download service) Tedder, Bogart, Fauntleroy Co-produced with Ryan Tedder
Backing Vocals: James Fauntleroy
3:34
19. "Love Comes Down" (Availability: Unreleased) Washington, Lewis, Muhammad, Smith    
20. "Why Do You Follow Me?" (Availability: Unreleased)      

Rock Versions

There are currently two Scream tracks that have had "Rock Versions" of them released. The first being an alternate version of "Long Gone", produced by Howard Benson, which was accompanied by an official music video directed by DJ Skee's Skee.tv.

The second track to come to light was a "Rock Version" of "Never Far Away". This version was not a remix, but a completely new recording, produced by Jordon Zadorozny. It has yet to be released for purchase, but has been, with permission from Cornell himself, made available for streaming by Alan Cross. In October 2009, it was reported that Cornell was working with Jordon Zadorozny and Michael Friedman to rework the entire Scream album but this remains unconfirmed. This now seems unlikely as Cornell has now rejoined Soundgarden.

No. Title Writer(s) Release Format Length
1. "Long Gone" (Rock Version) Chris Cornell, Howard Benson Released via the Long Gone (Rock Version) digital-only single 3:41
2. "Never Far Away" (Rock Version) Cornell, Jordon Zadorozny Only available for streaming 3:59

Charts

Chart (2009) Peak
position
Austria Albums Top 75 47
Canadian Albums Top 100 13
Denmark Albums Top 40 30
Dutch Albums Top 100 61
Finnish Albums Chart 18
German Albums Chart 46
Polish Albums Chart 32
Swiss Albums Top 100 28
UK Albums Top 75 70
U.S. Billboard 200 10
World Albums Top 40 35

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