Chris Cornell got smart!

October 23, 2009

Well, we were all thinking it... and FINALLY Chris Cornell has come to his senses! This new version of 'Never far Away' is actually pretty good! Is it too little, too late to save his career? We'll see! How long before we hear that Soundgarden is getting back together?

Check out this article from

When tracks from Chris Cornellâs third solo album, Scream, started making the rounds last year, fans were confused. The producer was Timbaland? Electric R&B grooves? And is that freakinâ Justin Timberlake on backing vocals? AN âN SYNC DUDE ON A RECORD BY THE GUY FROM SOUNDGARDEN?!? The only thing missing was Kayne to grabbing the mic halfway through a song.Â

Give Cornell credit for trying to shake up his solo career with a bold statement. But the bottom line is that Scream did not work. Outside of a kind review from Entertainment Weekly (they gave it a B+), the album got savaged by critics and fans. It was a Grunge God/ Timbaland Fail. But if you listened to Scream carefully, there was some good stuff underneath all the overproduction and R&B beats.Â

Michael Friedman, a Canadian ex-pat working in LA in the licensing and placement of music in films and TV, certainly thought so. âI heard some âBlack Hole Sunâ greatness deep within some of the songs,â he told me, âI also got to know Chris as a friend. I ended up calling Jordan Zadorozny [of the Canadian indie band Blinker the Star and co-writer of song with Courtney Love and friend of Fleetwood Macâs Lindsey Buckingham].â I flew him down to LA and had him listen to some of the tracks in hopes that he could remix them somehow.âThe first track to emerge from this de-Timbalanding of Scream is âNever Far Away.â In its original form, a funky mess obscurs what was actually a pretty good Soundgarden-esque mid-tempo rocker. Jordan peeled back all the beats and turned up whatever guitar was there. The result is a proper Chris Cornell song.

 Through a roundabout series of connections, I managed to get Michael on the phone yesterday. And with Chris Cornellâs permission, he sent me this unreleased re-imagined, de-cluttered and grunged-up version of âNever Far Away.âCould this be the beginning of a Scream mulligan?Â
(PS:Â "Michael tells me that this version is a total re-recording, not a remix.")