Chris Cornell, a singer/songwriter, rhythm guitarist and vocalist for Rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, is back, posthumously, with his latest LP, “No One Sings Like You Anymore, Vol.1.”
A covers album of tracks spanning multiple generations of Rock music, this project was released posthumously with no prior notice, on Dec. 11, by Cornell’s estate. This entry is the fifth and final solo album for the veteran rocker who committed suicide in 2017, at age 52.
In contrast to Soundgarden’s “grunge” sound of Punk/Funk elements marinated in a healthy dose of sludgy, fuzzy distortion, the 10-track digital version kicks off with a happy note.
“Get It While You Can” (1971), originally an R&B-style jam by Janis Joplin, plays out like an Alternative radio staple. Sparse lead guitar accents acoustic pickings, while Cornell’s overdubbed versatile backing vocals and lyrics set an upbeat tone, while imploring the listener to be grateful of those who love them.
A piano-assisted rendition of Harry Nilsson’s “Jump Into the Fire” (1971), follows. Where the original is rebellious and energetic, here, Cornell stretches his vocals against steadily building instruments.
Lyrics and the repeated chorus, “We can make each other happy,” in regard to two lovers engaging in life together, retains the initial happy feelings of the work.
On his version of “Sad Sad City,” (Ghostland Observatory, 2010), he forgoes the original Electronic style. It features acoustic guitars and a foot-stomping drum attack mix, with Grunge lyrics about ruthless cities and rolling the dice to pay the price for a sample of updated Americana.
Checking more legends other than Joplin, the lead single of the album, “Patience,” originally by Guns N’ Roses (1987), meanders delicately along, recalling the strength of power ballads from the hey-day of hair metal.
“Nothing Compares to You,” written by Prince and made famous by Sinéad O’ Connor (1990), this time featuring a string arrangement, follows a similar vein. Adding claps and more acoustic guitar to John Lennon’s posthumous “Watching the Wheels” (1981), this uplifting ode to letting things happen around you, while you observe them, almost recreates the communal atmosphere of the ex-Beatle’s bed-in protest song, “Give Peace A Chance” (1969).
Tackling the staggering Soul sounds of Carl Hall on “You Don’t Know Nothing About Love,”(1967) Cornell holds his own, reminding audiences that his voice was generational and immediate.
Other tail-end songs like “Showdown” by Electric Light Orchestra (“ELO”) and “To Be Treated Rite” (1976) by Terry Reid, round out Cornell’s eclectic-sounding final gift tinged in Country-Rock. The latter song in particular, given the circumstances of his death, is riveting when he speaks about prayer, redemption and darkness.
Physical versions of the album are scheduled for release in March 2021.