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'Euphoria Mourning'
(Universal Music Group)
Out Now

Johnny Main:
johnny main

chris cornell

US born singer-songwriter Chris Cornell is, of course, best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter and guitarist for Seattle rockers Soundgarden but when the group originally disbanded in 1997, Cornell wasn’t one to sit back and let the rest of his life go by.

In the aftermath of Soundgarden he launched a moderately successful solo career recording three albums between 1999 and 2009 as well as founding Audioslave along with Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk, with whom he also recorded a trio of albums before he left in 2006 to kickstart his solo career.

In 2007, one of the first releases from his revived solo endeavour was ‘You Know My Name’, the rather lacklustre title song to the James Bond film ‘Casino Royale’. The huge draw of Soundgarden remained, however, with the band eventually reforming in 2010.

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Cornell’s solo career continues to run in parallel with his Soundgarden activities, and in 2011 he released the successful ‘Songbook’ album, which saw him perform as an acoustic solo artist both on record and on the subsequent tour.

‘Euphoria Morning’ is Cornell’s very first solo album, which was originally released in September 1999 through Interscope Records, and has recently been treated to a remaster for its release here, and despite the fact it’s over fifteen years old, the album is still one of his best collections of tracks – either solo or within a group.

The album was produced by Cornell along with Alain Johannes and Natasha Shneider, who also doubled as part of the recording ensemble throughout the album.

Trivia fans might not know that the album was to have originally been called ‘Euphoria Mourning’, however, a typo during the designing process had the name changed to ‘Euphoria Morning’, the title under which it was originally released. This remaster not enhances the overall sound of the recordings, but it also re-instates the original title as per Cornell’s wish.

Overall, the album is a very easy listen indeed, with the tracks sounding fresher and livelier than on the previous release. Unlike some other remastered albums, however, there are no extra tracks included on this disc - it's simply the same tracks as the original release which, if you're happy with the previous version, isn't necessarily going to make this a "must have" item for your collection.

For those who may not have heard it before and expecting something akin to his work with Soundgarden or Audioslave - an album full of heavy rock tracks and long meandering guitar solos - then this may not be the album for you.

‘Euphoria Mourning’ is very much a stripped down affair with Cornell using the electric guitar sparsely with a more acoustic approach being used instead. In fact, ‘Mission’ is pretty much as close as you get to a full on rock track. The electric guitar riff is brash and loud and the accompanying drums from Josh Freese are heavy but the song doesn’t ‘rock’ as such but plods on with its distinctly slow pace.

chris cornell

On the other hand, there are simpler tracks which are thoroughly enjoyable. ‘Preaching the End of the World’ has a great acoustic guitar intro with just Cornell’s accompanying vocals before the subtle keyboard track is introduced in the background, adding a unique sound to the track.

Sure, the drums add a bit of depth to the track later on with a touch of electric guitar but the track never loses its identity. The somewhat downbeat lyrics ensure a passionate vocal from Cornell.

Natasha Shneider provides an organ accompaniment at the beginning of ‘When I'm Down’ before the bluesy number really comes into its own. The simple drums from guest drummer (and current 3 Doors Down sticks man) Greg Upchurch, are kept very much in the background allowing the organ to dominate.

For me, the real highlight is ‘Moonchild’ with its comforting electric guitar whilst Cornell gives one of his finest performances (perhaps ever). The chorus is a bit more rock orientated than the verses and it switches between the two tempos effortlessly.

I’d not heard this song for well over a decade and when it started I was instantly transported back to memories from 2000 when I first heard it. A great song then and a great song now from an album that’s certainly due for a reappraisal and perhaps this remaster is just the catalyst for that to happen.

You can see the official video for ‘Preaching the End of the World’ here:

You can see Chris Cornell live here:
Wednesday 14th October – Music Center at Strathmore, N. Bethesda
Thursday 15th October – Merriam Theatre, Philadelphia
Saturday 17th October – F. M. Kirby Center, Wilkes-Barre
Sunday 18th October – Beacon Theatre, New York
Monday 18th October – Beacon Theatre, New York
Wednesday 21st October – Shubert Theatre-MA, Boston
Friday 23rd October – Grand Opera House, Wilmington
Saturday 24th October – Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, York
Monday 26th October – Atlanta Symphony Hall, Atlanta
Tuesday 27th October – Ryman Auditorium, Nashville
Thursday 29th October – Knight Concert Hall-Adrienne Arsht PAC, Miami
Friday 30th October – The Mahaffey Theater, St Petersburg
Sunday 1st November – Majestic Theatre Dallas, Dallas
Monday 2nd November – Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater, Austin
Wednesday 4th November – Orpheum Theatre, Phoenix
Friday 20th November – Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch
Saturday 21st November – Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch
Monday 23rd November – Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington
Thursday 26th November – ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland
Friday 27th November – ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland
Saturday 28th November – ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland
Monday 30th November – QPAC, South Brisbane
Tuesday 1st December – QPAC, South Brisbane
Thursday 3rd December – Llewellyn Hall, Canberra
Friday 4th December – Palais Theatre, St Kilda
Saturday 5th December – Palais Theatre, St Kilda
Monday 7th December – Festival Theatre, Adelaide
Tuesday 8th December – Perth Concert Hall, Perth
Wednesday 9th December – Perth Concert Hall, Perth
Friday 11th December – Sydney Opera House, Sydney
Saturday 12th December – Sydney Opera House, Sydney
Sunday 13th December – Sydney Opera House, Sydney

'Euphoria Mourning’ Track List:
Can't Change Me
Flutter Girl
Preaching the End of the World
Follow My Way
When I'm Down
Wave Goodbye
Sweet Euphoria
Disappearing One
Pillow of Your Bones
Steel Rain

Main Contributors on ‘Euphoria Mourning’ are:
Chris Cornell – Lead Vocals/Guitar/Harmonica
Alain Johannes – Guitar/Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals/Theremin/Mandolin/Clarinet/Tabla
Natasha Shneider – Keyboards/Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals/Tambourine/
Ric Markmann – Bass Guitar
Josh Freese – Drums

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