Album Review: Chris Cornell – No One Sings Like You Anymore Volume One (UMe)

Chris Cornell, who many believe to be the ‘Founding Father of Grunge’, self-recorded a fifth and final solo album in 2016. And with a suggestive term such as Vol.1 hanging off the album’s title, could there be another down the road?

This posthumous album named with lyrics extracted from a Soundgarden song. It was released digitally on December 11, 2020, and last month physical copies became friends with our fingertips.

Chris CornellChris’s cover of Patience by Guns N’ Roses is a notable addition to the collection as prior to the release of No One Sings Like You Anymore, Vol. 1, it was released as a single and went on to become Cornell’s first solo song to reach No. 1 on the Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart. How is that for a good start to the album?

Chris Cornell was no stranger to covering songs and making them his own and this album is no exception with its unconventional thematic vibe. The roots of each song are easy to identify as Chris kept key aesthetics running through each piece; lyrics, melody and rhythm and notably in the song Watching the Wheels by John Lennon, the famous short resonating echo on Lennon’s vocals is left undisturbed. What is not so obvious at first listen, is that this record glides over a dichotomy of genres.

The songs are so well wrapped in a blanket of cohesive instrumentation consisting of varied degrees of acoustic guitar, digital drum loops, distorted electric guitar tones and decorative vocal harmonies that an oscillation between a Prince song to a John Lennon song doesn’t raise a questioning brow.

Instead, the consistency of tempo, instrumentation and Cornell’s unique vocal colour create a pleasant montage of slow burning change so that when the organ blasts it’s pipes in the final song “Stay With Me Baby” (the second song in the album by Jerry Ragovoy), it feels like the entire album has been heading toward Chris Cornell’s signature climax.

Odessa Neilands