Chris Cornell’s most recent solo album Scream, produced by R&B hitmaker Timbaland didn’t fare well critically, neither here, nor among the majority of Cornell’s many longtime fans.
Knee-jerk reactions to the ‘inappropriate’ pairing aside, and ignoring that Cornell fronted fucking Soundgarden, it wasn’t even a good Timbaland album, compared to his 2007 album Shock Value. And as we listened to Cornell sing the word bitch 22 times in one song, it was hard to say that it would have been any better had he simply shied away from the most broadly marketable production money can buy.
However, it seems that a well connected fan and friend of Cornell’s named Michael Friedman was not quite as cynical as we were, and listened so hard, he heard a proverbial who. He got his hands on the master tracks, called up Jordon Zadorozny of Blinker The Star, and together, they stripped away the beats, re-recorded at least some of the guitars, and produced at least one cut of the album that so far, only exists in our fantasies: Scream, The No-Timbaland Version. Here’s their version of Never Far Away, posted with Chris’ permission via ExploreMusic:
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It’s still not quite Black Hole Sun, despite Friedman’s wishful listening. But it’s at least as good as most Audioslave songs. And that’s an improvement.
Thanks to Trina Green for the heads-up.