Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Audioslave: Audioslave - The Review (see? it's self-titled)

Once upon a time, there were two bands.  One of them played funk-infused rap metal with politically charged lyrics that no one really payed attention to, and was known throughout the land as Rage Against The Machine.  The other band played one of the hundreds of different styles that fall under the "grunge" label, featuring a singer who sounded like a baby dinosaur and sometimes sang freakishly high, and they were known as Soundgarden.  Not long before the year 2000 AD, both of these bands split up.  Shortly after 2000, they reunited, but there was a mix-up and Rage accidentally got Soundgarden's singer, and Soundgarden didn't want to wear Che Guevara shirts so nothing ever came of that (I'm the only guy who knows about it).  Meanwhile, Rage tried to abandon Soundgarden's singer at a gas station a couple of times but eventually they figured "What the heck, let's see if we can work something out."  And they did!  And it was called Civilian.  And then it was called Audioslave.

1. Cochise
The first track and the first single from the first album.  This song should've been called "Audioslave," because then it would've been the debut single and opening track and title track of the self-titled debut album.  "Audioslave - Audioslave (from the album Audioslave)."  In light of recent events in late-night television, Cornell's words ring eerily prophetic: "Conan, save yourself!"

2. Show Me How To Live
STEP 1: Breathe.  STEP 2: Eat.  STEP 3: Drink.  STEP 4: Do not collaborate with Timbaland.  STEP 5: Sleep.  STEP 6: Repeat step 4.  REPEAT STEP 4.  REPEAT STEP 4 FOR THE LOVE OF--
So does the end of the song do the skippy thing for everyone else or what?

3. Gasoline
This is secretly Al Gore's favorite song.  He plays it while burning whales.  FUN FACT: Near the end of Audioslave's touring, Tom Morello insisted that they change the lyrics to "I'm burnin' that gasoline (and I'm a bad person because of it)."  It was an interesting change, but ultimately I feel it detracted from the flow of the song.  Luckily this is not present in the album version, which rocks pretty hard.

4. What You Are
In this song Chris Cornell talks about burning himself.  Could he be made of gasoline?

5. Like a Stone
This song was our first glimpse of Audioslave's softer side, and possibly the best.  The lyrics are open to interpretation, but I'd wager that they've got something to do with the afterlife.  Otherwise it just sounds creepy.  "In your house I long to be!"

6. Set It Off
This controversial song led to one of Audioslave's several breakups during the writing of the album.  Tom Morello was uncomfortable playing music with such a potty-mouthed vocalist, and he would have none of it.  Chris Cornell won back his favor by giving him a book about world hunger written by Che Guevara and printed on recycled paper.  Ha ha, get it?  Because he supports causes.

7. Shadow on the Sun
Okay look, this song is just plain awesome.  If you don't like it, you're a bad person.  The only thing I don't like about it is how Chris Cornell boldly proclaims "I can tell you why people go insane," but then he never actually tells us.  Mr. Cornell, your research could be useful to thousands of psychologists around the world!  Isn't that more important than money to you?  Or have you spent so much time with Timbaland that you've... become just like him?

8. I Am the Highway
CIRCLE ONE: Chris Cornell is
a) rolling wheels
b) the lightning
c) a carpet ride
d) blowing wind
e) Batman

ANSWER: Trick question!  He is both b) the lightning and e) Batman.  At the end of the song, Chris Cornell sings "I am the night", and Batman is the night.  Ergo, Chris Cornell is Batman.

9. Exploder
This song is where the standard Audioslave formula begins to become apparent.  But as is the case with the Audioslave formula, it still works.  I don't have anything witty to say about this one except DAH DA DA DAH DAH, DAH DA DA DAH DAH

10. Hypnotize
Who put this techno song on here?  This is like the polar opposite of the last track; a really unique song with a distinct identity.  I'm guessing that when they were putting the album together it was a toss-up between this song and "Give", which has the same basic message.  "Give" is a cool song, but I'm glad they went with this one, because it adds variety.

11. Bring 'Em Back Alive
This album has an awful lot of songs where Chris Cornell narrates his own death, doesn't it?  "Then they buried me in an island in the sea, etc."  Can't fault the music though, it's a pretty sweet slow heavy groove.

12. Light My Way
I still have no idea why, but you can hear somebody's default ringtone in the second verse of this song.  One time in each measure.  Once you hear it, it might ruin the song for you.  Sorry.

13. Getaway Car
Here's your final ballad for the day.  Don't like it?  Then Chris Cornell knows a car you can use.  Oh snap!

14. The Last Remaining Light
This is another song with "If You Don't Like It You're A Bad Person" syndrome, which is a good syndrome to have.  It kind of sounds like "Hotel California" blasting off into outer space.

No comments: