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Audioslave Album Analysis

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Take the thundering rhythm section of Rage Against the Machine, add the powerful, raspy post-grunge vocals of Soundgarden's Chris Cornell and top it off with the guitar gymnastics of Rage's Tom Morello and the result is Audioslave. Many a super group have come and gone, some with great success, others stinking up your speakers, but this self titled Album by Audioslave is hands down the best rock album of 2002.

Not as overtly political as a Rage album, Audioslave is much more like a Soundgarden album lyrically, with ambiguous lyrics penned by Cornell, a lyricist who prefers a more subtle approach to telling a story or conveying an idea than former Rage lyricist Zach De La Rocha.

Combining the best parts of two of the 90's most successful and influential bands seems like a surefire success, but Audioslave is the super group that almost didn't happen. Soundgarden disbanded in the late 90's and Chris Cornell pursued a relatively successful, notwithstanding short solo career. Rage Against the Machine's front man Zach de La Rocha left his band and soon thereafter, fans and critics began speculating that someone new might take his place. B Real of Cypress Hill was one of the names that was thrown around in the press, but it was Cornell that seemed to be the one that most thought would ultimately join the band. After finally joining the yet unnamed band, Cornell and the rest of Rage began jamming, but it was soon announced that Cornell had decided to not leave the group. It looked like the highly anticipated marriage of Rage and Soundgarden was annulled before the honeymoon even started. In a few weeks however, Cornell decided to re-join the band and Audioslave was born.

The ultra-heavy first single "Cochise" on the album. Despite the vague lyrics, guitarist Tom Morello states in the band's bio that the song tells the tale of American Indian Chief Cochise who declared war on the entire Southwest after several members of his family were captured, tortured and hung by the U.S. Calvary. This song is a musical interpretation of Cochise's frustration, anger and fury. "It's not just dumb rock, its thinking man's rock."

There are softer songs by Audioslave than you'd probably assume. Cornell isn't afraid to get in touch with his sensitive side. Songs such as "What you are," "Like and Stone" and "Shadow of the Sun" Cornell softly croons while Morello quietly strums his electric guitar during the song's intros. In true Rage and Soundgarden fashion, they all rock hard and heavy, but it's a different kind of heavy than you've heard from either band.

"I Am The Highway" finds Tom Morello experimenting with country music guitar parts, and "Getaway Car" is a soft bluesy tune, complete with very traditional guitar solos. Tom Morello's



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