As of tomorrow, May 18, 2018, the great Chris Cornell will have left us a year ago. While it's impossible not to lament over his loss, what we can do to make good of this horrid anniversary is appreciate his legacy. Beyond Soundgarden and his other iconic projects over the years, Chris Cornell also had a solo career. His music was much more lyrically based with his solo material, and it definitely revealed a lot of his emotions. Chris Cornell bared his heart and soul in Higher Truth, his fourth and final solo record.
If Cornell's solo discography can be described as anything, it's dynamic. Each effort is very different from the last; the alternative and groovier first records Euphoria Mourning and Carry On contrast the electronic tinged Scream, which again feels almost like a polar opposite of Higher Truth, which takes a very grassroots and folk approach. The warm country atmosphere of 'Worried Moon' and the hopeful embrace of 'Dead Wishes' really show the intimate side of the record. The sound really allows not only for a message to be put across, but for it to seem as if Cornell is having a one-on-one with the listener. At times, that can be heavy; opening track 'Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart' says it all, Cornell's weathered voice leaving a lasting imprint above the light but progressive instrumental.
A lot of what Cornell sings about in Higher Truth is about love and a broken heart. This comes in many different ways: 'Before We Disappear,' for example, is a positive song about embracing love, but provides solemn reminders that life and love won't last forever: "We will live forever, but I fear that time can hide the years / Like we were never here / So hold on tightly my dear." 'Josephine' is more direct with its love, Cornell begging for the woman he loves to come marry him ("I got every kind of love that you will ever need / Dying here on bended knees"), while 'Let Your Eyes Wander' sings reassuringly of a lost love that may be hard to swallow: "So let your eyes wander, wild and free / Sooner or later they will look back to me." While many numbers are sobering, like title track 'Higher Truth' that builds into an epic ending, many have an upbeat attitude to them. 'Murderer Of Blue Skies' sing loud and proud with an alternative drive, while closing track 'Our Time In The Universe' celebrates life and being able to share this world with each other in the moment.
Chris Cornell bared his heart and soul in Higher Truth, his final solo record. Higher Truth is a perfect reminder that there was happiness in Cornell's life, as well as dreams and ambitions. It's a celebratory record, reflecting on life and love and says a hurrah for the times ahead. While the gap he left in the music world may never be filled, his music will always be here to fill the gap left in our hearts.
Favorite Tracks: Murderer Of Blue Skies, Before We Disappear, Josephine
Least Favorite Track: Only These Words
Rating: 80 / 100
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