Black Hole Son

Chris Cornell gets a little help from his friends

Not since Sir Laurence Olivier slummed his way through Clash of the Titans has such pure talent been so egregiously wasted. We're talking about you, Chris Cornell — smoldering-eyed rock god, owner of the most distinctive and potent alterna-howl of the past 20 years — and your sucky new solo disc, Carry On. The post-Nickelback über-polished riffs and 10-cent melodies are bad enough, but just when we thought maybe your voice would swoop in and save the day, you offer nothing but a feeble croon. And including a version of “Billie Jean” here — what the hell? It's pretty sad when Alien Ant Farm does more memorable Michael Jackson covers than you.

We'd cut you some slack if this were a momentary stumble in two decades of bulletproof musical kickassery, but you haven't done shit since Soundgarden broke up (and while we're being brutally frank here, Down on the Upside was pretty blehhh, too). Audioslave? Please. That was the worst idea for a “supergroup” since David Coverdale gave Jimmy Page a call. Look, we realize you're into your 40s now. No one wants you to ditch the shirts, grow out the hair, and do the grunge thing again (well, maybe they do), but can you please let loose with that awesome wail and rock the fuck out? Hell, Lemmy still gives it a go and he's what, 87? But hey, don't take our word for it, man — have a look at your own MySpace page. Here's what some of your “Top Friends” are saying. (Click for graphic)

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