The Yahoo premiere of Chris Cornell’s video for “Scream” starts with an intimate conversation between Timbaland and Chris, discussing their terrible new collab project. Cornell says: “I just wanted to do things different … disconnect with all preconceived ideas of what a rock singer should do … It’s like the most album-oriented album I’ve ever done.” And for a second I thought, “Shit, that makes sense. Maybe I was a little harsh on “Long Gone. The man’s just trying to keep it real.” (I always end my inner monologues “just trying to keep it real.”) And then the second was over, and the video started playing, and Chris is driving with the top down and a lady on his side through a dramatic night with the wind in his hair and I puked.
I mean, OK, this is the new Chris, and this video captures his art, and his art captures what’s on his mind — being rich and having domestic strife (see: Cornell seated in a modern art gallery with kids on either side of him). So sexy-time Timbaland beats may be an appropriate accompaniment to his suave new lifestyle brand. But even then … “Hey, why you keep screaming at the top of your head”? Even for what it is, it’s tough to imagine a lyric being any more banal. Or any more unintentionally ironic. (Seriously, “Long Gone,” “why you keep screaming,” it’s like he’s writing these songs with hidden meanings for his old fans.) Have a watch, and keep your eyes peeled for Chris striking Jesus Christ Pose Circa 2008: in an art museum. Fitting.
Chris Cornell was once the singer of Soundgarden.