Out of Exile

Out of Exile

3.9 29
by Audioslave
     
 

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While there's no shortage of pure power in their ranks, the most appealing thing about Audioslave is their unfettered devotion to the groove -- a loyalty that saturates Out of Exile from the opening moments of the bass-heavy "Your Time Has Come." Frontman Chris Cornell imbues that tune -- a sepulchral antiwar screed -- with aSee more details below

Overview

While there's no shortage of pure power in their ranks, the most appealing thing about Audioslave is their unfettered devotion to the groove -- a loyalty that saturates Out of Exile from the opening moments of the bass-heavy "Your Time Has Come." Frontman Chris Cornell imbues that tune -- a sepulchral antiwar screed -- with a sense of foreboding that matches the darkness of Soundgarden's most formidable material. The disc's mood is fairly unrelenting, from the title track -- which incorporates a jarringly martial drum intro and a vocal that perfectly conveys the lyric's quiet desperation -- to a bluesy dirge ("Heaven's Dead") that's downbeat enough to squelch Annie's hope that the sun'll come up tomorrow. When they allow the wall of sound to crack a bit, the results are intriguing, as evidenced by "Doesn't Remind Me," a complex track that alternates pastoral acoustic verses -- in which Cornell muses about his fondness for "gypsy moths and radio talk"-- and crushing choruses. There's a similar dichotomy at play in the deceptively jaunty "Drown Me Slowly," which might be as close to old-school boogie as Audioslave can get (save for those typically hair-raising Tom Morello guitar solos). The disc isn't without its clunkers -- the sappy "Be Yourself" proves once again that the band should treat power ballads the way Superman treats kryptonite -- but it does offer ironclad proof that Audioslave have completed their evolution from interesting project to fully realized musical force.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Given that most supergroups last little longer than a single album, it was easy to assume that Audioslave -- the pairing of Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell and the instrumental trio at the core of Rage Against the Machine -- was a one-off venture. That suspicion was given weight by their eponymous 2002 debut, which sounded as if Cornell wrote melodies and lyrics to tracks RATM wrote after the departure of Zack de la Rocha, but any lingering doubts about Audioslave being a genuine rock band are vanished by their 2005 second album, Out of Exile. Unlike the first record, Out of Exile sounds like the product of a genuine band, where all four members of the band contribute equally to achieve a distinctive, unified personality. It's still possible to hear elements of both Rage and Soundgarden here, but the two parts fuse relatively seamlessly, and there's a confidence to the band that stands in direct contrast to the halting, clumsy attack on the debut. A large part of the success of Out of Exile is due to the songs, which may be credited to the entire group but are clearly under the direction of Cornell, sounding much closer to his past work than anything in Rage's catalog. Even the simple riff-driven rockers are tightly constructed songs with melodies and dramatic tension -- they lead somewhere instead of running in circles -- while the ballads have a moody grace and there's the occasional left-field surprise like the sunny, sweet psych-pop gem "Dandelion"; it's the strongest set of songs Cornell has written in a decade. Which is not to say that Out of Exile is without excesses, but they're almost all from guitarist Tom Morello; his playing can still seem laborious, particularly when he clutters single-string riffs with too many notes (the otherwise fine opener, "Your Time Has Come," suffers from this), and his elastic stomp box excursions verge on self-parody on occasion. Still, these are isolated moments on an album that's otherwise lean, hard, strong, and memorable, a record that finds Audioslave coming into its own as a real rock band.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/24/2005
Label:
Interscope Records
UPC:
0602498815632
catalogNumber:
000460302
Rank:
24512

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