Cornell takes a gamble while Manson gets accessible

<p>Trainspotting’s sick boy once said Lou Reed’s solo stuff, “sounds all right, but you know in your heart it’s actually just shite.” Same principle here, but not quite as drastic...</p>

 



 

 





Chris Cornell

Album: Carry On

Label: Interscope/Universal

Release Date: June 5

*** 1/2 (out of 5)

 




Trainspotting’s sick boy once said Lou Reed’s solo stuff, “sounds all right, but you know in your heart it’s actually just shite.” Same principle here, but not quite as drastic: Carry On rises far above the Scottish slang for excrement, but never hits the euphoric, throat node-tearing heights and growling twangs of Badmotorfinger and Superunknown, the closest he gets to it being the Casino Royale theme You Know My Name.





Though that’s to be expected from a grunge lord at 42 years of age. Carry On generally does keep the malaise and despair that made the early-’90s sound great, watered down with adult realism. You have to admire his willingness to gamble, though: Cornell’s wailing on Safe And Sound accompanies a horn and sax arrangement (Gasp!), and his Temple-Of-The-Dog-ing of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean succeeds surprisingly well as a downer.











Marilyn Manson

Album: Eat Me, Drink Me

Label: Interscope/Universal

Release Date: June 5

***





Shockingly enough, chronicling the horrific side of love seems to come quite naturally to Marilyn Manson, as gruesomely detailed on his latest release. But it’s that personal anguish coupled with a commitment to alterna-crunch guitar work that probably makes this Manson’s most accessible effort to date. From the grungy stomp of They Said That Hell’s Not Hot through the Bowie-disco dirge of single Heart-Shaped Glasses, industrial instrumentalist Tim Skold applies a heavy underlying sheen while Manson is still slashed deeply into the vibe with his trademark coffin-croak vocals, blood-smacked imagery and foreboding doom-beats.


 
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