No One Sings Like You Anymore, Vol. 1

Chris Cornell

Ume, 2020

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


It’s been almost four years since Chris Cornell took his own life. In that time, we’ve had several singles and a box set comprising what we thought was his recorded output. Surprise, surprise: in December 2020, Cornell’s widow surprise released this. It’s a collection of covers Cornell was recording on his own with producer Brendan O’Brien throughout 2016 and early 2017.

Cornell had been releasing acoustic folk style cover songs during the last couple years and I wasn’t too impressed with them. They sounded hokey and didn’t do anything but stroke Cornell’s ego. There are a few songs here that stand out, including the Janis Joplin track “Get It While You Can,” where he showcases his full range. There’s also a beautiful Terry Reid song, “To Be Treated Rite,” which is just beautiful and astoundingly good. “Sad Sad City” originally by Texas duo Ghostland Observatory, is one of the more notable tracks. It’s nice to hear Cornell doing something relatively modern and he makes it more or less his own.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Unfortunately, there’s also some crap. Back during the summer, his estate released his version of Guns ‘N’ Roses’ “Patience.” Back in 1993 on their own covers album, GnR had released a version of Soundgarden’s “Big Dumb Sex,” which was ironic as all hell because that song was mocking the type of band that GnR was. Cornell takes “Patience” and turns it into another folky showcase and it’s boring and doesn’t do anything. Wouldn’t you know it; it became his first mainstream rock number one hit! Sad state of affairs if you ask me.

There’s also “Nothing Compares 2 U,” an earlier version of which already appeared on his box set recorded at Sirius; this new version just reeks. It’s maudlin and saccharine, just like most of his other folky covers. On the other hand, Lennon’s “Watching The Wheels” comes to life and sounds great; it’s definitely one of the better tracks here.

In the end, I feel torn. There’s some really good stuff here and there’s a lot of filler and crap as well. I can’t help but feel this is a cash grab by the estate. Cornell would have definitely wanted this material out, but I feel that with a bit more polish it would have really felt like the whole thing had Cornell’s full stamp on it.

Rating: B-

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