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Out of Exile

Studio Album by released in 2005
Out of Exile's tracklist:
Your Time Has Come
Out of Exile
Be Yourself
Doesn't Remind Me
Drown Me Slowly
Heaven's Dead
The Worm
Man or Animal
Yesterday to Tomorrow
Dandelion
#1 Zero
The Curse

Out of Exile review

Rage Against The Machine and Soundgarden had been two of the best rock bands from the 1990s and the public was eager to hear what kind of collaboration the former members of these bands would make. 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 Rage Against The Machine 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 Against The Machine 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 Against The Machine'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. It's pretty much all killer and no filler. The CD has a good pace and never runs out of stream or looses momentum. Cornell's best songs may still lurk in the shadows (the funeral hypno-blues of Heavens Dead, the martial metal of anti-war opener Your Time Has Come, The Worm as anthem for self-loathing), yet they're now brightened with such surprisingly sunny fare as Dandelion, Doesn't Remind Me's charged, existentialist daydream and even a hook-rich, dangerously optimistic back-to-the-future power ballad in Be Yourself. Morello's work on the title track and elsewhere is a study in taste and less-is-more efficiency, a telling hint of how forcefully these iconic 90's stars have sublimated their egos as their new music has blossomed. This album is lean, hard and memorable, a record that finds Audioslave coming into its own as a real rock band.

Although Audioslave's self-titled debut was a strong album, when it was recorded, Chris Cornell was still new to the rest of the band – guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford, and drummer Brad Wilk. Now, after three years of touring and already having one album under their belt, the band seems to have really jelled. All four members seem to have found a common ground and found what works and sounds best for the group as a whole. Audioslave seems more like a band now than just a supergroup, or an all-star collaboration of 90s alternative rock superstars. And Out of Exile is an essentially straight-ahead rock album, with a real classic rock feel.

(06.06.2005)
Rate review4.74
Total votes - 387


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