Chris Cornell - Euphoria Mourning

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Superficially, Chris Cornell’s solo debut album, Euphoria Morning ticked all the important boxes. Widely accepted as an artistic triumph by the critics, it peaked inside the Top 20 of the Billboard 200 and its signature single, “Can’t Change Me” received a Grammy nomination. Yet the album’s slow-burning success belied the fact that its creation was a cathartic experience for the former Soundgarden vocalist.

Having fronted that band for a decade, Cornell had been in the eye of the hurricane when grunge made his Seattle hometown the coolest city on the planet during the early 90s. Soundgarden’s landmark fourth album, 1994’s Superunknown, sold over nine million copies worldwide and skyrocketed the group to stardom. A sprawling and introverted affair, their fifth album, Down On The Upside, had plenty to recommend it, but didn’t have the impact of its predecessor. After a grueling world tour in support of the album, exhaustion and internal strife led to Cornell and company announcing their split in the spring of 1997.

Euphoria Morning is a mature album without being overly somber. It could be argued that it sounds a little too mature and possibly a little self-conscious, but that just emphasizes the real craft behind it. Cornell knew exactly where he wanted to go as a solo artist, and he's achieved it. This album will continue to undoubtedly win the affections of open-minded listeners who haven't before considered him a serious songwriter or musician.

Heavyweight vinyl produced by A&M Records in 2015.

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