The first two albums…had their moments. Still, when I go back and listen to the first one, it is harsh. There was CC on the one hand, and I love his voice, and RATM on the other, pressed together like a sandwich in which you had to like the two parts to like the whole, but this one is smooth. Revelations is powerful, and with four exceptional songs, I consider it a classic. Nothing sounds forced on this album. The first two tracks are amazing, and then again Somedays and Shape of Things both pick up the best of RATM’s jams and CC’s voice. Mature, wonderful, classic.
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I waited for some time before reviewing Audioslave’s “Revelations”, their third studio release. Immensely enjoying both their self-titled debut and the sophomore effort of “Out of Exile”, I wasn’t very concerned that Revelations would be enjoyed as well. Although at first it did not capture with the first few listens, it grew on me as their other albums did. Audioslave embodies a powerful and innovative rock formula that makes them more of a “rock” band than many others out there.
Revelations: My first perception of this album was that it didn’t quite flow like the first two, and had more of a gathering of singles that were hit and miss. Over time, however, I realized that this album again delivers a good mix of superb guitar work coupled with good songwriting. The title track opener as well as the catchy “one and the same” are good openers that quickly lead the listener on a journey of various themes and artistic direction by the band. “Sound of a Gun” is a masterpiece and hopefully will be a staple for some greatest hits CD down the road. Soulful and poetic, Cornell’s voice (which has been criticized on this album by many) is the best it’s ever been here. “Until we fall” (track 4) is a beautiful, slower paced track that again implores a timeless feel to it and leaves out the powerful Morello riffs and pounding drums.
Track 5 Breaks into the FM hit “Original Fire” which is catchy and fast, laying down a good beat. Some great bass playing is experienced with this track. The next track, “Broken City” has a funky groove to it that definitely adds to the plate the fact these guys can add some diversity to an album. “Somedays” follows that and is more of an uplifting tune that has a groovy bass line that allows Cornell to belt out a signature, if sometimes repetitive line of “Somedays, it don’t come easy”. Track 8 is an awesome one with a heavy guitar intro that leads into a melodic chorus. This is one of the darker songs on the album, and is called “Shape of Things to Come”. “Jewel of the summertime” is also heavier and darker and has some of the lead singers old band’s sound (Soundgarden) in it. Great guitars on this song, so Morello fans won’t be disappointed.
Track 10 is “Wide Awake” and correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe was on e of the songs featured on the recent “Miami Vice” film by Michael Mann (Mann also incorporated an Audioslave tune in the movie “Collateral”). Wide Awake is a driving anthem with many dark undertones and a lot of changeups in melody that again, really bring out the great vocals that are experienced on this album. Track 11 is “Nothing left to say but goodbye” and is another slower paced song that brings the tight songwriting of the album to the forefront. Nothing spectacular, but by now I’ve realized that anything these guys do is something I enjoy. Although I said it was a slower paced tune, it still retains their signature edge to it.
Speaking of Edge, they left the sharpest for last. The final track “Moth” starts off with a heavy, sonic assault of a riff before breaking into a little melancholy chorus by Cornell. This is soon followed by the meat of the song, which continues to follow on the Morello riff of rage. From the lyrics “I don’t fly around your fire anymore” to the continual driving riff, the album to me ends on a very high note.
Audioslave makes great music. I was a big Soundgarden fan and though was not ever to big of a Rage Against the Machine fan, the collaboration of Singer Chris Cornell with the guys from Rage has been one of the most successful matchups within the rock music arena in a very long time. Great songwriting, hooks that catch you and overall musicianship that is to be appreciated, I only hope this band continues to release more material together. The rock music landscape changes every day, and many said rock itself was dead long ago. I feel the ingredients that Audioslave bring to the table is a sign there is still life in modern day rock music when it comes to keeping the filler out and the quality in.
After Audioslaves debut the thought to me was “How do you top that”? Then the “Sophomore Jinx” bit hard on “Out of Exile” which fell way short of expectations for me. Allot of the “Rage” was lost and it didn’t have a clear direction, kind of boring. Now if you said the third album “Revelations” still didn’t get back to it’s “Raging Roots” but was as good as the debut. Well I’d say your nuts!! Well I guess I’m nuts. The direction has changed again but I think Audioslave has come into a style all their own now. The music here is fresh and has a funky vibe mixed with some good grooves. As always some great guitar work. It starts w/ a great rocker the self-titled track. The up and down transitions of track 3. Sound of a Gun. Then the radio friendly track 4. Until We Fall. The upbeat track 5. Original Fire. The funky vibe really starts kicking in with a killer tune, 7. Somedays! That leads into another great rocker, very Soundgarden-ish 8. Shape of Things to Come. Track 9. Jewel of The Summertime, has a funky/bluesy vibe with an absolute killer grove. Then track 12. Moth blows you away. It starts slow then hits you hard and adds many layers to it. That’s one thing I can say about this release, it has many layers to it. It grabs you and keeps you interested from beginning to end! Great production songwriting and musicianship all the way around. Great job guys!
Out of Exile was a disappointment to me and I wondered if it would be the end of Audioslave. I was happily proved wrong yesterday with the release of Revelations. This album ROCKS HARD! Lots of hooks, catchy head bobbin’ rhythms, good if not semi great lyrics, and at least 3 hit bound tracks make this a GREAT Audioslave record. They are sounding less and less like RATM with every release and that is a good and bad thing. I really liked RATM’s sound, heavier and angrier than Audioslave. Revelations is less heavy and angry but cathcy and tuneful in a pop sort of way. More FM radio friendly if you will. They still have an edge thanks mostly to Tom’s guitar chops. If you liked the 1st Audioslave record, you will dig this one as well.
Why can’t I buy a disc with THE WHIP on it? Why, why, why? Peace Out!
At first listen, Revelations might sound a bit weird, and a bit funky. I know it did to me. Alot of other people I’ve talked with felt the same way. But trust me, the more you listen to Revelations the more you will like it. It is tremendously addicting. I havn’t been addicted to a album like this for quite awhile. Suffice to say, Revelations is a remarkable album in all aspects. Audioslave continue to refine their sound and create wonderful music. This time around they have incorporated alot of funk, & rythym and blues into the album. Bottom line to me, if you liked the first two slave albums, there is no reason in the world that you shouldn’t like this one.
A interesting note about this album is how it was recorded. The band went directly from touring to the studio to record it. There was no lull or lapse of time inbetween like there was inbetween the first two albums. The band wanted to establish a continual cycle of touring, recording, touring. They even recorded some somes out on the road and played them. I know Wide Awake, and Sound of a Gun were played at some of the later shows. They toured for quite awhile and then officialy went into the studio to record the whole album. I think this is a really good idea, as they had alot of fresh and exciting ideas that they wanted to experiment with. The quality of “Revelations” speaks volumes as to how effective this process was for Audioslave.
The thing I noticed with this album is that the chemistry between the band just keeps getting better and better. Remember, Brad, Tom, and Tim have been playing together for over 14 years. The first RATM album came out back in 1992. With Audioslave, and Chris, they are really gelling as a band, & they have even mentioned that in different interviews. Technically, I find Revelations to be one of the stronger albums that Audioslave has done. I’m not going to say its better than the other two, because I hold those albums up very high, but Revelations is no doubt their equal on many levels, dare I say stronger in some areas. I love the song structures on this album, they seem to be more complex and interesting. For instance, at the start of Sound of a Gun (which is a continuation of Drown Me Slowly btw) it almost sounds like it might be a softer, slower song. But then it kicks in and is a really fast, uptempto track. This adds alot of depth to the album, and helps keep it from getting old. You find new things to appreciate each time you listen to it.
Already, Revelations contains some of my favorite Audioslave songs. Revelations contains alot of funky and groovy tracks, stuff that you can bob along too. It works surprisingly well. Tom had previously described the album as, “Earth Wind and Fire meets Led Zepplin.” After actually hearing the album, that desription is accurate, and it sounds amazing. Its not a drasticly different sound as you might think it would have to be, but it is new and exciting in many ways.
My favorite tracks are the title track, One and the Same, Sound of a Gun, The Shape of Things to Come, Jewel of the Summertime, and Moth. I won’t bore with a analysis of each track, but they are all very well done, very polished and sound great. I had high expectations for this album, and Revelations far away exceeded them, and thats no easy task.
It seems to me that so far the reaction for this album is mixed. My advice is to give it a honest listen. If your not a Audioslave fan already, I doubt this album will win you over. But if you are a Audioslave fan, this album has tremendous amount to offer. This will be a album that fans will remember for years to come. We just might have Audioslave’s greatest achievement and defining album, but only time will tell.