Listen to the isolated vocals of Chris Cornell on Audioslave’s ‘Like a Stone’

Although society is now firmly locked in the age of the “alternative fact”, a realm in which objective truths are challenged daily, there are still topics of conversation that people of all persuasions can all agree on. One such area of discussion is that the world has been much worse off since the death of Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell.

One of the most distinctive artists to have graced the music industry, the Seattle native had everything the all-time greats do. A truly gifted songwriter, guitarist, and, most importantly, vocalist, his efforts remain astounding. To this day, new fans are readily welcomed to the cult he established over 30 years ago.

Like the most eminent members of the grunge scene, Cornell developed his signature style from a blend of different influences. Across his career, he cited titans such as The Beatles and David Bowie as heroes, as well as British post-punk and art-rock outfits such as XTC, Bauhaus and Siouxsie and the Banshees. From the piercing hooks to the palpable aura, these influences were the kindling to Cornell’s natural fire. This substance was perceivable by all, with Cornell receiving kudos from the mainstream and underground audiences.

The antithesis of a one-trick pony, outside his extensive work with grunge legends Soundgarden, Cornell also fronted the now-defunct supergroup Audioslave. Notably, the band was established in 2001 out of the ashes of rap metallers Rage Against the Machine, with guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk all signing on. A collaborative force to be reckoned with, they fused the sounds of their former duo of bands into a new one that saw them earn great critical and commercial success.

It was in Audioslave that Chris Cornell took his vocal style to the next level. Of course, the growl of the hit single ‘Cochise’ is suspended most prominently in the memory, also partly thanks to the heavy blues of Tom Morello’s riff. However, Cornell delivered many other moments of note across their six-year existence and three albums. Here, he was expressing himself in a new way, with the band’s stylistic dexterity opening the frontman up to new realms.

Although it is in no way the most ferocious or gut-busting vocal performance that Cornell ever offered, the melancholic single ‘Like a Stone’, taken from their 2002 debut, remains one of the highlights of his career. A genuinely heartfelt lyrical moment, carried by the astounding vocal prowess of Cornell, there’s no surprise it remains one of the band’s most successful tracks.

Whilst it is easy to note Cornell’s genius on the full version of the song, it is most evident in his isolated vocal track. Powerful, atmospheric, and utterly emotional, the hairs on the back of the neck instantly stand to attention, aided by a subtle dose of reverb.

Check it out below.

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