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Old 06-02-2005, 12:24 PM   #1
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Audioslave - Out of Exile

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LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- It's a Wednesday night in Hollywood, and thousands of screaming fans are packed into a block of the Walk of Fame to see Audioslave storm an outdoor stage.

Black-clad teenage boys and wild-eyed girls break down barriers and struggle with police as the hard-touring L.A.-based quartet -- former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell and three Rage Against the Machine expatriates -- roar through old hits and new tunes from their sophomore album, "Out of Exile."

Tan, tattooed, short-haired and lithe, Cornell joyfully yells out, "Let me see your fists in the air!" Guitarist Tom Morello, wearing a baseball cap bearing the word UNITE, pounds out the catchy opening riff to the band's new single, "Your Time Has Come."

For Audioslave, it certainly has.

The concert, organized by talk show "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and taped for an MTV special and music video, followed a historic event: On May 6, Audioslave played a free show in Cuba, the first American rock group to perform in that country in 26 years. It was an honor Morello's former band, politicos Rage Against the Machine, always discussed, but never experienced as reality.

"There were many roadblocks to keep Rage from playing Cuba, and some of them were generated by government bureaucracy, and some were generated by internal band conflict," Morello, 40, said by phone just before a sold-out show in Mexico City.

"Having 70,000 people singing along to us on a Havana night was amazing," he said. "I saw people throwing messages onto the stage. I saw them mouth the same words time and time again: 'Thank you."'

With "Out of Exile" in stores -- and debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard album charts -- and the hopeful single "Be Yourself" already topping Billboard's rock charts for six weeks straight, Audioslave is on the verge of a significant rebirth.

In 2002, the band emerged from the rubble of Rage Against the Machine, a headless trio minus rapper Zach de la Rocha, who fled for solo projects that never materialized. Soon after, the fusion of Cornell, 40, and Rage alums Morello, 37-year-old bassist Tom Commerford and 36-year-old drummer Brad Wilk resulted in Audioslave's self titled debut, a collection of 14 hard rock songs pinpointed by the single "Set It Off."

Amazingly, the group had not yet played a show. Since then, however, they've done hundreds.

'100 steps forward'

"Out of Exile" propels forward from where the band's first album left off. Twelve tightly wound tracks broaden into schizophrenic guitar solos, frantic beats and Cornell's bluesy vibrato, which is marinated in age and experience and sped up into a howl or mellowed to a melodic shine.

"I'm really proud to say that this is the first record in my career where I can swear on my mother's grave that there's not one song on there I don't like," Commerford said by phone.

"We recorded 23 songs in about two weeks," said drummer Wilk. "For the first Audioslave record, we were in the studio working on arrangements all day. We took so many takes. This record ended up being more spontaneous."

Recorded by sound engineer Brendan O'Brien, the knob-twister behind Rage's "Battle of Los Angeles" and "Evil Empire," and produced by bearded maverick Rick Rubin, "Out of Exile" also relies on the warmth of non-digital recording devices, versus Audioslave's less sonically explosive debut.

"I think this album is 100 steps forward," said Rubin. "The first record was really a studio project. Now they're really a band."

'Everything is perfect'
Cornell underwent rehab before recording "Out of Exile" and quit smoking a few months ago. He wrote most of the album's lyrics on the patio of Rubin's Hollywood Hills home, just down the street from the house where he lives with his pregnant wife, Vicky; their 7-month-old daughter, Toni; and his daughter from a previous relationship, 5-year-old Lily.

"My lifestyle has transformed after many years of drinking a lot, isolating myself a lot and going into long periods of depression," said Cornell. "I couldn't think of more things I could change. That came out in the lyrics."

"Dandelion," for instance, pays homage to his daughter Toni in Cornell's new Bono-esque falsetto. And the powerful punch of "The Worm," a Molotov cocktail of drum bursts and tweaked- out guitar, surges from past scars to present-day safety and being "reborn."

For Audioslave, domesticity is just a part of growing up. Three out of the four guys have wives, two have small children, one is engaged and everyone forgoes booze for water and warm-up exercises.

"You don't want to have to rely on some green Mohawk," said Commerford. "I'm a father and I love my family and I love my job, and I'm very excited to play for a living. Everything is perfect."

"Knock on wood, I still hope I have a lot of years in me," said a laughing Wilk. "I want to play until I'm dead!"

I've been listening to this non stop... if Doesn't Remind Me doesn't light up the rock charts this summer, then I don't know what will. Great album
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Old 06-02-2005, 03:58 PM   #2
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As a huge fan of the first record, I was a little disappointed by this one at first. After listening to it a ton this past week, it's definitely grown on me. I still think the solos in "The Worm" and "Man or Animal" are two of the stupidest bits of guitar work I've ever heard, but I also think "#1 Zero" is an incredible piece of music.

Buy the album just for "Doesn't Remind Me" and "#1 Zero", especially the latter.
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Old 06-02-2005, 04:30 PM   #3
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Good album
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Old 06-02-2005, 06:07 PM   #4
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"set if off" wasnt a single, should have been though
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Old 06-02-2005, 06:29 PM   #5
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#1 Zero for sure...that song is amazing. As is the album.
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Old 06-02-2005, 10:01 PM   #6
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My fave song from the album is 'Doesn't Remind Me'. I had the CD a week in advance of street date, and I was seeing the show on 5/20 (release was 5/24). I played it over and over so that I would be somewhat familiar with the tracks if/when they played them. I may have been one of the few there able to sing along (at least with the chorus!). I LOVE that song, and crank it to 11 The more I hear the album, the more I'm really enjoying it. I think I played it a few times today. Now if I could just find a live recording of that show... (I have one from 5/1, but NEEED 5/20). They are incredible. See them live if/when they come back to the U.S.

radio now: COBL (U2 - ahhhhh)
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Old 06-03-2005, 08:22 AM   #7
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#1 Zero is already growing on me to the point where i keep playing it over and over again and annoy the shit out of anyone in the area...

Doesn't Remind Me is a great rock song while being incredibly radio friendly at the same time... same goes with Heaven's Dead & Drown Me Slowly.

Cornell's voice is the best it's been in years... maybe has to do with the rehab and quitting smoking.
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Old 06-03-2005, 12:02 PM   #8
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my favorate track is out of exile at the minute. I wasn't too keen on it at first. it is definatly a grower.
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Old 06-03-2005, 01:18 PM   #9
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You've all convinced me, I'll pick up the new Audioslave....Their first album was fantastic.
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Old 06-03-2005, 02:28 PM   #10
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It's yet to really grow on me, but does seem more spontaneous than the first record. I need to give it a more thorough listening though.
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Old 06-03-2005, 02:37 PM   #11
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I don't know about everyone else, but I have to hear something a million times before I can really decide how good/bad it is. At first listen, I wasn't impressed, except by the couple of singles I had already heard. But yeah, I'm really liking it now. Drown Me Slowly is cool too - they only played 4 live from the new CD (Drown Me Slowly, Doesn't Remind Me, Be Yourself, Your Time Has Come).

But that #1 Zero has this bluesy sound to it (had to throw it on, since I don't remember each song & their titles). Dandelion has grown on me as well...
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Old 06-14-2005, 07:04 AM   #12
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Just bought the album. Listened to about half of it. Now, I don't listen to the radio much due to the ipod, so I have no idea which song was released as the single. I'm thinking it was Be Yourself. Am I right? That song grabbed me immediately and I think it's fantastic. Haven't listened to "side B" yet
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Old 06-14-2005, 07:14 PM   #13
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Yes, Be Yourself was the first single. I'm not sure if the 2nd is/was Your Time Has Come. I still really like 'Doesn't Remind Me'. What do you think of it so far?
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Old 06-14-2005, 07:32 PM   #14
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Old 06-14-2005, 08:57 PM   #15
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they finally are starting to sound lile their own band. the first album was good, but really sounded like rage music / cornell lyrics. there will always be an element of that, but they are starting to mesh better.

overall very good album, can't wait to see them live.
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