No One Sings Like You Anymore
Few, if any, can take a cover and adapt it in a manner quite like Chris Cornell could. This was previously apparent through his 2007 transformation of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”, and the countless covers he did on his solo acoustic tours – The Beatles’ “A Day In The Life”, and the Metallica/U2 mashup of “One” both come to mind. While his previously unreleased rendition of The Guns N’ Roses classic, “Patience”, is topping the charts and best of lists from the year, his estate has quietly put together his latest posthumous release, No One Sings Like You Anymore. The surprise album is a collection of covers that remains appropriately-titled, not only for the weight it carries in Cornell’s own legacy, but for the simple reason that even when performing the works of others, his artistry is simply unmistakable.
Opening with a folk-pop take of Janis Joplin’s “Get It While You Can”, Cornell’s voice enters over a unique and modern soundscape with an effortlessly chilling tone. The track has a certain cinematic vibe, as if it was commissioned for a film, and sounds like it would have been a surefire hit on both rock and pop radio. Not even the strongest cover on the album, “Get It While You Can”, sets the tone for the record while successfully straddling rock, alternative pop, and folk. Similarly, the same could be said for Ghostland Observatory’s “Sad Sad World”, Harry Nilsson’s “Jump Into The Fire,” and Terry Reid’s “To Be Treated Rite”
While there is not a single weak cover on No One Sings Like You – how could anything with that voice fall short of great? There are some arrangements that simply make for a more powerful performance and shine bright across the record. The first, naturally, is the acoustic “Patience”, which took the world by storm earlier this year. Cornell’s adaption of the GNR hit adds a layer of brooding darkness in a striped down and stark soundscape led primarily by a warm acoustic guitar and his gravelly melodic vocals. The same could be said about his cover of “Nothing Compares 2 U”, written by Prince and made famous by Sinéad O’Connor. While nothing will ever top his SiriusXM Live debut of the song from 2015 (dare I say, not even Prince himself could), this unreleased studio version of the cover is simply stunning. Of course, it goes without saying that John Lennon’s “Watching The Wheels” and Carl Hall’s “You Don’t Know Nothing About Love,” both deliver additional show-stopping performances.
Over the course of its ten tracks, No One Sings Like You Anymore, is a fantastic release to cap off the year–a surprise and unannounced release at that. While I’m hopeful for more original material that has yet to be released from Cornell’s vault, this album takes a different path and stands as a carefully-curated collection of those who inspired Cornell, particularly in his latter, acoustic-driven solo career. With that in mind, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone take on Prince at this quality, and then go on to do the same with the likes of Lennon and other icons. Furthermore, if you look closely at the bottom of the album art, you’ll notice it reads “Volume One”; ultimately an exciting teaser for a potential follow up album in the same vein, something I’m positive we could all get behind. Regardless, No One Sings Like You Anymore marks the first collection of almost entirely unheard material from Cornell since his tragic passing, and it makes for an incredibly strong foundation for future releases to build off of. As always, nothing compares to Chris Cornell.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: CHRIS CORNELL – NO ONE SINGS LIKE YOU ANYMORE