Scream “belongs in a time capsule,” said Christian Hoard in Rolling Stone. The strange concept of pairing Chris Cornell, grunge god and former frontman of Soundgarden and Audioslave, with Timbaland, hip-hop’s ultimate hit maker, could only have been born in this day and age. The merger of Timbaland’s “digital-age beats” with Cornell’s hard-rock howls could have sounded inventive, but Scream draws out the worst in both artists. “Cornell’s yowl never sounds at home” stirred in with Timbaland’s thick stew of electric guitars, airy synths, and computerized samples. The Middle Eastern–flavored “Take Me Alive” “could have been credited to the Pussycat Dudes,” said Mikael Wood in Billboard. Cornell helped make metal mainstream; he doesn’t belong on the dance floor singing a duet with Justin Timberlake, as he does on this track. Both men are talents in their own right and, while that doesn’t excuse their collaboration here, we can only hope they’ll bounce back quickly from this disaster.
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