Why Chris Cornell Mattered More Than Others
The saviour of a generation – or two
If there was one thing I could do all over again for the very first time, it would be listen to the sound that encapsulated and defined a whole genre in its entire self. There have been artists renowned for their artistic integrity and their unique style over the course of the millennia, however, none of them single handedly conquered or created a genre, which others felt creeping into their soul.
I don’t mind stealing bread, from the mouths of decadence, but I can’t feed on the powerless, when my cups already overfilled
The first time I heard the echo of a generation within a voice was in a song called “Hunger Strike”. My elder brother gave me his old phone which I was very excited about knowing it had so much music on it, and I spent countless hours going through all of until I found something new each time which I could play on repeat and for all of my friends. It was a band called Temple of the Dog. There was a distinct magical tone and then there was slight hysteria with what followed. To this day I find it hard to sum up how staggeringly beautiful Chris Cornell’s voice was when he slowly spoke in his poetic noise. Then came Eddie Vedder, and I was in place I didn’t want to get out of.
Over the course of the next three minutes, there were melodies which entered my mind and never left. Back then, I couldn’t imagine how powerfully a human being can have command over his voice. Cornell changed that notion for me, forever. He screamed “I’m growin Hungry”, however he was not the only one. Now, it was time for me to explore him, for I allowed his voice to explore me.
On my deathbed, I will pray to the Gods and the Angels, like a pagan
This would turn out to be his most recognisable work to date. There was a slight bluesy tone coupled with his sharpened tempo jumping over the drums, eloquently. This is the one song that would be played in every room and every car. It was complete.
“It’s a song about concentrating on the afterlife you would hope for, rather than the normal monotheistic approach: You work really hard all your life to be a good person and a moral persona and fair and generous, and then you go to hell anyway.”, Cornell explained.
After all, that is what his music and voice provided for, Idealistic standards that we aim to propose to ourselves everyday – perfection, coupled with calmness. That is what he aimed for, that is what he reached without ever realising it, except, everyone one else did.
Black Hole Sun, won’t you come, wash away the rain, won’t you come, won’t you come
When I thought to myself that I had entered nirvana, it was just the tip of the surface. Then walked in Soundgarden. Unbridled, Raw, Powerful and absolutely earth shaking, are just some of the words that could only begin to explain the way I would describe him. He created a whole genre and delivered it to every angry teenager trying finding his place in the world on a couple of pages. He created their anthem and showed them there is always something to live for, for them, and for me, it was these tunes.
Chris Cornell was different and that is he biggest compliment you can ever give to an artist. He was unlike every rock star you have ever seen. Ironically, man who saved millions of teenagers from their demons and provided them with a will to live and a will to love, himself succumbed to his own demons.
He provided for hope, he provided for all the misunderstandings and the stereotypes. He was a giver of words, when others had none, he taught us how to feel, when we feel that we would never. To those who ever struggled, found solace in the arms of his voice and his music. His calm persona distinguished him from everyone else and it become something we adored.
There may a come when I don’t bother you at all, it isn’t my call, it isn’t my call ..
It was his call. He always thought silence was golden, but it was not for the ones who had his voice to look forward to, and I was certainly one of those. He took away from the insecurities of the loneliness of the youth.
Thank you for allowing me express myself without bursting into flames. Thank you for allowing me feel that you were for me when I thought no one else was. Your words to spoke to me when nothing else did. You taught me to by myself because that is all that I can be.
You leave us with the most beautiful gift there ever is, your voice, your music, and your memories.
Rest in Peace and Thank You to the Greatest Voice that has ever lived.