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3.9 out of 5 stars
Out Of Exile
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207 of 227 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2005
Format: Audio CD
A few years ago when it was announced that former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell would be joining forces with three quarters of Rage Against The Machine (after the departure of singer Zack de la Rocha) expectations were high. Rage Against The Machine and Soundgarden had been two of the best rock bands from the 1990s and the public was eager to hear what kind of collaboration this new supergroup would make. Would this supergroup, Audioslave, live up to the hype? For the most part, the answer was a resounding yes. Audioslave delivered. While some RATM and Soundgarden fans alike were disappointed, Audioslave's self-titled debut was a strong collection of songs that pleased most fans.

Now, almost three years later, Audioslave is back for their second release "Out of Exile" an album that surpasses the debut. Although Audioslave's self-titled debut is a strong album, when it was recorded, Chris Cornel was still new to the rest of the band-guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford, and drummer Brad Wilk. Now, after three years of touring and already having one album under their belt, the band seems to have really jelled. All four members seem to have found a common ground and found what works and sounds best for the group as a whole. Audioslave seems more like a band now than just a supergroup, or an all-star collaboration of 90s alt. rock superstars.

"Out of Exile" is essentially a straight-ahead rock album, with a real classic rock feel. This is hardly surprising when you consider that although Rage Against The Machine incorporated elements of rap and hip-hop into their formula, a lot of their riffs were firmly rooted in classic rock. And as was the case with the debut, the band has, for the most part, written songs more on the melodic side, to fit the style of the soulful Chris Cornell, as opposed to the rap/hip-hop styling of Zack de la Rocha. But as was the case with the debut, the band hasn't abandoned their sound. You can definitely hear Rage Against The Machine in Audioslave, it's just that the rap/hip elements have been left behind and a more classic rock sound has been embraced. As previously stated, the band seems to have really jelled, so the songs on "Out of Exile" sound tighter than those on the debut and the band seems more focused. In short, compared to the debut, "Out of Exile" is a leaner, meaner album.

All twelve tracks on "Out of Exile" are quite strong. It's pretty much all killer and no filler. The CD has a good pace and never runs out of stream or looses momentum. Some of the songs, like the opening fast-paced "Your Time has Come, "Out of Exile" and "Man or Animal" sound very RATM-ish and probably could have been re-worked for Zack de la Rocha. These songs should please fans who have been missing RATM. Some of the album is more melodic, like the tuneful "Be Yourself," "Don't Remind Me" and the gorgeous "Dandelion." Fans of Soundgarden/Chris Cornell should be pleased with those. But all of the songs are tinged with elements of classic rock. "The Worm" actually sounds somewhat similar to Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog," off their "ZOSO" album. So whether you're primarily a fan of Rage, Chris Cornell/Soundgarden or classic rock, there is something on "Out of Exile" for everyone.

Tom Morello has proved to be one of the best guitarists of the last twenty years. He's not only technically a solid player, but he has also come up with some of the catchiest and creative riffs in years. With "Out of Exile," Morello has come up with a new batch of songs that both bare his signature and expand upon his previous work. Morello has always had a knack for coming up with catchy and creative riffs, that sound both fresh and unique. His fans will not be let down with this release.

Bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk have shown to be one of the most exciting and dynamic rhythm sections of the last twenty years. They have proved to be more than just the backdrop to let Morello do his thing. Their playing is thoroughly commanding, electrifying, and intense. They were essential to Rage's, and now Audioslave's sound.

Vocalist Chris Cornell has been universally hailed as one of the best singers in rock. And while he is undoubtedly a great singer, he is also a gifted songwriter. The chemistry between Cornell and the rest of the band has grown stronger and his soulful delivery seems well-suited for the classic rock styling of Morello. Although in all honesty, Cornell is not quite the singer that he once was. He still has a fine voice, but it seems strained at times. He can't quite make those screams the way he used to.

While "Out of Exile" isn't quite up there with such classics as "Rage Against The Machine" (1992), "The Battle of Los Angeles" (1999), "Badmotorfinger" (1991), or "Superunknown" (1994), it's still a very strong album. If you liked RATM, Soundgarden, or Audioslave's debut, you should be pleased with this one.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Out of Exile

As the final song in Out of Exile marches its way through the speakers, you receive a strong sense of déjà vu, almost as though it was the ending song played as the credits of a movie roll across the screen. It was a movie you have experinced many mixed emotions with, but in the end it was incredibly satisfying.

Thus is the story so far with Audioslave, the Soundgarden + Rage Against the Machine incarnation, and the trend continues with their sophmore effort, Out of Exile. After a steller first effort, which has been overly and unfairly critisized, I came into Out of Exile with expectations sky high. Unlike many fans, I was not around in the hey-day of Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine and have since been turned on to their music through Audioslave, and not the reverse. Therefore, I have the intriuging ability to examin Audioslave based not on what they have done in their segragated pasts, but only against their potiential in the future.

With that being said, Out of Exile is good album, no, a great album. At first I was a little disapointed. I had dove headlong into their self-titled debut without a single seed of anticipation and loved every minute of it. This album, however, I had been anticipating for months and was expecting, and demanding, an instant classic. What I found, at least a first listen, was an unoriginal, strictly formualic, and somewhat disapointing sequal to what was a fantastic first effort. The songs all seemed to be lacking that certain freshness that the first had so eagerly accepted. The first single, "Be Yourself," was generic, formualic, and about as predictable as any other radio friendly song that dominates the rock charts nowadays. Many of the songs were also disapointingly simple, a surprising move by Chris Cornell, who has been known for his deep, if inaccessable lyrics. "Doesn't Remind Me," is in a fact nothing more than a list of things Cornell likes because, they don't remind him of anything. And, at first listen, nearly all the more Rage-esq rockers such as "Drown Me Slowly," and "Man or Animal," sounded terribly mechanical. But after being able to listen through the album muliple times, I can safely say that this an exceptional 50 minutes of music.

Like all good rock and roll, this album requires time to set in. As the initial disapointment faded to tolerance and then to acceptance, I came to realize just how strong of a set this is. The most noticable difference from the first was just in it's overaul feel. Out of Exile has a much tighter structure to it, making for a smooth and beautiful flow. The band still follows the strict Verse-Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Solo-Conclusion formula, but every song is worked to perfection. The voice of Chris Cornell is matched only by the outrageous guitar playing of Tom Morrello and there are times when it almost seems as if the two are trying to out-do each other. It is, however, on the occasions when they truly merge together, that a glimpse of the future is seem, and it is a bright future indeed. When the complete marriage of Cornell and Morello, Voice and Instrument, is attained the result is an absolutely stunning display of what music should sound like.

The band's amplified unity and confidence in each other is also readily apparent throughout the album, and every one of the twelve songs could be a new single. Out of Exile has managed to expose the softer and even blissful nature of the band that was only touched on in their debut. Songs such as Dandelion, an obvious and inspirational ode to Cornell's newly born daughter convey this newfound sense of peace and optimism. Not to disapoint fans of their more Rage-esq tunes, this album rocks just as hard as the first. Highlighted by such headbangers as "Your Time has Come," "The Worm," and the title track, "Out of Exile," Audioslave has still managed to channel their rage, despite its ever loosening hold on them. Cornell's continued dabblings in blues are present as well in the mournful melodies "Heavens Dead," and "#1 Zero." The true strengh of the album, however, lies in its almost 80s like power ballads, which are reminisent of the great bands of the past. Its difficult to put into words the magnificence and power of the tracks "Yesterday to Tommorrow," and "The Curse," their cool beauty is just something that you'll have to hear for yourself.

Yet dispite the overall maturity of the band and the undeniable greatness of this album, I still feel like there is so much more to come from Audioslave. Chris Cornell has been quoted to say that he wants to turn out albums on a rapid yearly basis, like the some of the great bands of old. But to reach the upper echelon of the immortal bands of the past, Audioslave needs to take that step into the unknown. The need to break the formula - tried and true though it is - has never been more dire, and to have already been so great, Audioslave has barely begun to tap into their vast potential.

People complain that Audioslave lacks a certain unplacable something, that they are nothing more than a wild experiment in the soundscape of rock. The truth is there are times when they sound like Soundgarden, times when they sound like Rage, and even times when they sound like U2 or Zeppelin, but in the their second effort, Audioslave finally just sounds like Audioslave. Chris Cornell has cemented his status as one rock and roll's great vocalists, and Tom Morello's guitar playing will take you out of this world. And even if they never break the mold, even if they continue to put out albums like Out of Exile that only touch on greatness, I will thrilled. For Audioslave has arrived and is hear to stay, this may not be Soundgarden, and this may not be Rage, but this is damn good rock and roll from four of the best in the business.
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44 of 51 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
I like a good heavy rock song as much as the next guy, and Audioslave supplies a lot of those on Out of Exile. For example, something like "Drown Me Slowly" is a powerful piece of music, complete with head-banging guitar riffs and a muscular lead vocal by Chris Cornell. But what's unique and excellent about Audioslave is how they write and perform actual melodies, and they also have the ability to mix in a variety of volumes and tempos. It's not just all full-gale hurricane all of the time. Even on the same mighty tune, "Drown Me Slowly," there is a slower, softer bridge with Cornell almost crooning. And the very next song, "Heavens Dead," is bit more down-tempo (while still possessing its share of hard rhythms and crunching electric guitars). I came to this "Rage Against The Garden" band from the Soundgarden side, and I always liked the 'Garden's ability to mix it up, as shown on a slower but still very strong song like "Black Hole Sun." Audioslave has got the same kind of mojo working with their material. It's a great listen, from a very solid bunch of musicians.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Some people might suggest that Audioslave's new album "Out of Exile" is a bit of a letdown compared to their harder-hitting debut, but I just look at it as a slightly different animal...not necessarily better, or worse...just a bit different...a new direction. True, they didn't seem to include quite as many "heavy" tunes this time around, but that doesn't make it any less worthy of a listen. If their self-titled album was described as being "3 parts Rage Against The Machine and 1 part Chris Cornell", I suppose "Out of Exile" might be better described as "3 Parts Chris Cornell and 1 part R.A.T.M."....but that is most definetly not a _bad_ thing. It's still Audioslave, and they still rock.

As for the Japanese Import album, the cd insert is a bit "misleading", to put it nicely. There are 2 bonus tracks listed: "Super Stupid", and "Like a Stone (Live)". Take note of how they specifically mention that "Like a Stone" is a Live track. What they fail to disclose is that the version of "Super Stupid" is also a live version (in fact, the same old previously released BBC Radio1 Session from the "Like a Stone" cd single).

So if you already own a cd-single with "Super Stupid" on it, there's really no need to spend three times as much money on this Japanese Import Album to get it. Buy the European Import version of "Out of Exile" for ~$10 less if you still want the live bonus track of "Like a Stone" (it's a nice acoustic version).
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Don't listen to the people who like to hear themselves talk about how this album is sub-standard. Chris Cornell shines in his own way as usual and the past Rage Against the Machine members are also strong throughout. The writing is solid and the chemistry between the members of the band is evident.

In the past I was more of a Soundgarden fan than a Rage fan. Trust me, there's no sense in comparing this group to the past bands. This is a good album in it's own right and yes, even if they weren't past members of these bands this CD would still get looked at. Why? Chris is a unique and distinct vocalist. So are his lyrics. Tom Morello is a unique and distinct guitarist. You can't get around that.

If you are a fan of the genre and if you are at all a fan of the previous album then you should definitely pick this one up. If you aren't familiar with these guys, pick it up and get back in touch with your rock and roll roots.

From one person who likes good rock and roll to another or to someone still getting into it, check it out. And let yourself enjoy it free of comparisons and reviews rife with obnoxious vocabulary.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Like a monster out of the gates, Audioslave has finally come crashing back into the music world with their much-awaited sophomore album.

They have returned to prove yet again that the sum is, impossibly so, greater than its parts. The supergroup enjoyed a self-titled debut in 2003 that skyrocketed up the charts with radio favorites "Cochise," "Like a Stone," and "Show Me How to Live," though by the end of that summer, nearly the entire album had been played out on rock radio stations.

Ex-Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell has returned at the helm, bringing his original lineup of guitar wizard Tom Morello, Brad Wilk, and Tim Commerford, all formerly of Rage Against the Machine. And the effort here is much more solidified, the group identity has been realized to a much fuller extent. While 2003's self titled was an immensely successful effort, and a hard rocker in its own right, it had points of sounding like what it really was at the time, Soundgarden singing over Rage Against the Machine instrumentals.

After a year on the road, the supergroup seems to have cast off the chains of their former groups, and Audioslave is now an entity of its own stylistic ventures. Upon first listen, Rubin's production has brought the group together to create a wall of harmonic hard-rock sound, of group energy and unity. And as Cornell's vocals have ventured beyond the croon-scream song structures of the debut album, Tom Morello's chops have worked to weld themselves more deeply to the musical foundations of Audioslave.

It is in this sense that we see an expansion of range, and upon second and third listens it is apparent that the sound has become more heavily blues-tinged, while still hanging on to the hard edge and whammy solos that popularized the first album. Cornell steps forward even more as a modern day Robert Plant, playing off Morello's Robert Plant, and the result is dynamic. Wilk and Commerford, equally, have become a truly muscular rhythm section.

The first single, "Be Yourself," has garnered much criticism on fan forums and sites for being too "formulaic" in the vein of the previous hit "Like a Stone." While it is true that the skeletal aspects of this work, with the hypnotic rhythm section and mystical guitar leads mirroring Cornell's tenor crooning, reflect that particular hit, it is an original in its own right. Within the context of "Out of Exile" the song thrives wonderfully, nestled between two great rockers.

Hard rock ballads like "Doesn't Remind Me" and "Heaven's Dead" would bring a solemn tear to the eye of any GNR or Zeppelin fan, and yet the songs contain so much more modernity that one could never consider this work dated. Fringe rockers like "The Worm" and "Man and Animal" are remniscent of recent supergroup Velvet Revolver in their fearless melding of punk and metal with sheer pop sensiblity.

This album is truly a recommendation for anyone, pop music and metal fan alike. It contains just the right balance of hard rock, shredding, and ear-candy vocals to satisfy even the most critical of tastes.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Chris is singing more like he did with Soundgarden and the rest of the band made changes to accommodate (chicken or the egg) but that doesen't mean they sound like Soundgarden. They sound like Audioslave. Very solid album. Pick up an electric guitar Chris!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2005
Format: Audio CD
What a great followup album with lots of interesting sounds and lyrics. I have always been a Chris Cornell fan, I actually still listen to his Euphoria Morning album which i still find awesome, and his unique talent is no different on this album. Of course Morello's guitar is one-of-a-kind and makes plenty of contributions also. The group sounds like they found their musical style, and although thier debut was incredible, i think this one should receive the same attention. You won't be dissapointed!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2005
Format: Audio CD
When this album came out, I had to get it as soon as could. I was so excited when i bought this cd. Once I played it a few times, I was just as blown away as when I heard the debut album. This album does require a couple hearings before you fall in love with it though. But when it sinks in it is EXCELLENT! Audioslave is really heading in the right direction.

1. YOUR TIME HAS COME : Another great openner for an album by the band. As everyone says, the riff is a bit similar to the riff in chochise, but that does not take away the greatness from the song. If you like audioslave at all, you will love this song. Typical of the band, but still manages to amaze. Also was a hit single.
10/10

2. OUT OF EXILE : So here's the title track. The pounding drum intro is totally awesome, and once Tom's very rage'ish riff comes in and really rocks you hard. Chris yells the chorus in this song so well too, and just makes this song a quick favorite.
10/10

3. BE YOURSELF : So here's another single off the album, and a great one. It's more mellow than the previous songs but is still top notch material. Great lyrics by Cornell. The chorus is very chatchy and will have you singing along.
10/10

4. DOESN'T REMIND ME : This is definatley the biggfest hit on the album. Personally, I'm not sure why. Don't get me wrong, I love this song. I really do. BUT there are many songs on this album that are better, which I would have picked for the biggest hit. Still a sweet song though, with a happy, peaceful, feel to it.
10/10

5. DROWN ME SLOWLY : Awesome tune! Very heavy. Chris sings it great too (ovcoarse). You'll find yourself banging your head to this song every time you hear it.
10/10

6. HEAVEN'S DEAD : Now, people say that this is the bore fest of the album. I disagree greatly. I think this is a beautiful soothing song. The chorus is fantastic, and Chris sings it with great emotion.
10/10

7. THE WORM : Unbelievable! This song hits you like a ton of bricks! Right when you listen to it you will be left with your draw dropped and your eyes buldging from your head. This song does have a similar feel to led zeppelin's black dog as i also read in other reviews. Anyway, Tom is using all different effects on this song. His guitar work on this is outstanding! The solo. Oh, yes the solo. The solo in this song is the most amazing thing i've ever heard. It screeches so high, and then he goes higher and higher until it basically melts your ears. Amazing song!
10/10

8. MAN OR ANIMAL : This is a rage'ish sounding song that doesn't really do it for me. It's good though. I really don't know why, I never liked it too much. It's just average to me.
8/10

9. YESTERDAY TO TOMMORROW : The bass intro to this song is really awesome but unfortunatley I usually skip this one. This is a bit of a boreing song it seems to me. Not enough "uumf" in it. If you know what I mean. Just bland.
7/10

10. DANDELION : Here we go! Back on track now! This song is so great. Listen to this on a nice sunny day, and you will just be in another world. Such a peaceful, happy song. When I listen to this my mind just seems to go soaring through the clouds, feeling the sun, and being so peaceful. Great lyrics. Great chorus. Possibly Chris's best vocal performance on the album as well.
10/10

11. #1 ZERO : This song requires a couple listens before you like it, but after a couple listens for me I now love it! Definately one of the best songs on the album. It just has such a cool, low beat and groove. Great vocals by Cornell. Towards the middle of the song it picks up the pace and becomes heavy! This carries the song incredibly to the end which starts to slow down again and leaves you wanting more. Also one of the best solos on the album.
10/10

12. THE CURSE : Here's another song that you need to give a chance. This is easily one of my very favorites on the album. The lyrics and vocals on this song are fantastic. For me, whats so great about this song is the chorus. I'm constantly singing along, and it's song with great emotion and effort by Cornell. Great soloing by Tom, which leads into a softer chorus by sung beautifly by Cornell. Outstanding! What a way to close the album and leave your jaw dropped again!
10/10

If you thought the first album was great, wait until you hear this masterpiece. Equally as good as the first. No better, no worse. Fantastic! Incredible! Outstanding! Whatever word you like best, well that describes this album. Give it a little time and you will fall in love with this album as you most likely did with the first. It's average is 115/120

Buy this now! and get sucked into the world of audioslave once again!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I absolutely loved Audioslave's self-titled debut. It was one of the best rock CDs released in a long time, and as successful as the album was, I still don't think it recieved enough recognition. For those of you that don't know, the group consists of Tom (guitar), Tim (bass), and Brad (drums), all of which are from Rage Against The Machine. And on vocals, is Chris Cornell from Soundgarden. I'm a big fan of both groups, mostly Soundgarden.

This time around, the members claimed that this new album would sound a lot LESS like Soundgarden-meets-Rage. But ironically, I think this album sounds MORE like Soundgarden than the last album. Songs like "Drown Me Slowly" sound just like something from SG's "Superunknown" days, and "Heaven's Dead" sounds like something from Temple Of The Dog (the Soundgarden / Pearl Jam side-project from '91). Tom Morello's guitar style is not as similar as it was on past albums from Rage or Audioslave, except on songs like "The Worm". But most of the songs still carry Tom's wacky signature solos that sound more like a turn-table than a guitar. Overall, the band sounds a lot more classic rock-ish. If you listen to songs like "Doesn't Remind Me" or especially "Dandelion", you'll think that you're listening to an old Led Zeppelin album. In my opinion, I think it's great! I'm sick of all these new alternative groups who are getting away with making hit songs without being able to sing or do guitar solos. Audioslave puts those groups to shame.

To sum up, this is a great album. Give it more than one listen though, because I actually wasn't that impressed with it until my 3rd listen...now I can't stop listening to it. If you liked their last album, than you should like this one to. I would definitly recommend it more towards the Soundgarden fans than the RATM fans.

BEST SONGS:

Drown Me Slowly

The Worm

Man Or Animal

Doesn't Remind Me

Your Time Has Come

Be Yourself
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