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BWW Album Review: Lena Hall's OBSESSED: CHRIS CORNELL is Vivid and Stirring

BWW Album Review: Lena Hall's OBSESSED: CHRIS CORNELL is Vivid and Stirring
Cover art courtesy of SKB Records.

Lena Hall's ambitious and successful year long EP project - Lena Hall OBSESSED - comes to end this month with her lovely tribute to Chris Cornell, the iconic front man of Soundgarden and Audioslave. The four-track OBSESSED: Chris Cornell stands as a vivid and stirring conclusion to the series, offering listeners the entrancing angst of the grunge era and a delightful reprieve from effusively ebullient holiday music.

The EP kicks off with Cornell's Soundgarden days featuring "Black Hole Song," which may be his most recognizable composition, and "Fell On Black Days." With sumptuous and expressive vocals, Hall offers a truly mesmerizing rendition of "Black Hole Sun." Backed only by acoustic guitars, she allows the song to build to an explosive, gritty finale that is both gripping and powerful. Hall plumbs the emotional depths of "Fell On Black Days" to serve up an iteration that speaks directly to the heart, highlighting the song's introspective qualities.

Going into the Audioslave era, she performs a lushly robust version of "Like a Stone," which was that band's most successful single. Her commanding performance demands the full attention of listeners, keenly alternating between subtly smooth and raw, gravel-infused vocals to masterfully deliver the raw and bitter heartache in the lyrics. To close the album, she shifts to Cornell's "Sunshower," a solo single from Alfonso Cuarón's 1998 film adaptation of Great Expectations. Her earnest take on the song is filled with vibrant heart but employs enough grit to keep the sweetness of the ballad from being saccharine.

It's hard to believe that this series has come to an end, and while it may seem - upon first looks - that Hall is exiting with a whimper, she is actually taking her bows with a dignified roar. OBSESSED: Chris Cornell doesn't hold back any punches, but it's not an in-your-face explosive rock jam either. And, that's what makes it the perfect last entry.

My Ranking of the EPS:
12. OBSSESSED: BECK
11. OBSESSED: Jack White
10. OBSESSED: Elton John
9. OBSESSED: HEDWIG
8. OBSESSED: P!NK
7. OBSESSED: PETER GABRIEL
6. OBSESSED: Chris Cornell
5. OBSESSED: David Bowie
4. OBSESSED: RADIOHEAD
3. OBSESSED: THE CRANBERRIES
2. OBSSESSED: MUSE
1. OBSSESSED: NIRVANA

All of Lena Hall's OBSESSED EPs have been released by SKB Records and can be purchased at www.LenaHallObsessed.com. Each EP is also available on all digital and streaming platforms.

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From This Author David Clarke

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