Cody Jinks and Paul Cauthen turn Soundgarden’s psychedelic, alt-rock Billboard Number One hit “Black Hole Sun” into a beautifully mournful dirge. Over the sparse backdrop of a plaintive piano, which lends a lounge vibe to the interpretation, Jinks and Cauthen trade lines within the verses and join together on the choruses in a way that feels both anguished and celebratory. Throughout their rendition, Jinks’ soulful rumble and Cauthen’s gospel-tinged crooning frame the song’s Beatles-esque melody, and also pay homage to Cornell’s original inimitable delivery. Together, the Texas singers create a cohesive musical eulogy that emphasizes the forlorn but inspired nature of “Black Hole Sun.”
While the entire song is moving in its presentation, the most notable moment comes at the end of the second verse, as Jinks delivers the lyric “No one sings like you anymore.” That single line, delivered for years by Cornell in one context, takes on poignant new meaning now.
Cornell committed suicide on Wednesday in his Detroit hotel room, hours after performing with Soundgarden. He was 52.