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Track Review

You might not think the man who fronts Slipknot's masked mob of metal mayhem, Corey Taylor, would be a likely candidate for penning a straight-up love song. But that's what we get with "Say You'll Haunt Me." It's the first single off Audio Secrecy, the third album from Stone Sour (Taylor's other metal band).

The melodic chorus finds a man practically begging his beloved to stand by his side forever. "Say you want to stay, you want me to," Taylor sings, "Say you'll never die, you'll always haunt me/I want to know I belong to you/Say you'll haunt me." Though it seems a slightly odd use of the word haunt, the song clearly employs it in a positive sense, as in, never leaving his side. And that's exactly what we hear next: "Together, together/We'll be together/Together, forever."

A few of Taylor's lyrics hint elliptically at some dark spaces in his heart ("Symmetry in shadows I can't hide"). But those shadowy pockets ultimately can't keep the singer from the one he loves ("I just want to be right by your side").

As for the surprising revelation of his softer side, Taylor told Spin, "I'm 36 now, and I can't sing about teenage angst anymore. … For the longest time I felt compelled to talk about how angry I was about certain things. But I can't be that guy. It made sense 10 years ago because it still was very fresh."

And in a separate interview found at musicradar.com, Taylor talked at length about the romantic ideals expressed on "Say You'll Haunt Me." "It's about that very positive and very passionate love you can share with another person, where you wake up in the morning and you're so stoked because you know you get to spend another day together. That, to me, is a godsend, because most of my life has been spent dealing with destructive passion. It's a head-over-heels, God-I-don't-know-what-I-would-ever-do-without-you kind of love song," he said. "Take the line from the chorus: 'Say you'll never die/You'll always haunt me.' What I'm saying there is, I would rather have you haunt me than lose you, in any capacity." About his relationship with his second wife, who seems to have been the inspiration for the song, Taylor adds, "It's been amazing. I had lost all hope until I met her. She blows me away on a daily basis, and I'm very lucky to have her."

Lest anyone think Taylor and his unmasked bandmates have gone all Debbie Boone on their fans, though, the moody, Matrix-y video delivers a darker tale than the song itself. In it, bandmates unload Taylor from a car trunk and march him into an abandoned building and watch while he sits in a chair—apparently awaiting an interrogation (or worse). The guys then stand before holographic projectors that picture them playing their instruments as a woman appears and roughly slides a black hood over Taylor's head. But when the hood is removed, it's Taylor's tormentor who's now bound to the chair.

Taylor told Spin, "It's a video we shot with [director] Paul Brown [who has worked with Slipknot and Korn] and tried to tie in the same concepts as the artwork for the album. The concept is that things aren't necessarily what they seem, and any moment the tide can change. I wanted to make something that people were going to talk about."

OK. So the song's about relational permanence, but its video is about constantly changing tides. I guess we'll take what we can get from Corey Taylor.

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Topped Billboard's rock singles chart.

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July 6, 2010

On Video

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Adam R. Holz

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