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Timbaland Calls Collaboration with Chris Cornell His 'Best Work'

03/27/2008 at 11:15 AM EDT

Timbaland Calls Collaboration with Chris Cornell His 'Best Work'
Timbaland (left) and Chris Cornell at the PEOPLE party
Frank Micelotta/WireImage
In-demand hip-hop producer Timbaland is making a rock and roll crossover. On Ryan Seacrest's "On Air" radio show Thursday, it was announced that he is producing Chris Cornell's third solo album.

"This is the best work I've done in my career," Timbaland told Seacrest. And Cornell – a former member of Audioslave and, most famously, Soundgarden – was equally enthusiastic about the collaboration. Said Cornell: "This is the most excited I've been about an album in years. The music is natural, not self-conscious ... open."

Predicting Cornell will be the "first rock star in the club", Timbaland says he's currently mixing the album, and hopes to release it within a month. No title or released date has been confirmed.

In February, guests at PEOPLE's pre-Grammy party at the Avalon in Los Angeles got an early taste of Cornell's new music – as the rocker performed a song at the bash, which featured Timbaland and a fleet of his former collaborators including Missy Elliott. Timbaland has also famously worked with Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado on their recent projects.

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