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Down On the Upside

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Album Review

Superunknown was a breakthrough in many ways. Not only did the album bring Soundgarden a new audience, it dramatically expanded their vision, as well as their accomplishments. If Down on the Upside initially seems a retreat from the grand, layered textures of Superunknown, let it sink in. The sound of Down on the Upside is certainly more immediate, but the band hasn't returned to the monstrous, unfocused wailing of Louder Than Love. Instead, they've retained their ambitious song structures, neo-psychedelic guitar textures, and winding melodies but haven't dressed them up with detailed production. Consequently, Down on the Upside is visceral as well as cerebral — "Rhinosaur" goes for the gut, while "Pretty Noose" is updated, muscular prog rock. Down on the Upside is a deceptive album — it might seem like nothing more than heavy metal, but a closer listen reveals that Soundgarden haven't tempered their ambitions at all.

Customer Reviews


Soundgarden has returned with their follow-up to the hit album, Superunknown. Superunknown gave listeners a more mainstream approach while still retaining some grunge characteristics that hooked fans from the beginning. This time around, the band is more soft and subtle, giving more contrast to their songs which turns out to be one of the key things that makes this album worthwhile. Blow up the Outside World is one example, starting off with that mellow Cornell tone then going into the explosive chorus. This song gave me such an exhiliration that is unmatched by any other band. Unfortunately, this album seems to prolong itself too long as tracks 9-13 are relatively boring. And on a more unfortunate note, this would be SG's last album but a great album to end off with to say the least.

It deserves this

This, in my opinion is there best album with my three favorite songs by them Burden in my hand, Pretty noose and blow up the outside world.

5 stars

I'm basically just writing this review because Badmotorfinger's and Superunknown's average ratings are 4 1/2 while Down on the Upside's was at 4. Dotu is equal to if not better than the other two. Sure the second half of the album may be hard to listen to but the other half more than makes up for it.


Formed: 1984 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '10s

Soundgarden made a place for heavy metal in alternative rock. Their fellow Seattle rockers Green River may have spearheaded the grunge sound, but they relied on noise rock in the vein of the Stooges. Similarly, Jane's Addiction were too fascinated with prog rock and performance art to appeal to a wide array of metal fans. Soundgarden, however, developed directly out of the grandiose blues-rock of Led Zeppelin and the sludgy, slow riffs of Black Sabbath. Which isn't to say they were a straight-ahead...
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