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Down On the Upside

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iTunes Review

After the huge commercial breakthrough of Superunknown—where Soundgarden expanded its attack to include pop hooks, psychedelic riffage, and production values—the foursome decided to work harder at rocking harder. From the opening chords of "Pretty Noose," the group brings out the brawny guitars and slightly leavens them with sweet harmonies. With "Rhinosaur," Kim Thayil churns out more guitar-hero riffs for young America to master. "Zero Chance" turns to the quiet side as Chris Cornell ruminates in a depressive mood: "Born without a friend/And bound to die alone." "Ty Cobb" floors the acceleration with no brakes. Robin Trower's "Bridge of Sighs" is evoked within "Tighten & Tighter," while "No Attention" ventures toward Rocks-era Aerosmith, an occasional Soundgarden touchstone. The album's obvious centerpiece, however, is "Blow Up the Outside World," with its mix of acoustic and electric guitars; it builds toward a cathartic chorus that rings true of everything Soundgarden could ever be. 

Customer Reviews

Going Out On Top, With Arguably Their Best Work Ever

If you've ever wondered, why all the Ramones references in Soundgarden album reviews, then listen to "Ty Cobb"...If you've ever wondered, why all the Beatles references, listen to "Blow Up The Outside World"...If you've ever wondered, Soundgarden...what's the big deal ? Listen to any song from Down On The Upside. Following their most commercially successful album ever, Superunknown, Soundgarden went for a more stripped-down accoustic feel for this album, with the most emphasis on Matt's drumming. The album is about an hour (slightly longer) of no-filler hard rock goodness, with commercial hits with "Pretty Noose", "Blow Up The Outside World", and "Burden In My Hand". This turned out to be their final full album, with A-Sides following one year later as a collection of all of their radio singles and one new song, Bleed Together. Listening to the album though, you'd never know this was the end, and that's how it should be. My personal tracks, not including the singles, are "Overfloater" and "Tighter and Tighter".

Sad + Great Memories from an Ace Album

I went through puberty when "alternative" music was at its peak and grunge music was labeled THE music for the current generation. Soundgarden was at the forefront of this, thanks to accessible yet very well-made releases that appealed to both the listeners and rock critics. I remember I was driving home after school one day and on my favorite radio station it was announced Soundgarden broke up. I cried. I don't know why, they weren't even my favorite band but I did love them and was heartbroken that I wouldn't be hearing Chris Cornell's voice again. Now, thankfully, we have Audioslave so that amazing voice is still in the music scene, but the back catalog of Soundgarden's work means even more. I was afraid that this band was so painted into a time period and scene that the songs would age terribly- and I'm so glad that they still hold up as excellent pieces of rock gold. If you're tired of the cookie cutter "hardcore" or "emo" scene since it's reached mall trend level, do yourself a favor and take a trip back to when the music mainstream really WAS trying to be different, and the songs really mean something- with Down on the Upside.

Great album......but one question

Why isn't at least the track Ty Cobb explicit? The chorus, which is repeated about 20 times says: Hard headed F-U-C-K you all (not spelling it out, I just cant say that word without iTunes blocking it out) I think its funny how inconsistent the explicit label is


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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