Temple Of The Dog, that name can divide people. On the one hand you've got the people who'll just stare at you blankly and put their Ministry Of Sound collection back on, on the other nothing but pure worship will follow.
Temple Of The Dog you see is no ordinary band, fans of Soundgarden, Mother Love Bone and Pearl Jam of course know of them but here be an introduction for everyone who doesn't. They are a supergroup made up of combined members of future Pearl Jam/past Mother Love Bone, and Soundgarden (Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard (Mother Love Bone), Matt Cameron, Chris Cornell(Soundgarden) and guest appearnces by Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready(future Pearl Jam). The group was started after the demise of the dearly missed Andrew Wood (frontman for Mother Love Bone), who also happened to be a previous roommate to Chris Cornell, they all got together in order to write a few tribute songs, but it got a bit out of hand and we're left with one of the defining albums of the 90's.
On to the music now...
This album should really please anyone into rock music of any kind especially fans of the composite bands. Cornell really proves himself to be the driving force behind Soundgardens outstanding music but is backed up brilliantly by Ament, Gossard and co.
Track 01 - Say Hello To Heaven: From the first few chords of this opening track you know this album is going to be special, evoking emotions of grievance (this was one of the original tribute songs) but also shows a glimmer of hope in the power of the singing. 5/5 Outstanding
Track 02 - Reach Down: This song reaches into darker heavier (hate to say it but) grungier territory, again this was another of the original Wood tributes, although not reaching the beauty of the previous ensemble it's a fine rocking track, with of course heart felt lyrics. 5/5 Good hard rock song
Track 03 - Hunger Strike: This is easily the most famous track of the whole album, due mainly to a haunting duet between the two great frontmen of rock Vedder and Cornell. A very simple (and fun to play) riff belies one of the most tearjerking, sigh evoking songs in history. 5/5 Obviously
Track 04 - Pushin Forward Back: For this track the melancholy of previous songs is lifted and we're giving a tremendous fist pumping rock song. 5/5 Love this one
Track 05 - Call Me A Dog: A more laid back sound here, more reminiscent of some of the quieter Pearl Jam moments than anything previously, personally I found this song just a little boring, but nowhere near enough to bring the album down. 4/5 Nice slow song
Track 06 - Times Of Trouble: Very Pearl Jam style is this number, actually highly reminiscent of a precursor to Jeremy (similar riff and harmonics). Again a very slow track, definitely not bad but my personal least favourite of the album. 3/5 Good not great
Track 07 - Wooden Jesus: Don't go expecting a cross between Jesus Christ Pose and Tremor Christ (bad in-joke, very very sorry, won't happen again). This song's got a very catchy beat to it. Reminiscent of the deep but obscure lyrics of Soundgarden, it does make sense you just have to listen. 4/5 Good song with some nice guitar work
Track 08 - Your Saviour: In my mind this is where the Soundgarden/Pearl Jam hybrid comes across most, and therefore its a great song. 4/5 Very good stuff
Track 09 - Four Walled World: Featuring a riff not unlike that of the Doors' The End, this is the only other track where Vedder collaborates (as writer not singer sadly), more of a psychedelic feel from this one, therefore it reminds me of Soundgarden, therefore good! 4/5 Good song, slow burner but good
Track 10 - All Night Thing: Fantastic ender to the album, very atmospheric with a fantastic drum beat from the fantastic Mr Cameron, one of my absolute favourites. 5/5 Genius ending
So there you have it, one of the greatest albums of the 90's (and quite probably all time). One of the most heartfelt, evoking, beautiful albums I've ever heard, and if you're lucky for you too.