Soundgarden
Down on the Upside


4.0
excellent

Review

by sulkenigma USER (10 Reviews)
August 15th, 2010 | 277 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist


Soundgarden’s two previous gems; 'Badmotorfinger' and 'Superunknown' were creative, consistent and conceivably crucial albums of the 1990’s. It must have been difficult crafting a follow-up whilst continuing to fulfil their legacy, proved so by their downfall and split which occurred soon after this 1996 album, an album which would inevitably face criticism from many grunge purists, as it was after the death of Kurt Cobain. Let's hope it was worth it...

The result is... it was. More often than not, this album screams how great and comparable it is to their two previous masterpieces. With 'Pretty Noose' establishing the sentiment that they are still as good as they ever with Cornell's lyrics, killer guitar lines and the compelling uncertainty regarding what style they will unravel next. 'Rhinosaur' also complemints this; boasting fierce song with an even fiercer solo. Other faster tempo songs on this album include 'Dusty', and 'Ty Cobb' which contains an interesting contrast of mild Mandolin and a bona fide Soundgarden onslaught. 'Burden in My Hand' is unmistakably Soundgarden. This. Song. Is. Solid.

One of the hidden gems, an erratic and philosophical puzzlebox of a song, is ‘Never The Machine Forever’ maintaining an influence from their 1991 album. The short, fast song 'Never Named' has an awesome chorus with throwaway, b-side verses. 'An Unkind' is a rewarding deeper cut which is simple yet effective and alternative in its core. Most of the slower songs are memorable. The tender 'Zero Chance' is a keeper as much as it is embracing; this song is tolerable melancholia at its finest. The short closer 'Boot Camp' perfectly preserves the conclusion, with Chris Cornell’s sheer desperation when he winces “There must be something else...” The mid-ballad 'Blow up the outside World' is the ballad-meets-epic-chorus track of the album; it even contains the element of slightly overstaying. 'Tighter and Tighter' is also representative of this, but to a lesser extent. The song 'Applebite' is an ‘all-production’d-out’ groove reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s ‘No Quarter’ and packing a dumb, brooding melody. ‘Overfloater’ is also righteous and memorable, if not inconveniently placed at the end of the album, when many listeners are arguably fed up of slower-paced songs.

One problem with the album is that it could be a lot shorter whilst still containing their signature killer music. As well as trimming down one of two songs, the tracks 'No Attention' and 'Dusty', although respectively good, one showcasing a rebellious side and the other reminiscent of their previous album, feel simply like throwaway tracks when thrown into the multitude mix that this album possesses.

Overall, this is not their best or most memorable album by a long shot but it is still undoubtedly Soundgarden. Most of their amazing attributes are still ever-present and this album also has a more comfortable feel, for better or for worse, probably induced by the band self producing. The album has mature moments as well as youthful flickers and even if it does show too much than initially expected or even wanted, their awesome cause and purpose as a group was certainly left intact.



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user ratings (912)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Soundknight (4)
Switch Opens.. Garden rises!...

riobravo1023 (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
HenchmanOfSanta
August 15th 2010


1897 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Decent second review, but you should go into more detail on some of the better songs. Pretty Noose, Burden in My Hand and Blow Up the Outside World are all worthy of their own paragraphs, imo.

Digging: Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

sulkenigma
August 15th 2010


62 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the feedback, I'll be revamping it as soon as possible!

731
August 15th 2010


662 Comments


Be more descriptive about individual songs (avoid just saying things like "it's a short song" but there's definitely no need to dedicate entire paragraphs to songs either.



IAJP
August 15th 2010


378 Comments


this is a great little review, concise and to the point, but not showing you up as too much of a fanboy of soundgarden. well done man.

sulkenigma
August 15th 2010


62 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you.

ConsiderPhlebas
August 15th 2010


6157 Comments


Good review for a great album. Ignore the people telling you to describe the songs in great detail; reviews are supposed to be an evaluation of an album, not a description of it. You'll never see a professional review that attributes paragraphs to individual songs.

731
August 15th 2010


662 Comments


My point was to describe the songs/the albums sound in more detail than simply saying they're short,
fast or slow

ConsiderPhlebas
August 15th 2010


6157 Comments


Yeah, when I said people I was just generalising. Your point is valid.


Pretty Noose, Burden in My Hand and Blow Up the Outside World are all worthy of their own paragraphs, imo.



This idiot's is not.


sulkenigma
August 15th 2010


62 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Here here

sulkenigma
August 15th 2010


62 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Here here

731
August 15th 2010


662 Comments


Yeah the review is good though, i just picked out the area I felt was lacking

Maniac!
August 15th 2010


26256 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

neg'd

Maniac!
August 15th 2010


26256 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I mean pos'd, I get those confused ;)

Meatplow
August 15th 2010


5524 Comments


I like this album.

Bulldog
August 15th 2010


3796 Comments


i like your ASSHOLE IN MY MOUTH

HenchmanOfSanta
August 15th 2010


1897 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This idiot's is not.
When I say "worthy of their own paragraphs," I'm mostly being a fanboy and hyperbolizing about those songs. However, I think if you're going to mention individual songs, they should get more detail then, say:
The album's gem, 'Burden In My Hand' is pretty much unmistakably Soundgarden. If I had to choose one of their songs that would most represent them, I would probably choose that or perhaps 'Outshined'.
Especially if you're talking about the best song on the album (also periods go inside quotation marks).


rodrigo90
August 12th 2011


210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i have much to work on this album to get this calification specially when you are surprised of songs like no atenttion and never the machine forever

rodrigo90
August 12th 2011


210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

actually I HAD to work on this album, sorry for the tense...

Timeizillmatic9
August 17th 2011


256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ONLY DEADLY IN A SWAAAARRRRRMMMMMM

WatchItExplode
September 15th 2011


3292 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

never the machine forever is fantastic



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