Temple of the Dog
Temple of the Dog


5.0
classic

Review

by MrGoldenWords USER (1 Reviews)
July 18th, 2012 | 4 replies | 900 views


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A vintage performance from some of the best musicians of their generation.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

There are many examples of Rock N' Roll superstars joining forces to form larger-than-life bands commonly known as 'supergroups' (e.g. CSN&Y, Chickenfoot, Them Crooked Vultures,...). Most of those are fabricated units often backed by egotistic or financial agendas. But Temple of the Dog was different. They were an organically grown group of guys who, coming from similar backgrounds, shared many interests and motives. And the biggest mutual motif that had Temple going was paying the last respects for their fallen friend, Andy Wood.

Make no mistake, even though Temple was a group of all talented musicians who knew their trade, it was clear from the off who is running the show. Wood's roommate and closest friend, Soundgarden's frontman with a gargantuan set of pipes and lungs - Chris Cornell. He wrote all the lyrics and most of the music, thus orchestrating the direction of the record. That being said, it's a bit surprising how different Temple sounds than any of the Soundgarden releases. Instead of the murky, grunge-layered, heavy metal pounding a la Loud Love or Beyond the Wheel, we get a set of bluesy, soulful hard rock numbers. And Cornell feels at home with them, showing a whole new side to his already renowned versatility and prowess. His voice sounds powerful on both the strenous mid-range blues of Call Me a Dog and the wuthering heights of the superb Say Hello 2 Heaven climax, surely the highpoint of the album. Many even regard it one of the best male vocal performances in all of rock.

The album has a jamming feel to it, leaving room for the guitarists to cover much of the ground. McCready's Hendrix influences are clear all over the place, but not as rip-offs, more like tricks he uses his own way. He especially shines throughout the latter part of Reach Down, unleashing one blistering solo after another. Whilst, on the other hand, Stone indulges in his trademark groove rhythms that stand against McCready's hard rock leads, creating an intricate sonic structure that actually flows very naturally. All this creates the perfect foundations for Cornell to wail over.

Another important mention is Matt Cameron, who is worshipped by the underground as one of the best drummers of his generation. He unquestionably leaves his handprints on this record. He excels in his familiar territory, the faster numbers, where his aggresive style of play really comes to terms. But, the mid-tempo sluggers also serve well to showcase his nack for providing a strong backbeat and keeping a song entertaining. Wooden Jesus is a prime example.

Conclusively, Temple of the Dog, in it's uniqueness stands head and shoulders above most of 90s recordings, as a monument to not only Andrew Wood, but to the entire Seattle scene which rose to dominance in years to come.

Standout tracks: Say Hello 2 Heaven, Hunger Strike, Call Me a Dog.

Temple of the Dog are:
Chris Cornell - vocals, banjo, harmonica, guitar
Mike McCready - lead guitars
Stone Gossard - rhythm guitar, slide guitar, acoustic guitar
Jeff Ament - bass guitar
Matt Cameron - drums, percussion
Eddie Vedder - backing vocals


user ratings (460)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
somon (4.5)
I can't really imagine how anyone who loves rock would not like this album. It has great members yet...

DallaShepherd (3.5)
A very solid tribute to an up and coming Seattle-area vocalist, Temple of the Dog is a mostly good a...

Andrew Stocker (4.5)
Do you like Pearl Jam and/or Soundgarden? Well then you should like this....

angelo_d_necro (5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
YoYoMancuso
July 18th 2012



11006 Comments


good review and album

omnipanzer
July 18th 2012



21442 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review for a first. I feel it should be mentioned that Temple of the Dog is a Supergroup in retrospect. They were not superstars at the time of it's recording.

Have a very grungy POS sir.

Digging: The Ettes - Shake the Dust

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2012



7325 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

What omnipanzer said. I'd also add that it's generally not great to start a sentence with 'and,' but otherwise the review is excellent.

I enjoy this record, I've never really seen it as a masterpiece though.

AlexSCS
July 20th 2012



2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Amazing album and review! I always think of how these guys were actually writing the grunge history without knowing! awesome!



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