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Soundgarden - Superunknown - Cd
"Fell on Black Days", indeed. Seattle sludge slingers Soundgarden made a living out of cathartic, woe-is-me wailing (we're talking the banshee vocals of Chris Cornell and the crypt-creaking guitar of Kim Thayil), but this wallowing in grim depression ironically proved to be the band's most uplifting career effort. When the reclusive Cornell ventures out of his shy-guy shell, it's typically via a primal scream of cathartic emotion--he might camp it up with a sophomoric "Spoon Man", but most of this vicious disc leaps straight for your jugular. Generations in the post-millennial future will one day refer to this record to discover exactly how 1990s rock & roll was done. --Tom Lanham
Top Customer Reviews
I'm not gonna be so arrogant as to say "it's the best", because like any art form, it's all down to personal taste and opinion.
After nearly 15 years, it's easily the album I listen to the most and get the most out of.
Only Pearl Jam's 'Vs' and Blind Melon's 'Soup' come anywhere near.
I just find it incredible that an album with so many obvious influences, can still manage to sound totally unique, original and innovative.
You can hear the slow, sludgy riffs of Black Sabbath. The mystical musings of mid-career Led Zeppelin. The psychedelic rock of Pink Floyd. The pop melodies of the Beatles. As well as hints of AC/DC, Tom Waits & Grateful Dead.
But despite all this, the album sounds unlike anything I've ever heard.
It's not just the flagship songs, the title track, 'Fell On Black Days', 'Spoonman' & 'Black Hole Sun', that make the album great. The lyrics and the textured layering of the sound make 'Let Me Drown', 'My Wave', 'Mailman' & 'Fresh Tendrils' more than just straight forward rockers.
Then there's the doomsday, apocalyptic feel to 'Limo Wreck', 'Day I Tried To Live' & '4th Of July'. Had it not been written some 7 years earlier, 'Limo Wreck' could easily have been about 9/11.
The beauty of the lyrics to 'Like Suicide' and the left field Eastern sound of 'Half' just add to the complexity of the album.
When you consider that Soundgarden are the only band from the 90s Alt/Rock scene that could get away with a track like 'Head Down' and the fact that 'She Likes Surprises' could easily have been found on a Beatles album, is just the final tick in the box for me.Read more ›
There are heroic moments aplenty. The awesome opener of "Let me drown" (check out Chris Cornell's awesome scream near the end of this track) and the epic title track, which builds in intensity with each chorus, are both fantastic high watermarks on an album overflowing with excellence.
For the grunge fans, "Fell on black days" and the gutteral "mailman" are as dark as anything you could wish for. The latter offers a glimpse inside a relationship gone so sour that the protagonist almost delights in the destruction wrought by it, noting that while he is "heading for the bottom" he is not alone-"I'm riding you all the way."
There are some decidely spooky songs in the fray too. Cornell's voice on "Head down" is enough to make the hair on your neck stand up-his tone and technique are quite different from what the casual listener will expect from a man with one of the most spectacular voices in the history of rock. Following this is "Black hole sun," a song which should be familiar to anyone with an interest in alternative music. Although this is one of the more accessible songs on the album, the tone and subject matter are as bleak as anything surronding it, with Cornell noting that "times are gone for honest men" in a line that expresses great weariness and cynicisim with latter day society.
There are some true gems in the second half of the album. Chief among these are the devastating mire of "4th of July" in all her psychedelic glory and the jaw dropping "The day I tried to live" which showcases the immense talent of all four members of Soundgarden.Read more ›
To those who don't know, Soundgarden were one of the greatest bands flowing through the Seattle trend of the early 90's known as grunge. Combining Black Sabbath-esque, muddy guitars, with a voice like no other, Soundgarden were a force to be reckoned with already thanks to the impressive Badmotorfinger, but when Superunknown hit right in the middle of the on rush of teenagers in flannel tops running out buying Nirvana and Pearl Jam albums, they weren't just one of grunge's finest bands, they were and still are one of rocks finest gains.
While some couldn't stand Nirvana's overly dirty production and Kurt Cobain's strained vocals, Soundgarden were creating rock music that could not only be liked by those of long hair and knee-length shorts, but fans of traditional hard rock. And that doesn't mean they sold out since it was always this way. Sure, Superunkown's production is a lot cleaner than previous albums but it only adds to SG's qualities, not take them away. 'Let Me Drown', is one of the finest opening songs of all time, combining a greasy riff, with a rock attitude, no-way-out lyrics and a Cornell scream that is like no other. One thing that Soundgarden were doing best was writing memorable songs. The likes of the previously mentioned, 'Let Me Drown', and the two singles, 'Fell On Black Days', and the epic, 'Black Hole Sun' stick in the memory and will have you humming along despite their slightly overpoweringly strong scent of depression.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read reviews that this was the best Soundgarden album. I was not disappointed, very good.Published 2 months ago by Paul Henderson
Just a classic. Every time I go back to playing this album I hear something new. Buy it, you'll struggle to find a favourite track as it will change on every play. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Year 3
A very nice package.
Personally i don't like the new vinyl edition as it sounds too loud however the 5.1 Blu Ray which comes with this set is superb and worth every penny.
First copy got lost in the Xmas mail, sent me a second copy that promptly arrived. The album is ace, pearl jam may be my favourite band but Superunknown is my favourite album. Read morePublished 6 months ago by keith sinclair