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Not Essential, but not bad - 75%

erickg13, July 30th, 2006

Down on the Upside, Soundgarden's final album, lives in the shadow of Superunknown which makes it overlooked by most. It is by no means close to Superunknown, it feels rushed and crammed. Overall it seems like the band took one step backwards. The riffing imitates Superunknown, and is much less original. Chris's vocal work is on the downside, it is calm but not angry or tense like on Superunknown. Kims guitar work seems bogged down, no more memorable riffs like "Outshined" or "Black Hole Sun". Ben seems disconnected from the rest of the band and his bass work isnt anything special. Matt sounds good on drums but that too varies from song to song.

Im a big Soundgarden fan and they made such little material that all I can ask for is more, but Down on the Upside NEEDS to be trimmed. Superunknown felt like huge operatic piece, this just feels plodding and slow. Some highlights though are songs such as "Pretty Noose", "Ty Cobb", "Blow Up the Outside World" and "Burden In My Hand". These 4 are just about the closest you get to great songs on this album. "Pretty Noose" is a giant menacing heavy song about suicide, as is "Blow Up the Outside World". "Ty Cobb" is a great punk/head bang with the chorus of "Hard headed fuck you all". "Burden In My Hand" is a sad, acoustic-y song about killing people. Most of the rest of the songs are just average.

Overall I would say if you have it keep it, if you are into Soundgarden and you dont have it, get it, and if your just getting into Soundgarden check out BadMotorFinger, Superunknown or A-Sides (which features some of the highlights from this album).