Down on the Upside

Down on the Upside

by Soundgarden

CD

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Overview

Superunknown was a breakthrough in many ways. Not only did the album bring Soundgarden a new audience, it dramatically expanded their vision, as well as their accomplishments. If Down on the Upside initially seems a retreat from the grand, layered textures of Superunknown, let it sink in. The sound of Down on the Upside is certainly more immediate, but the band hasn't returned to the monstrous, unfocused wailing of Louder Than Love. Instead, they've retained their ambitious song structures, neo-psychedelic guitar textures, and winding melodies but haven't dressed them up with detailed production. Consequently, Down on the Upside is visceral as well as cerebral -- "Rhinosaur" goes for the gut, while "Pretty Noose" is updated, muscular prog rock. Down on the Upside is a deceptive album -- it might seem like nothing more than heavy metal, but a closer listen reveals that Soundgarden haven't tempered their ambitions at all.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/21/1996
Label: A&M
UPC: 0731454052627
catalogNumber: 540526
Rank: 21983

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Down on the Upside 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately, this was Soundgarden's last album, but what a way to go out. Soundgarden's first masterpiece was Badmotofinger, then they decided to introduce psychedellic sounds into their music, and out came Superunknown, one of the best albums of the 90s and all time. Superunkown is almost impossibe to top, but they came equall with Down On The Upside. Soundgarden holds onto the psychedellic feel, and produced many radio staples like Burden In My Hand, Blow Up The Outside World, and Pretty Noose. All the soundgarden elements are sharp, Matt Cameron (now with Pearl Jam) does a predictably amazing job on drums, Kim Thayill handles the lead guitar with the right amount of soaring distortion, and frontman Chris Cornell sings the same way he always does, unbelievably. He is one of the best rock and roll frontmen ever, in the same league as Robert Plant, Roger Daltry, Freddie Murcury and Jim Morrison. This is a great album that should not be overlooked.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the finest records I own. As a long time "Seattle Sound" fan, I found myself tiring after some time of bands that would cling to the "grunge" logo, as well as its staple of dirty guitars and anti-rock star posturing. When Soundgarden created Superunknown, they put an end to "grunge", once and for all, just the opposite of how Kurt Cobain's death did the same. Yet Down on the Upside is deceptive. At first listen it sounds like a retreat from Superunknown, more mellow at points and less focused, although still a quality record. Yet if you listen closer, it is not as simple and direct as it sounds, and you discover a kaleidoscope of musical color and progressive sounds, as well as a terribly inspired record, if not as collective and dense as Superunknown. Sadly it was their last, but after almost a decade it deserves a second listen from fans and critics alike, and they all may find that it threatens Superuknown as one of the greatest rock albums of the 90's, and perhaps even all time.
michjandCA More than 1 year ago
Hearing about Soundgarden's reunion tour for 2010, I dusted off this 1996 CD from my library. This was one of my favorite records of 1996 (14 years ago!) and it still sounds fresh and awesome. Coming after the experimental sounds of their previous mega hit record "Superunknown", Soundgarden mixed the sound of that previous record with straight up hard rock. The sound quality of this album still kicks ass....especially the drumming of Matt Cameron (who is now in Pearl Jam). Maybe some of the tracks are a bit too grungy for some, but the overall impact remains. Case in point: "Blow up the outside world". Soundgarden is once again ready to blow it up on tour 2010! Rock on!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album starts off on the right foot, and keeps you on your toes throughout the entire thing. The songs are varied, but most are just plain well done. Pretty Noose, Blow up the outside world, and Burden in my hand, were all great singles that still receive airplay, but Ty Cobb is also a good song, that should never have been a single due to its constant F*bombs. Besides An Unkind having the same riff as a song earlier in the album, the album is still quite interesting in its ebbs and flows. A finer 16 song album I have not seen.
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