Thursday, June 05, 2014

Up on the downside

"The platonic ideal of what a mainstream hard rock record should be" and "the rare arena-rock album that makes just as much sense in blacked-out bedroom" - both spot-on descriptions of Soundgarden's mighty opus Superunknown. Stuart Berman's review of the twentieth anniversary reissue has got me once again reaching for an album that was, for the year after its release, probably my absolute favourite. The big hitters ('Black Hole Sun', 'Fell On Black Days', 'My Wave', the title track) are rightly celebrated, but Superunknown also manages to incorporate a lot of less immediate songs that reveal their charms over time - the Shepherd-penned percussively busy 'Head Down', the doomy '4th Of July', superb closer 'Like Suicide'.

For the record, I'm also a huge fan of unjustly underrated Down On The Upside, a more eclectic album and one that was always destined to be compared unfavourably to its predecessor.

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