Superunknown Review

artist: soundgarden date: 08/19/2008 category: compact discs
soundgarden: Superunknown
Released: Mar 8, 1994
Genre: Rock
Styles: Alternative Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Grunge, Alternative Metal
Number Of Tracks: 15
Soundgarden's finest hour, Superunknown is a sprawling, 70-minute magnum opus that pushes beyond any previous boundaries.
 Sound: 9.6
 Lyrics: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Overall rating:
 9.7 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.6 
 Users rating:
 9.7 
 Votes:
 94 
reviews (8) 22 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
Superunknown Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 06, 2006
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: When people talk about greatest albums of all time, this is definately one to consider. Arguably Soundgarden's best album, this is the one that features the classic songs that made us all fall in love with the band to begin with. For me personally, the first time I heard this band was when I heard "Black Hole Sun" on the radio. I immidiately wanted to go get the album. Ironically, this was not the first album I bought, it was A-Sides, which also features Black Hole Sun and all the other greats. From start to finish, this CD does not get boring whatsoever. Every song is great to listen to, with the exception of maybe Half, which I find a bit annoying. Nonetheless, this record is flawless, and I beleive should be called one of the greatest grunge, if not general albums ever. // 10

Lyrics: Chris Cornell has to be one of the most innovative, brilliant singers ever. His voice is passionate and powerful, one of the main reasons this band is my all time favourite. He can hit so many ranges of emotion, from upbeat(Burden in My Hand, not on this album) to dreary(4th of July). Sometimes when you listen to a Soundgarden song, you'll forget about the lyrics entirely, Chris' voice is so good it's captivating just to listen to him. But the lyrics themselves are thought-provoking. One of my favourite songs on this album has to be "The Day I Tried to Live" followed closely by "Black Hole Sun". They're just 2 songs that give me chills every time I listen to them. Chris continues to contribute his wonderful skills in Audioslave, but Soungarden made his vocals come alive. // 10

Overall Impression: Again, just a brilliant, wonderful album. I cannot say enough good things about it. The same could be said for all the albums. This just happens to be my personal favourite, because it has so many of the songs that were instant classics all on one disc. I love all the songs on this record, but the ones that stand out that I love to listen to are "Black Hole Sun", "The Day I Tried to Live", "Limo Wreck", "My Wave", "Fell on Black Days", "4th of July", and "Like Suicide". But those are just some of the best. I love everything about this in closing, before I start repeating how great it is. It's tucked safely away so I'm not worried about losing it, but you can bet I would rush out for another if I did. Easily the best grunge/rock album I own. // 10

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overall: 10
Superunknown Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 22, 2004
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound ranges from metal to punk to oriental influenced rock. A very innovative record. The band manages to explore all these styles and still make them their own. The music also conveys the mood of each song very well. Unusual rythmes are also explored trough the album, and all are pulled of very well. Every band member writes music, which adds to their range. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are very deep and poetical, Chris Cornell definately has a knack for finding the right words. There is probably a song lyricaly apropreate for every feeling a human being can have, from "Mailman" that deals with love and rejection, "Black Hole Sun" looking for something good when you feel the weight of the world on your sholder ,"4th Of July" which describes depression in a very beautiful way and "Spoonman" a very up beat song written about a seatlle street musician. Bassist Ben Sheperd sings on "Half" and does back up vocals on "Spoonman", and though he does not have the powerful vocal range of lead singer Chris Cornell he still pulls it off nicely. On this album like on all the others, every member of the band has writen lyrical material. // 10

Overall Impression: This album is without a doubt one of my all time favorite rock albums, the band has musical range that I can only compare to "Radiohead" or "the Beatles". Spoonman,Black Hole Sun,Let Me Drown and Head Down would be my favorite tracks of the album, though every song is worth listening to. If it was stolen or if I lost it I would definately buy it again, it is definetely worth every penny. I would recomend it to any fan of rock music because it has something for every one (especialy if you are interessted in experimental music and metal). // 10

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overall: 10
Superunknown Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 09, 2005
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: This album is incredible. It is a soundgarden masterpeice. It has a strong grungy and mellow yet heavy and experimental sound to it. Most people know soundgarden from hits like Black Hole Sun, or Spoonman. The singer Chris Cornell is in the band Audioslave. It just has a flat out polished and great sound. And even though this album came out more than 10 years ago it dosent feel old or outdated. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics can be deep and metaphorical or straightforward depending on the song. The whole band writes music and lyrics which just gives the whole experience a fresh and versatile feel to it. The words that are used fit so good with everything. // 10

Overall Impression: Soundgarden is really underrated and underappreciated. Sure they get their fair share and I know they broke up awhile ago but you usually hear all these people going on and on about Nirvana and Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam and to an extent respectively so but Soundgarden is still underrated in my opinion. The best songs are Fell On Black Days, Superunkown, Head Down, Black Hole Sun, Spoonman, Fresh Tendrils, and Just Like Suicide. // 10

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overall: 10
Superunknown Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 13, 2005
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Easily one of the most diverse albums ever made. Superunknown covers more genres than I thought was really possible, but leave to Soundgarden to pull it off. Every song on this album has its own unique feel; its own niche. Superunknown starts off heavy with tracks like "Let Me Drown" and "My Wave" and closes off with the somber "Fourth Of July" and (my personal favorite) "Like Suicide." Standout tracks on this album include "My Wave," "Fell On Black Days," "Black Hole Sun," "Spoonman," "The Day I Tried To Live" and "Like Suicide". But every track is worth listening to. // 10

Lyrics: Who can complain about Chris Cornell's lyrics? The man is one of the best writers and poets any generation has ever seen, and his writing is at its peak on Superunknown. Personally I think the best lyrics he ever wrote were for the track "Like Suicide." // 10

Overall Impression: Go buy this album. Do it now. I mean, right now. If you don't you'll regret it alot for the rest of your life. It will haunt you day in and day out if you do now buy Superunknown. This is one of the best albums ever made, and my personal favorite, and should I ever lose it, I will buy two more copies just in case. I listen to this album at least once every day, sometimes as much as three times. There is simply nothing bad about this album. At all. Go buy it now. If you have any sense or musical taste at all youll love it. // 10

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overall: 8.7
Superunknown Reviewed by: con job, on december 01, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Superunknown can best be described as a musical journey. The range of styles on the record is nothing short of incredible. As the album wears on, it becomes evident this is Soundgardens most mature and solid album, without being too abstract. Fans of the heavier side of SG won't be disappointed, neither will those be searching for the softer side to their music. The music is more calculated, thought out and less raw than previous albums. What sets this band apart from most is their experimentation with things such as tunings and time signatures. "My Wave" and"The Day I Tried To Live", for example are in the tuning EEBBBB. It gives a remarkably full sound to the songs. "Like Suicide" is done in DGDGBC. Again, it's the sound that's they're trying to create as opposed to showing off. However, the use of abstract time signatures really stand out. Songs like "Limo Wreck", "Half", and "Day I Tried To Live" are all in the time sigs. But they are made so well that even the most trained ear may not spot this fact at first. As far as instrumentation goes, Soundgarden are hard to beat. Little intricacies are to be found throughout the album, aswell as the simple-but-effective approach. Kim is on top form, Chris is somewhere near his peak in singing (maybe just past it), Matt contributes very well to the album (listen to the drumming in "Head Down"), and Ben creates great independent basslines. Only critiscism is Kim's overuse of wah pedals in his solos, but otherwise excellent sound. // 9

Lyrics: Some of my personal favourite lyrics of all time come from this album. By far the best song lyrically is "4th Of July", a dark and gloomy song based on God knows what. Another lyrical highlight is "Like Suicide" ("She lived like a murder but she died, just like suicide"). At this stage Chris still has an amazing voice that is shown in several styles on the album, from his trademark yell to a soft touch, to low rumbling vocals. Great overall. // 8

Overall Impression: This is my favourite Soundgarden album because of it's diversity. Stand out songs are definitely "LetMeDrown", "Mailman", "Superunknown", "Head Down", "Spoonman", and "4th Of July", but honestly, there isn't a bad song on the album. Each song has a life of it's own, it's own little intricate parts that will make you really appreciate the genius behind this album. It ain't 100% perfect (some songs tend to drown in themselves, resulting from a lack of generic structure, but kudos for experimnetation). It takes a while to grow on the listener, but it is fantastic. // 9

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overall: 9.7
Superunknown Reviewed by: TJM2482, on january 21, 2008
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Soundgarden, in more basic terms, is a grunge band. Not one of the more pop/rock sounding side of the grunge spectrum like Pearl Jam, but more on the metal side, much like Alice in Chains. What's difference is the dynamic groove of Soundgarden. The two main things you'll notice in the band's overall sound are Chris Cornell and Kim Thayil. Cornell, more formally of the late Audioslave, made his uprising in popularity back in the 90's with this band. Kim Thayil adds a groove to the sound somewhat absent from a lot of the common 90's grunge bands. Overall, their sound is unique, psychedelic, and at times, soul-shaking, groovy goodness. This album is their highlight. All I can complain about is the more punk-influenced parts, such as 'Kickstand'. // 9

Lyrics: This album really does a great job of bringing a mix of sorrow, sadness, all that gloominess associated with grunge. Cornell's voice itself is a wonder, his voice is truly one of the best in rock music. His lyrics aren't a slump either, as the lyrics on this album are some of the best from the '90s, comparable to Pearl Jam's 'Ten', and the slew of addiction-related odes from Alice in Chains. Great work on his part. // 10

Overall Impression: In my honest opinion, this is their best album. It gives you a great mix of styles, straight out rock such as on 'Spoonman', slower, mellow songs such as 'Mailman', and a collection of other classics such as 'Black Hole Sun', 'The Day I Tried To Live', and 'My Wave', among others. I love Cornell's voice, alongside Thayil's solid guitar playing. These songs are just kick-ass, I don't even need to say "sweet solo", "great vocals", "sick drums", or any other main point to justify a song, everything comes together so well that you may not even pay attention to the separate instruments, as you might with other bands. // 10

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overall: 10
Superunknown Reviewed by: IontheIrish, on july 14, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Superunknown was considered to be Soundgarden's best album, and for good reasons. This album gets you hooked from the opening riff in Let Me Drown all the way to Chris finishes singing "Just like suicide." Even Half isn't that bad if you don't listen to Ben's singing. This is also their first album to experiment with Indian influenced songs, however most of the songs are pure grunge. Tracks 1-5 start off with very catchy guitar riffs from Kim and only get better once the whole band kicks in. Track 6, Head Down, features an Indian influenced riff which proves they don't have to limit themselves to strictly grunge. 7-13 return to grunge with one of the greatest songs of the ninties, Black Hole Sun (though personally I think Fell on Black Days and Like Suicide are better.) Track 14, Half, is written and sung by Ben; you can tell it's not one of Chris' songs. Closing the album is Like Suicide. This is one of my favorite all-time songs. It starts off slow and gradually picks up, climaxes at a spectacular solo from Kim and ends with Chris singing the chorus. The first thing that came to mind when I heard it was a whole stadium of people w/ lighters in the air. When people talk about a band's magnum opus, this certainly holds true with Superunknown. // 10

Lyrics: I'll start with Ben since he only has one song on the album. His singing isn't that good up the octave; you can't make out much of what he's singing. But when you read the lyrics, the song starts to make a hell of a lot more sense, but there's a reason why Chris is the leas singer/songwriter. Chris has always written good lyrics, not the greatest, but still pretty good. This album, however, features some beautiful lyric writing that really draws you into the songs. Fell on Black Days is written about the down turn of life; how when your life seems great and then it just flat out sucks, and everyone can relate to this song. Like Suicide also has some good writing. Ordinarily, it wouldn't be that special, but considering how it's about a bird that flew into his window and he hit it with a cinder block to put it out of it's misery, that's saying something. The best writing, however, is on Track 10, The Day I Tried to Live. From the title and after listening to it for the first time, you assume it's about suicide. However, it's about a non social man who tries to be social, makes a fool of himself but decides to try it again tomorrow. The fact that he fools you so well, on top of masterful lyric writing, is what sets this song apart from the rest. // 10

Overall Impression: This is definetely they're best album. They combine the perfect blend of music and singing to make one of the greatest albums of all time. Chrish and Kim have awesome melodies while Ben and Matt hold the band together (props for Matt for keeping perfect time in some screwed up time signatures). Most bands do this on their singles off the album, but to do it on every song is saying a lot. You could make the argument that every track could have been a hit single. What sets it apart from the other grunge albums and from other Soundgarden albums is that you can clearly hear the effort they put into it. They carefully wrote these songs to make them the best they can be. All of them have had only great things to say about the album, which is good considering some band members don't like some of their most popular albums, saying there could have been one extra thing added to make it perfect. If someone stole it, I'd hunt the bastard down, strap him to a gurney and castrate him with fishing knives (thank you George Carlin for that line). I'd also buy a new one without even thinking about it should I not be able to find it. The only bad thing to say about it is Ben should stick to backup vocals and down the octave singing. Otherwise, Chris, Kim, Ben and Matt compliment each other beautifully on the best album of the '90s and one of the greatest albums of all time. // 10

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overall: 8.7
Superunknown Reviewed by: asmiff, on august 19, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Soundgarden seems to attempt a more radio-friendly approach with "Superunknown", however they still keep their heavy grunge sound intact throughout most of the album. The band hired Michael Beinhorn (as opposed to previous producer Terry Date) to take the reigns, and much credit is due to Beinhorn for tweaking 'Garden's style to make for easier listening. There are still a handful of "Badmotorfinger"-esque songs so the style is not a complete shift to something new, but the softer sound produces some classic tracks. As always, 'Garden includes many songs checkered with austere time signatures. Also, listen for Seattle mini-celebrity Artis the Spoonman banging away on his spoons in the song written about him, "Spoonman". // 9

Lyrics: Frontman Chris Cornell is often credited with having one of the best voices in rock history. His vocals are in full force on this album, and his screaming/singing style fits in neatly with guitarist Kim Thayil's heavy chorus riffs. That being said, Cornell's lyrics are, as usual, subpar. Most of the songs he writes are generic and deal with the same issues he usually sings about (depression, relationships). However, the lyrics can be deemed passable because his voice makes the listener hang on every word he says. Bassist Ben Sheperd also contributes some writing, and he can be heard singing the song "Half". // 8

Overall Impression: At a time when Nirvana owned the rock world, Soundgarden seemingly waited on the wings, picking up Cobain and Co.'s leftovers. In an upset, I would personally listen to this album before picking up a copy of Nirvana's "In Utero", released 6 months before "Superunknown". Thayil cements his status as one of the best guitarists in history and Cornell puts out one of his best efforts lyrically (although that doesn't say a whole lot). Sheperd adds some interesting grooves, and drummer Matt Cameron bangs on the drums with plenty of skill and confidence, making "Super" the group's best album. The top songs you should download if you don't buy the full album are "Spoonman" (What I believe is Soundgarden's best song overall), "Black Hole Sun" (the group's most popular song), "The Day I Tried to Live", "My Wave", and the title track. Rolling Stone rated "Superunknown" as number 336 on their list of the 500 greatest albums of all-time. // 9

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