Sound — 8
It is best I describe this albums sound by the band members. Chris Cornell renders some of his vocal best in this album, pieces such as 'Show Me How To Live' and 'The Last Remaining Light', while not remarkable on their lyrical content are a perfect example of his personal style and use of his bluesy smokey voice. Tom Morello is one of the most innovative guitarist on the modern rock scene and he produces some signature abnormalities as some would expect. I feel however he fails to deliver his true potential to the Album and in doing so is muddled between a blues rock sound and that of his rage tone, while this mix is undeniably useable, as I mention before he fails to use it in its full power and at times sounds as if the two sounds have curdled. Tim C, it is in the epic bass playing that I found most dissapointment. This is for a simple yet not entirely fair reason. I found the bass to be abscent on the album, his sound lost behind a strong singer and even stronger guitar presence. On hearing them live earlier this year I was bermused as to why he was so abscent from the bands self-titled debut, he was the greatest presence on stage and his expression sat seemlessly into what seemed to be a gaping hole in the albums studio form. Brad Wilk was efficient and well constructed in his playing though at times routine and maybe even boring, if the album contained drums as the like of 'know your enemy' the songs may not have seaped into one another almost creating a uniformity with which the rhytm section so clearly seperated themselves from when with Rage. The sound on the whole is good and it does differ from any other band, however, it is clearly the sound of a band not comfortable completely within itself at the time.
Lyrics — 7
Lyrics were well written and seemed to fit neatly into the rhythm, however seemed to serve no purpose and were without a great aim. I found 'I am the highway' to be proof that though lyrically it was lost in itself to a personal expirience rather than the artistic approach of soundgarden, it still held emotion and inspiration.
Overall Impression — 8
Not an album producing the full potential of a Rage/Soundgarden compromise, it had not yet found itself a sound to be called its own. It was a historic album never the less and still put them higher than most on a modern rock musicians level in todays musical climate. This album is a must have and an essential to any guitar player of blues, rock or of any other concern.