Sound — 7
Blind Melon is the number-one underappreciated band of the 1990s. It is a crime that the Bee Girl from the "No Rain" video is the image most think of when asked about Blind Melon. The truth is, this band was one of the most talented of their generation; nowhere else is this evidenced as well as on Soup, the band's 2nd full length album. The band trades in some jam elements from their debut in favor of concise, well written songs that act as a perfect representation of what this band was capable of. Unfortunately, Shannon Hoon's death left us to only imagine what could have come next. Soup is opened with an offbeat horn and vocal intro that segues into the outstanding "Galaxie". This song is fast paced but with melodies to die for. Another highlight is "Vernie", a touching tribute to Shannon Hoon's grandmother set to a mellow, almost psychadelic musical backdrop. "Toes Across the Floor" is probably my favorite song from Soup, if not my favorite Blind Melon song of all time. Dark, brooding verses explode into a screaming chorus that perfectly represents the hopelessness of Hoon's addictions. "St. Andrew's Fall" is another benchmark in quality and it's probably the most complicated Blind Melon song, consisting of three very distinct sections that stir up many emotions, good and bad. "New Life" is the album's most heart-wrenching song, with Shannon singing the line "when I'm looking into the eyes of our own baby will it bring new life into me?". Shannon was a great person, someone hopelessly addicted. He wanted badly to be a father, but the grip of addiction was too strong and he is missed. "Mouthful of Cavities" is the album's last highlight, the song that sparked my love for the music of Blind Melon with it's acoustic guitar and vocal interplay between Shannon and a girl named Jena Kraus.
Lyrics — 8
Hoon's lyrics were dark, complex, heart felt and sung with such passion there was no way Blind Melon would have attempted to replace him, which his why they went their seperate ways. Not that Hoon is a martyr or hero by any means, he was just a guy that was extremely good at what he did and the fire that drove him to think and feel as he did was the same that forced it to go out so quickly. Hoon's lyrics and voice can be compared with some of rock and rolls greatest as well. He deep and thoughtful poetic verses remind me somewhat of Jim Morrison, and his voice crys out in the same way as Robert Plant.
Overall Impression — 8
In truth, I could rave about every song contained within this disc; there is no filler and every song is well written and well performed. Sometimes when listening to Soup I shudder when I think of what Blind Melon could have accomplished. To the few Blind Melon die-hards, this album is a classic. To those who know of Blind Melon only through the "No Rain" video, there is much more to this band. This is a classic album of the 1990s and should be in every self respecting alternative/rock fans collection.