Sound — 9
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'.
Lyrics — 10
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.
Overall Impression — 10
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.