Sound — 9
Temple Of The Dog's one and only album, has a very strong sound to it. The supergroup, featuring Chris Cornell of Soundgarden along with most of the band Pearl Jam, originally came together to honor their musical comrade Andrew Wood, who died earlier in the year 1990 and had been in a now-forgotten group called Mother Love Bone, which actually had some of the same members as TOTD. The band sounds exactly like anyone familiar with SG/PJ would expect. That is, it sounds almost the same as Pearl Jam, but Chris Cornell is the lead singer. The result is an album that rocketed Grunge to the beginning of mainstream popularity.
Lyrics — 9
The majority of the lyrics on this album are haunting, powerful and mildly depressing, but it does help that the standard Grunge music accompanies Chris Cornell's strangely sad/angry sounding voice. Some of the instrumentation is surprisingly simple, but that's probably for the better - crazy Eddie Van Halen-style riffing would mess with the vibe of Temple Of The Dog. The overall effect of this album is something like being trapped in the worst non-nightmare dream you could ever possibly imagine, then being pulled out of it, right as the dream reaches its worst part.
Overall Impression — 10
Well, this is a very solid album. All of the musicians involved are at the top of their game and I personally think that if you are a Grunge Rock fan and you have never heard Temple Of The Dog, you owe it to yourself to check it out. The best part about this album is that everyone went on to have rather good bands of their own. Cornell, of course, was the frontman for Soundgarden while the rest of TOTD formed Pearl Jam with Eddie Vedder. The only real bad thing is, Chris Cornell almost seems overpowering on a couple tracks, but there's no more downsides that I can think of. It's a worthy album for anyone who likes good music.