1. Chris Cornell sounds less like the powerful belter he once was and more like gonads-clamped Sammy Hagar.
2. There isn’t a single song on it as good as anything on Badmotorfinger.
3. There isn’t a single song on it as good as anything on Superunknown minus “Half,” maybe.
4. There isn’t a single song on it as good as anything on Down on the Upside.
5. Kim Thayil, whose intermittent solos on the abovementioned past Soundgarden albums are alternately strange or bluesily fluid or both, now sounds like he’s learning how to play guitar again.
6. Matt Cameron, a drummer who can both defamiliarize songs in 4/4 time and make odd-time signatures groove, whose brilliantly off-kilter fills punctuate past Soundgarden albums, sounds like he thinks he’s still in Pearl Jam.
7. Some of the vocal harmonizing in “Bones of Birds” sound more like Alice in Chains than Soundgarden.
8. The tamboura drone in “A Thousand Days Before” sounds like a cheap exoticizing trick.
9. “Halfway There” is not even halfway there and sounds like an outtake from Cornell’s Euphoria Morning.
10. “By Crooked Steps” does, in fact, take, as Chris Cornell claims, “all of the strange time signature stuff that Soundgarden’s always been known for and kind of [take] it to another level.” Problem is, the level is down.
11. “Attrition” feels like an outtake from a latter-day Pearl Jam, the song living up to its title’s promised diminishing returns.
12. The introductory noise to “Attrition” reminds me of Vernon Reid’s brilliant introduction to a far superior song: Living Colour’s “Information Overload.”
13. The introductory noise to “Worse Dreams” makes me think of Tom Morello, which makes me think not of the incredible Rage Against the Machine, but of one of Cornell’s many post-Soundgarden mistakes, namely, Audioslave.
14. Worse than “Worse Dreams” is the song that follows it, “Eyelid’s Mouth,” a song I’m certain was meant for Audioslave, who probably would have done a better version of it.
15. “Rowing,” the album’s closer, sounds like another Audioslave discard, and the drum machine patch or heavily treated drums on the song is embarassingly bad.
16. There are more than 16 reasons why King Animal isn’t worth the 16-year wait.
65 thoughts on “16 Reasons Why King Animal, the New Soundgarden Album, Isn’t Worth the 16-Year Wait”
Before this album even came out, there were some people who were going to hate it before they even heard it just because it wouldn’t be Superunknown or Badmotorfinger or Down on the upside. You’re one of them. And you’re full of shit.
Let he or she who is without shit throw the first turd.
OK so I know you said, John, that the album isn’t worth a 16-year wait, but would you say that it’s worth a 17-year wait?
I doubt it, Adam, but ask me in a year.
I disagree Jim2. Sounds like John listened to it pretty thoroughly actually. It’s just not your opinion apparently. Which is cool, but it’s ok to have another one. My own- I feel like Badmotorfinger was the apex in the SG discography and the albums following wasn’t as sharp as the previous. That said, I did like Superunknown, and some parts of Down on the Upside. I felt like his solo stuff was generally pretty cheesy (although I enjoy his acoustic performance in sweden).
That dark period called ‘Audioslave’ I can’t even bring myself to mention. I try to convince myself it never happened and cornell was on hiatus for 10 years.
I’ll always be a huge Cornell fan. Early SG is some of the best music one can listen to in my opinion. While change isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it seems in this case it is, least to me. Mike Patton is the king tho. Just an FYI.
This is the most incoherent music-related blog post I have ever read. Come up with a factual, grounded reason why the album “sucks” rather than drowning your readers in obvious bias. Then I might take it a little more seriously. “Durrr this song sucks because….it sounds like a contemporary band that is also good…durrrrr.”
Wicked awesome cover, though.
As they say about books (re: judging them by their covers), so it goes for albums, especially this album, alas.
So it’s wicked awesome? :)
I saw them open for Faith No More at The Paradise in Boston in 1988? I was right next to the stage- felt the sweat off his Chris’s very long hair as he shook around. I just love them no matter what.
Ah, what a great double bill, Paula. I’m sure the show was incredible. Love FNM. I saw Soundgarden at least eight times on their various tours before they broke up. And, for the most part, they were amazing. There were at least two occasions (I think it was during their Lollapalooza shows), though, when Cornell was way off tune on almost every song. The band as a whole was slamming, however.
I also saw at least two shows from Cornell’s Euphoria Morning tour, and a couple of Audioslave shows, all of which were pretty lackluster.
Fortunately, whatever Soundgarden produces, I’ll always love the music they made on pretty much anything pre-King Animal. I mean, the songs on it aren’t even as good as a lot of Soundgarden b-sides. There’s this song, for instance (Misogynistic lyrics, ironic or not, notwithstanding, Cornell’s voice on this song is the voice of a ferocious animal king. And everyone else is killing it, too.), which was recorded during the Badmotorfinger recording sessions, later appearing as a b-side on the “Spoonman” single:
I hope they figure out how to be Soundgarden again. And I don’t mean sound like what they used to sound like. I mean, I hope they produce unforgettable music again.
Yes Chris can’t sing as good as he could, but he’s nearly 50, what do you expect? Father time is not kind. This album sounds like Soundgarden with the exception of “Halfway There”. And the band did say that they were going to continue from where they had left off (after the unfocused “Down on the Upside”). I, for one, am grateful. You and many others will bitch and more will continue to bitch far into the future when (or if) the band releases a follow-up to King Animal. You don’t make a very good case. I could think of better criticism than repeatedly comparing the band’s songs to Audioslave. I get it. You don’t like Soundgarden. Big fucking deal. Just sounds like nitpicking more than anything.
Cornell was born on July 20, 1964 only a few months before Corey Glover, Living Colour’s vocalist, who was born on November 6, 1964. Cornell’s voice has certainly deteriorated. Glover’s, however, still delivers. What a difference a few months makes, huh? Have you heard Doug Pinnick, King’s X’s singer, lately? He was born on September 3, 1950, making him around 14 years older than both Cornell and Glover, and he’s still singing incredibly. Sure, the deterioration of Cornell’s voice is natural, a result, perhaps, of aging, but as someone who has studied voice, I suspect that Cornell has also been somewhat inattentive to the maintenance of his voice. Some singers recognize their growing limitations and make adjustments accordingly. Cornell doesn’t want to do that. Instead, he wants to strain and sound constipated.
In other words, Father (or Mother) Time (and Mother (or Father) Nature )) is neither kind nor unkind. He or (she) is indifferent, if he (or she) exists at all. It’s how we work within time that matters.
Soundgarden can say whatever they want about what they intended to do. The question for me is what Soundgarden has done on King Animal, not what Soundgarden thinks they have done. I try not to get distracted by what artists have to say about their own work. While not completely without use, an artist’s commentary about what he or she is doing or wants to do is sometimes, maybe even oftentimes, smoke and mirrors.
I’m a massive fan of Soundgarden. I love almost every single song they made before they broke up. It’s heartbreaking that they made such a weak album. I hope Soundgarden releases another album. I hope King Animal is simply a transitional album and not the aural coffin it sounds like.
Oh, and I don’t think Down on the Upside is even remotely unfocused. “Pretty Noose” is spectacular. Its wah-wah-drenched intro leads into a pummeling groove, the composition moving into unexpected directions. Matt Cameron’s drum parts are brilliant, especially his snare punctuations and his fills throughout. “Rhinosaur” is a monstrous metallic pachyderm, its shift into double-time and slowing back down is a perfect example of heavy mental. Speaking of mental, “Zero Chance,” is a mathematical puzzle that goes 11/8, 11/8, 15/8 to 11/8, 11/8, 9/8 to 4/4 and 5/4, and that just brings us to just after the first snare drum crack, but it’s not math that makes the song amazing, it’s the visceral impact of the song, the emotion it packs within what would otherwise feel like an exercise. If this isn’t focused, what is? The insistent repetitions on “Dusty” have almost a hypnotic effect. Cornell is, once again, in full command on this song. “Ty Cobb”: well, it’s not their best song, but it’s slamming nevertheless, and still beats anything on King Animal. Next up is “Blow Up The Outside World”: I mean, do I have to say anything about this song? Actually, I’ll just stop there.
I don’t want Soundgarden to remake their albums. I just want the Soundgarden I love to return, that is, a band that was always not only forward-thinking but that produced results worthy of the new and different direction.
Oh, and I should add that I’m a fan of both Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine. I’m not a fan of Audioslave. I’ve listened to all of their albums many times and I’ve seen them at least three times, every time hoping that their music would grow on me. It hasn’t happened, yet. I feel that way about almost everything Cornell has done post-Soundgarden.
I’ve noted the age of these posts.
Heartbroken? Avid sg fan here and I can safely say I was not expecting much from their reunion studio wise “i am never let down by their live performances to this day.” It may have sounded cocky coming from them in the first place but the best thing they could have done was disband..and they Did; everything they made was of ‘higher than’ a Golden Standard, its of no surprise demand brought them back. I for one am greatful king animal exists at all- it is By far not the best work the band has ever produced but they infact Produced it and I am happy just listening to it.
Theres enough of the bands personality inherent in the music ‘whatever you may percieve that to be’–that I can’t help but enjoy it to some degree. I’m not bias heavy either, i listen to alot of music; but it seems atleast to some degree you would rather have had them not produce the album at all.
To that point I believe its not a concern of whether they still have it or not,
King Aninmal is better than any other Soundgarden album (except maybe Badmotorfinger)
I haven’t heard of that album until just now. I guess I’ll have to take your word for it, Riley.
Seriously, though, how is King Animal “better than any other Soundgarden album (except maybe Badmotorfinger)”?
It has the best cover out of all their albums.
Well, I’m partial to these covers:
And one from an album proper:
(This one is totally awesome.)
This is pretty good, too:
But that Boett version, that’s really the best that I’ve found.
**Boett; I was effin right the first time.
That lounge version is hilarious. My favorite version of “Black Hole Sun” is D’Angelo’s: http://en.musicplayon.com/play?v=243853
There’s a great version of it by David Ryan Harris, but I can’t find a recording of it anywhere.
I completely agree with your review of this. I keep thinking that this album is the culmination of Cornell’s experiences post Soundgarden. The first few tracks are heavy Soundgarden-y, but it feels like a spoof of Soundgarden really. It starts off with huge sound/super heavy, but the riffs are so repetitive with no real build or variations you’d find in the old albums. And yes, the back end of the album sounds like a Chris Cornell project featuring Soundgarden as a backing band. Yeah the heaviness may make some people happy, but the composition this time around is so uninspired. I was actually excited for this because I still followed Cornell post garden. There’s just no edge anymore. There’s no more young conviction in Cornell’s voice. He’s essentially become just a vocalist (not that there’s anything wrong with that as he’s still an amazing singer).
I was very excited, too, when I’d heard about Soundgarden deciding to reunite, and about the possibility of an album.
I’d listened to King Animal immediately after it came out. Gave the whole thing five close listens before I wrote about it. I’ve listened to it a couple of times since then, but I doubt I’ll return to it. I hope they put out another one, though.
Like you, I get the sense that the compositions lack any kind of complexity. Any kind of urgency. They sound perfunctory. The songs have a superficial kind of heaviness. They seemed pieced together.
I wonder if Cornell can sing anymore. He’s straining throughout this album, and the amount of effects layered on his voice on this album perhaps obscures further inadequacies.
I sometimes think he aspires to be the Rod Stewart of the end of the twenty-first century’s first quarter.
Hi John, I must say that I 100% agree with your evaluation. I too am a huge Soundgarden fan and I can easily say that, I would have rather have had them hold off on making an album than releasing this one. I made my opinion known on the Soundgardenworld forums and I got bashed rather severely. I mean is anyone else listening with their ears? Soungardens formula was actually pretty simple or at least it appears so, your “Cold Bitch” reference is a perfect example. Not much is going on within the song as far as “clutter”. Its pretty simple straight forward and yet heavy, brooding and has that definite Soundgarden feel and mood. With all previous King Animal songs and albums when you listen to a SG song it immediately takes you to this alternative universe, a f**ed up backwards kind of universe and none the less signature Soundgarden. I mean Black Hole Sun, the song and the video, lavish in this alternate place. For a very long time I felt like I might be only one that feels this way until I felt very vindicated by an interview with Chris Cornell and Matt Cameron. Cameron said the feel of the music is to sound full and deep like the feeling he gets when he goes out into the woods camping. Well that is exactly the way I envision SG and that was for an interview promoting King Animal, but like you said, artists like to cloak their work. This new album does not take me to that alternative universe, and I too feel that the heaviness is displaced and utilized poorly. I also feel that artists of today feel the need to fill “dead space” with clutter within songs. Unfortunately that unused spaced and timing was part of the signature sound as well. The new SG formula is wrong. I believe that we need a band like Soundgarden to rule the airwaves once again, and I was very much hoping King Animal would do it.
I agree with some of some of the opinions here however I think you guys are taking a very critical look at this. Firstly, very few singers get better with age. I’m a huge zeppelin fan, seen them many times, and as much as I dig them, Plant’s voice sounds like shit these days. I don’t doubt that Cornell, (whom I think is one of the finest musicians on the planet) will fare much better. To think that they would come back with their first effort on par with badmotorfinger is a little delusional given how great that (and the next two) records were. I think the two standout tracks on the record area Non-state actor, and Blood on the Valley Floor are both mature efforts and show some depth. Remember also, these guys are no longer angst ridden 20 somethings. They’re all millionaires, have families, kids, etc. It only stands to reason that their music would change to reflect their lives. That said, I’m happy they are together making music and I’m sure there are more good things to come. If they put out a couple great tracks per album and do 5 or 6 more. That’s a lifetime worth of great music to listen to. Not counting some decent Cornell stuff with audioslave, Not counting Live to Rise, Black Rain, Covers of Into the void by Sabbath, etc. There isn’t very much better on the radio these days, and as much as I love classic rock, that’s exactly what it is. That genre isn’t doing anything new either. Look at the turn Metallica took back in the day also and they still endure. Anyway, just thoughts. From the youtube clips, SG sound pretty good live. I’m getting tix tomorrow for their Philly show (NJ) with Alice in Chains. Keep rockin..
Tradermike, I do agree with some of what you say as well. However I was not talking about Cornell’s voice, but rather the song signature and writing. I will admit there are some songs on older SG albums (Ultra Mega OK and Screaming Life) I am not fond of for example. Some of the beauty that was in Superunknown was the in-depth song writing, that seemed so mature, so intimate, and yet so catchy. Fell on Black Days is a wonderful example of this, of how you got drawn right into the song immediately, like you almost had known it for years. I bought the extended version of King Animal to hear the demos trailing the main album. I must say that I enjoyed them more than their polished album counterparts. However I am not sure if ANY band can slip by the music business radar in this modern day and age and release a more raw and gritty album. Not to be stuck on an era or moment in time, but I really hoped when they made King Animal they recorded onto 2″ tape. Even the Foo Fighters recently went that route. I have spent a long time collecting every Soundgarden single and release, to compile my own version of B’Sides. I love everyone of those songs and can accept that they are written at different times and stages of the SG career, yet they are oddly familiar. King Animal, is just that, widely unfamiliar to me. There are some very good shinning moments that I first thought “Wow that sounds like Soungarden”. As funny as that may seem, when I listen to any album, I try to listen to the album as a blank slate, not even thinking who is performing the music. One other thing not to truly rain on your parade, but Cornell’s voice isn’t as good as it seems. Even during shows his vocals are tracked through Pro Tools and to a certain extent “correct” any flaws in real time. Not only that but if you can recall a more recent show, you will notice a lot of reverb or echo on the vocals masking these flaws as well. If the album was recorded to and mixed down from reel to reel (like all other previous SG albums), you would have a different feeling album with less digital fiddling and fudging if you will. I guess I cant expect much from ANY album in this day and age….man am I starting to sound old.
How many people here leaving comments have heard Badmotorfinger? Far and away their best album. It seems that those that dislike this album wanted “radio” Soundgarden and didn’t get it. I like the album. Not there best, not there worst. takes a few listens to get it.
I do agree that this thing sounds over produced. First thing I noticed about it. Overly clean sound. They sound better rough around the edges.
Listen, I’ve been a Soundgarden fan since I heard a crudely recorded “basement” type recording on an unlabeled cassette at an after-party in 1985. I was 22 or so, and I remember everyone really listening to it and I said “these guys are awesome!” At that time I was a total Metal Head listening to Metallica, Testament, Metal Church, Accept, Motorhead, you get the point. But when I heard that Demo/EP I was hooked. I’ve been a musician (drummer) for 39 years and can claim limited success in the industry recording 2 LP’s several years apart. Things change, lives, different projects, the industry ITSELF, AGE and especially TIME catches up with us, it’s THE scariest enemy to musicians. Physical abilities diminish after 16 years BELIEVE me. NOBODY in that band can do everything they did 16 years ago. I can’t last 2 hours of double bass speed metal anymore at 50. Then, musical styles and popularity change. Cornell made it PERFECTLY CLEAR the band was updating their style. ANY of you that honestly believe and EXPECTED the band to sound and perform EXACTLY as what they WERE with “SUPER UNKNOWN” ARE TRULY DELUSIONAL. My point in a nutshell is; QUIT BEING A WHINER and except pretty much everything changes in 16 years and be happy there IS an album to listen to and possibly MORE. Also comparing birthdays to voice endurance… REALLY? Come on, LAME!!
My critique of King Animal has nothing to do with nostalgia. I listened to it on its own terms, and then evaluated what I had heard, pointing out that the performances on it are weak, uninspired, ill-conceived, ill-constructed: in short, another descending curve in Chris Cornell’s seemingly perpetual downward spiral, which has more to do with a seeming lack of compelling compositional ideas than his continually-deteriorating voice.
How can you say you listened to it on its own merit when half of the 16 reasons are you comparing it songs on Superunknown, Badmotorfinger and DOTUS. Its brillaint album, while its not as good as previous records it certainly is a strong record in its own right. Im a fan of pretty much eveything that Cornell has done.
Seriously, how can you say with a straight face that your critique “has nothing to do with nostalgia” when that’s ALL you do is equate “King Animal” with 16 year old successes. The title of the blog is evidence of the fact. It’s apparent from the very first word of your “review” it’s a condemnation of the works because they don’t have the same drive, energy or talent they did almost 20 years ago? PLEASE tell me what makes YOU the expert on how the ACTUAL BAND writes THEIR music? Unless YOU personally have ANY input into the production, construction, inspiration or formation of their songs, you have no actual artistic value relating to the inner workings or dynamics of the band. In short, I don’t think YOU have the right to criticize ANY band, music or talent in the music biz because you haven’t experienced any of it. I guess it’s YOUR OPINION which everyones allowed to. But…… oh well I’m done with this site
Seems to me you haven’t read my review. Yes, I do compare their current efforts with their past efforts. Placing an artist’s work against the context of their oeuvre is one aspect of criticism that I think is valuable. I think it’s possible for an artist to produce relevant, powerful work at advanced ages. Many of my favorite artists continue to do so. Depending on the discipline, these artists modify their efforts as certain of their skills diminish. What Soundgarden produced was a mediocre effort. The album not only isn’t as good as just about anything they ever produced, it simply isn’t much good. It is cynical, tired, uninspired, and seems composed of knock-offs and detritus from Cornell’s post-Soundgarden efforts, etc.
Cornell himself compares their current effort with their efforts of the past. I indicate this on # 10 of my list: “By Crooked Steps” does, in fact, take, as Chris Cornell claims, “all of the strange time signature stuff that Soundgarden’s always been known for and kind of [take] it to another level.” Problem is, the level is down.
In other words, it’s wishful thinking on Cornell’s part.
I don’t think I need to, as you put it, “personally have ANY input into the production, construction, inspiration or formation of their songs,” in order to criticize the band, whether positively or negatively. To say that I must is as silly as someone saying you don’t have the right to criticize, whether positively or negatively, someone’s positive or negative criticism unless you “personally have ANY input into the production, construction, inspiration or formation of” said criticism.
John, Tom Cyganiak is right. It sounds like you have absolutely no experience in music whatsoever. Yes, singers get old, but Chris still has it and doesn’t back down, i.e., lower keys live or in the studio to suit his aging voice. I saw them just recently and he was spot on for a guy who is 48 years old and touring his ASS off. Yes, the songs on King Animal don’t have the edge they did in ’88 or ’96 for that matter. They have GROWN UP. This is still a VERY good album from a band that hasn’t done a thing in 16 years. I dare say it’s a fantastic album from that standpoint. You didn’t mention lyrics but one time in this entire blog. If you’re gonna try and level a band as experienced as Soundgarden, then at least critique the whole work, not just your sonic first impressions based on their previous work from 16 years ago. As you said, you don’t need to have any input into the album. I agree, but you at least have to understand music, and songwriting as a whole, on more than a sonically visceral level. This is not a review, it’s a reaction.
I stopped paying attention when the author said “Down on the Upside” was a good album. That is in fact their worst album. “King Animal” to me is far better. I agree with the commentator that said “Not their best. Not their worst.” But I’m thankful for another album from Soundgarden so I don’t have to live with “Down” being their swan song. That would have just been sad.
It’s obvious your opinions are jaundiced by Chris Cornell’s post-Soundgarden career, but you should give the band and the album a chance, it’s a grower. You sound even harsher than Pitchfork for crying out loud! It’s a decent album (6.5-7/10) in my books. Besides they deserve extra credit for actually TRYING. Faith No More, Rage Against the Machine and even the legendary Pixies (to name a few) for crying out loud reunited much earlier than them and are all yet to put out an album. My $0.02.
yeah man i agree with jim2. maybe if u got a life and tried to make real music like soundgarden you’d realize these guys have extreme skill. and its pretty hard to create something thats still your own while remembering that you want it to appeal to others. so, soundgarden did what more musicians should have the guts to do and they did what they wanted to do. u shouldnt just go by what the reviews say “bloggerboy”
Any Soundgarden is better than no Soundgarden.
it’s pretty clear that you don’t know soundgarden. you have to pull out an obscure track from the badmotorfinger sessions to hide the fact of your ignorance to their music.
John really.. You have this much time to debate, rather bash one of the greatest bands ever. Tell you what, if you could sing, write or play a tenth as well as Cornell then I see you would have some validity to your rambling non-sense. I am betting you can’t, not even come close. So this leads me to believe, as others have pointed out that you should stop trying to prove your point from a music critics stand point. You are not a music critic. Just say, “hey I think the album is not as good as… …” But to state 16 reasons not to like SG music, basically saying not to buy the album…Cuts deep, you basically stabbed your ” favorite band” in the back.. Think about it….
Worst review ever.
First of all, in regards to your Kim thayil accusation, that’s kind of the point.. On each album, try and learn a different way to play your instrument. I think that’s awesome! And chris cornells voice?? ID LIKE TO HEAR YOU HIT THOSE NOTES IN THAT KIND OF STYLE AT THAT AGE. He’s been singing like a mad man for nearly 30 years! lucky he hasnt lost his voice, let alone have it that strong! Each album should be its own journey. I’m glad it doesn’t sound like any of their other albums. I’m also glad that their other albums don’t sound like eachother. This album is rad. Especially for a group that hasn’t played together for what, 15 years? It’s almost like a new band. And also, Matt Cameron did not bring his pearl jam drunming to soundgarden or vice versa. He provides his OWN style of drumming to both bands and works for the songs. You’re kind of a jerk, just looking for little petty shit to put on a post, just so you can say that you fulfilled something for the day.
Who made you the absolute determining judge?? What if you used everything you’ve ever had on the first 20 years or your music making career?! Every rhythm lyric, and idea used or thrown away?? You have to reinvent…start fresh. New album new sounds new ideas…its a new era for music producing as a whole!! Every genre!!!! I lis0’s 60’s from Dave brubek to led Zeppelin to Sebastian Bach john Coltrane to cannibal corpse!!! From marc anthoney all the way to Maynard’s puscifer!!! I’m a Puerto Rican drummer from the Bronx!! Get yourself a new job cause music critic you are not sir….
A fan since i was 13 years old (now 34) i love al their previous stuff my favourite band all my life which makes me so sad to say this but i agree with that review above, its such a shame i was hoping for so much more. It just dosent sound like soundgarden. A terrible bunch of songs that sound like outtakes, oh dear i wanted to like it som much aswel. Oh well lets hope the next album will be completely different.
Your an idiot don’t look at the past but the future , bands always evolve differently as the years go by. Your just jealous that you don’t have a talent.
This album has many great songs and by comparing it to other albums they have released you are missing the point. They are older, Chris’ voice isn’t going to stay perfect, you know? And so what if they’ve changed their style ever so slightly? It’s a great album and peformed amazingly live. So shove it up your arse
I think they’ve gotten soft, but that’s to be expected. I think Chris can still sing great. Check out Beyond the Wheel at the Showbox, in 2011, I believe. It’s on youtube. Epic performance.
Though it may not compare favorably to Badmotorfinger, Superunknown, or Down on the Upside, you must admit that King Animal does sound better than Soundgarden’s embarrassing hardcore days of Ultramega OK and Louder than Love.
Gotta love CRITICS. Must be nice to be able to sit back on your couch and pass judgement on a subject that you yourself are completely ignorant about.
It is like me going into a Hospital and critiquing the surgeons performance in the operating room…….
I hate critics of ALL kinds, you are all worthless. Nothing more than regular people giving their opinions. That is all a critic is, a person giving an opinion.
However critics like to act like their opinions hold more weight than others. As if they are somehow “experts” on matters of art,music,food or whatever else one could possible have an opinion on.
It never ceases to amaze me how these people can rationalize giving out such seemingly authoritative reviews of works that they themselves could never compose……
Who wouldn’t sound a bit rusty after 16 years… When they just keep on rowing then there is no telling where they might be going!
I really hate when people whine about comeback albums. They had been on break 16 YEARS before this album was released. A lot changes between a period of time that large. Not only them, but yourself. I for one think Soundgarden sound really similar, excluding “Halfway There”. Maybe your tastes have changed and what sounded great back then, doesn’t sound as great now. Also, try and put some reasoning behind your reasons. “I hate this because I don’t think it’s as good as the other one” is weak writing and makes you look like an idiot.
16 Reasons Why You’re Wrong (or 16 Reasons Why I Disagree With You)
1. Cornell’s nearly 50 and he still does Beyond The Wheel live, he’s doing very well. Of course his voice will change over the years, but it’s not gone, it’s just changed. And it suits the music better than his belting voice.
2. Badmotorfinger was just an all-round amazing album so it wouldn’t be that shocking, but Taree>Somewhere
3. By Crooked Steps and I’ve Been Away For Too Long > She Likes Surprises
4. Down On The Upside has plenty of songs worse than the best song on King Animal
5. This statement is objectively incorrect and you need to listen to the album a lot more if you think Thayil’s playing is beginner basic on here
6. That might be because he’s PJ’s drummer. Just a wild guess. Dude probably wrote the drums he thought would suit the song best, not the drums he thought would sound least like Pearl Jam
7. Just because AIC is famous for harmonizing doesn’t mean that anyone else who was big in the 90s who does it is copying them. And it doesn’t really sound like AIC even then. And this is a REALLY nitpicky point to make in the first place
8. Not really, it sounds like a tamboura to me. I don’t think the song is really trying to be that exotic at all.
9. Can’t argue that, the first thing pretty much anyone thinks when they hear Halfway There is “Why is this not on a Cornell album ew”
10. Are you really making this judgement and using it to back your opinion.
11. Attrition’s a cool song, and I have never thought it sounds like Pearl Jam.
12. I guess it does, but again that is so nitpicky and dumb that it shouldn’t be on any list with as ambitious a heading as this
13. Your memory is your problem, not the album’s
14. Eyelid’s Mouth sounds nothing like Audioslave and isn’t nearly as bad as a lot of the album’s critics say it is
15. It sounds a bit like Audioslave, I guess? The bass, sort of? Drums, in my opinion, aren’t embarrassing, and either way it sounds intentional.
16. Then why did you have so much trouble making even 10 good reasons, let alone 16+?
This album gets so much shit just cos it’s not the next Badmotorfinger. No matter what Soundgarden did after 16 years, people were going to find some crappy excuse to complain about it not being like the good old days. I personally think it’s one of the weakest albums, but it deserves a lot more than this list.
Thank you to NIK for a fairly thorough rebuttal of the original review. I’m still getting to know King Animal. As with Superunknown and DOTUS it’s growing on me. I wasn’t wild at first about those albums but have them in heavy rotation and regard them in the top 20-40 albums of the 90’s. Ben’s songwriting took SG in such a different direction from Louder than Love that they sometimes barely resemble the band I saw in 88 with Living Colour and Danzig. When DOTUS came out I might have disagreed with the earlier comment from Kyler that any Soundgarden is better than none, but today I am listening closely and loving many of the obscure grooves on King Animal. Thanks for the comeback SG. Even though the author slams King Animal pretty hard you can tell he’s a pretty solid fan and makes a decent critique, although a close listen shows Matt Cameron and Ben to be above reproach on KA and grooving hard!!
Upon further review – I think the 16 reasons boil down to a bit of frustration that it isn’t 1992 anymore. Take a look and listen to the Artists Den show version of Taree and Eyelids Mouth from Letterman. Kim is right on top of it and Ben and Matt are TIGHT!! What can you say about Chris…slightly off the old highs but damn strong. They sound better live than the DOTUS era. Attrition BTW is a song thousands of bands wish they could have written and SG slams it out effortlessly. Much more there than first meets the ear. Blood on Valley Floor is as heavy as anything on Super or DOTUS and quirky. By Crooked Steps goes to a level we haven’t defined yet, certainly not down. Halfway There is a good pop song and Been Away is radio ready but are the only 2 tracks that might not measure up.
What a complete and utter douche bag. I know this is old and you’re some loser who had never made a single album nor could hold a tune with Chris to save your life. ..but this is outrageous. So it was different. So it sounds like other bands that are awesome.So Chris has blown his voice out a bit due to outsinging everyone on the planet for more than thirty years. So you like old soundgarden but not audioslave or new soundgarden..that makes no sense..it’s all just Chris. We’re all lucky he’s still doing anything and ever did anything and ever graced any of us with his voice and his lyrics. Who are you comparing him to? Some bs band Living Color who no one has even heard of? Chris is a f_cking legend and petty, unpleasant jerks like yourself don’t have any place to criticize any of his art nor deserve to listen to the sound of him tying his shoes. King Animal is awesome.