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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Superunknown

Soundgarden

1994

Buy At Rough Trade
Superunknown
Album Summary

Superunknown is the fourth studio album by American rock band Soundgarden, released on March 8, 1994, through A&M Records. It is the band's second album with bassist Ben Shepherd, and features new producer Michael Beinhorn. Soundgarden began work on the album after touring in support of its previous album, Badmotorfinger (1991). Superunknown captured the heaviness of the band's earlier releases while displaying a more diverse range of influences. Superunknown was a critical and commercial success and became the band's breakthrough album. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 310,000 copies in its opening week. The album also topped the Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand charts. Five singles were released from the album: "The Day I Tried to Live", "My Wave", "Fell on Black Days", "Spoonman", and "Black Hole Sun", the latter two of which won Grammy Awards and helped Soundgarden reach mainstream popularity. In 1995, the album was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album. The album has been certified six times platinum by the RIAA in the United States. In April 2019, Superunknown was ranked No. 9 on Rolling Stone's "50 Greatest Grunge Albums" list.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.65

Votes

13959

Genres

  • Grunge

Reviews

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Thu Dec 09 2021
2

This is what straight men listen to, huh?

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Wed Mar 31 2021
5

Some albums are great because they meant a lot at a specific point in your life. Some albums are just great. This one is both.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

Chris Cornell had such a voice.

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Mon Nov 08 2021
5

Disclaimer: Can't be objective about this one. This is literally the first record I ever purchased. I just finished the new Chris Cornell biography Total Fucking Godhead... I'm a bit of a fan of this band. What a classic album! Love the sort of dark, evil psychadelia of this record. Huge riffs, Matt "Fucking" Cameron on drums with bizarre time signatures, and one of the all-time greatest rock voices... it just doesn't get much better. On my all time favorites.

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

Chris Cornell is one of the greatest rock singers ever. This album has some of the best riffs of all time (Spoonman, Fell on Black Days). It's filled with metaphors about loneliness and depression (Black Hole Sun, Day I Tried to Live, Like Suicide). The album is filled with great, memorable choruses that have the staying power and melody of pop, without sacrificing the heaviness of the subject matter and genre of grunge. In my opinion, it's a top 4 grunge album with Nevermind, Dirt, and Ten.

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Sat Oct 30 2021
5

Absolutely essential grunge album. It will rock the fuck out of your soul from the first track to the last. Chris Cornell was an unparalleled talent and killer vocalist, a tremendous credit to the genre. This album is a stone cold masterpiece.

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Tue Dec 20 2022
2

Lol, I don't know why everybody likes this album so much

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Wed Mar 31 2021
5

Soundgarden was my favorite of the grunge bands because of Chris Cornell (RIP) and his ridiculous vocals. Hits hard all around. Love it.

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Sat Apr 24 2021
5

Just phenomenal. Still so very good. R.I.P. Chris Cornell.

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Wed Jul 19 2023
3

Knew the band name, couldn't have named a song they had made which is how I learnt they made Blackhole Sun. Otherwise, my standard complaint of this being way too fucking long. Could have cut 30 minutes from this and made a solid album since it gets really boring after a while.

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Thu Dec 14 2023
3

I went into this thinking I liked Soundgarden more than I actually do. Quite boring to be honest. 3.33 average per track,

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

Nothing but bangers, a lot of distortion, reminding me of the roots of what rock is today.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

Initial Critique - Chris Cornell is a vocal god. A masterclass in 90's rock. Despite listening to many of the songs on the album as singles, had never listened to it as an album.

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Sun Jun 13 2021
5

This album is full of jams. Sometimes I think I like Badmotorfinger better, but goddamn, this album fucking rules

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Wed Aug 04 2021
5

Psych and prog infused grunge; this album was so formative to my musical tastes when I first discovered it back in freshman year of high school. I may not go back to Soundgarden as often as I did back in those days, and there is definitely some valid criticism here (particularly about it being a long and exhausting listen for one sitting) but this album could never be anything but a 5 for me.

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Wed Sep 23 2020
5

love this album, have listened to it countless times

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Mon Jun 07 2021
5

There's been a weird influx of latinx music in the past week after not getting any previous to that. Overall it was pretty cool, though I really hated the parade song (perhaps because I don't really enjoy actual parades either). Some of the other songs were a bit cloying as well. This works really good as a kids album, but I don't think that's how it was intended. It's fine, but I don't ever see myself coming back to it 3/5

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Sat Feb 13 2021
5

Like the Pumpkins' album I saw earlier, this one was a staple for anyone in school when I was. It's a classic, and the songs are amazing. Kim Thayil's guitar sound is unique, and Chris Cornell's voice is unmistakable.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

Several solid songs. RIP Chris Cornell

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Thu Apr 29 2021
5

I really dig this. I like how it was heavy, but also clear what they wanted to get across and not overcrowded. Great songs, black hole sun is a classic obvi

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Thu Jul 01 2021
5

Okay, this is badass. Grimy and heavy and with a distinctive feel. This is great workout or writing music.

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Thu Aug 12 2021
5

Well, I’m guessing there’s no way now we’re getting Loud Love or (still my personal fave) Badmotorfinger, but I fuckin’ love this band. Great voice over an even better rhythm section. I could probably listen to an entire record of just Kim farting around with a wah wah pedal and be a happy camper. So I’m a little biased over here. This album though has always felt like a bit of a weird mix of tunes, (even when you just compare the singles) but I think it was the first thing I ever bought on CD and I really, really love the production. This shit sings through headphones. Soundgarden was at their best, imo, when they were trudging through the chugs and then just randomly would shift into some weird tinkly melody that somehow made the whole tune come together. This record has a bunch of those moments: “Mailman,” “Head Down,” “4th of July,” etc. But yeah… at the end of the day, it’s the “Black Hole Sun” record. There are worse legacies.

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Tue Aug 31 2021
5

What a bomb album. Chris Cornell is the main star here with his incredible vocal performances, but the rest of the band does a commendable job creating that heavy, grunge-y sound throughout. Everyone knows 'Black Hole Sun' and 'Spoonman', but there's so much here to enjoy - 'Head Down', 'Superunknown', 'Fell on Black Days', 'Let Me Drown'. Yeah, really terrific. I would give it 4.5, but I'll round up to 5.

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Fri Sep 24 2021
5

RIP Chris Cornell - in his softer moments sounds a lot like Josh Homme, whose voice I adore. "Mailman" could be QOTSA song. Soundgarden have such a distinctive sound, different from what was going on in the 90s, it's not metal it's not grunge, it's not stoner rock. Really enjoy "Head Down" - sweet singing Obvs "Black Hold Sun" is an absolute classic. "Spoonman" driving rhythm is so great High 4 / 5

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Thu Nov 11 2021
5

Having relistened to this album after having last listened to it over 20 years ago, it's incredible how current it still sounds. I remembered how heavy it felt back then, and I was afraid it would lose its magic in the current landscape of today's music. This is not the case.

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Mon Jan 31 2022
5

Chris Cornell is probably my favorite rock singer after Freddie Mercury, so talented and so much range. I just happened to listen to his collection this weekend, not knowing this album was upcoming (I was behind and stuck trying to decide on Sonic Youth so turned to Cornell). I know most call this album their magnum opus but I always wondered if it was really that good...despite the fact that Spoonman, My Wave, and The Day I Tried to Live are some of my all-time favorite alternative songs (the chords & guitar progressions & drumwork on all three...brilliant). I really got into music in college, mostly listened to radio and didn't own many albums in high school so I didn't own this. Even now I don't own it, even though I profess to be a late Soundgarden fan. I saw Jeremy's review and I feel the exact same way about Black Hole Sun. Maybe that's why I have these hesitations, like some of it is overplayed and overhyped. Nah. I have listened to it a fair number of times since college, but finally listening to it really intently here, it's awesome. Like my favorites, the other songs have awesome guitar work, humming basslines, solid percussion, Cornell's vocals (of course), and profound lyrics. Even the non-hits are great (e.g., Let Me Drown, Mailman, Fresh Tendrils, 4th of July). Shame on me for ever thinking this was less than amazing.

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Sat Feb 05 2022
5

Easy, easy 5. Up there with some of my most listened to albums of all time and a shining example of top tier grunge. Love it

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Fri Jun 17 2022
5

Is it perfect? Nah. Does it have Black Hole Sun and Spoonman on it? Yesh. Five stars. SPOOOOONMAAAANNNN

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Fri Sep 23 2022
5

Not sure how to describe this album and ive known it for most of my life. Very human of an album. Its a perfect mix of the grunge sound, hard rock ballads, psych sludge sound, heavy stoner riffs, and really catchy choruses. Chris Cornells voice is unreal with how talented it is.

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Wed Jun 14 2023
5

My review of Grace by Jeff Buckley referenced how 1994 was the most incredible year for music (Portishead, Weezer, Beck, Jeff Buckley, Beastie Boys, Green Day, Live, Tori Amos, Cranberries, the list goes on) and Superunknown is part of what made 1994 incredible. Chris Cornell is one of the best male rock vocalists of all time, his range is ridiculous, and his voice is just raw power. Soundgarden may not be my favorite of the projects of Chris Cornell since I prefer Audioslave to the more heavy metal sound of Soundgarden, but his voice is nothing short of 5 stars every time.

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Wed Jun 14 2023
5

Chris Cornell = Automatic 5. It's fair to say that seeing Temple of the Dog play at the kickoff show November 4th, 2016 in Phila. not many months before his tragic and untimely death was probably the best show I've ever seen-- and I've seen some good f******g shows. What a damned legend. This album rocks. Watch the Phila. show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OJAhB5Cark

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Sat Oct 01 2022
4

☝️☝️☝️ ⚠️Whiteboy on the mic⚠️ Exciting rethinking of rock ideas of both their past and present with inspired playing (particularly the drumming). Could’ve been shorter though

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Tue Apr 02 2024
4

Before listening: If anyone asked me whether I like Soundgarden I would say yes. If they asked me how many songs I actually know, I would say, "Um, Blackhole Sun?". I think out of all the big 90s alt bands, I know Soundgarden and Alice in Chains the least. I was much more of an Audioslave fan in the early 00s than I ever was of Soundgarden. I'm looking forward to this album, although I must say that at the time of writing, I'm not really in a 90s mood. Nevertheless, here we go! After listening: I liked it, there was a lot of good songs here. But oh my God, so much filler. Songs were too long and there were too many of them. Chris Cornell's voice though ... There's a reason people rank him as one of the best vocalists of the era. Overall, still very good.

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Thu May 16 2024
4

I wasnt into it at first but from Head Down and onwards it was amazing. It made me think of how well this album would go together with the joining together of hands, not in marriage, but solely for the purpose of sating the fleshly desires of the soul. Indulging in lustful hedonism for no purpose other than to drown in pleasure for but a few moments, together. tldr: I want to fuck to this album

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Thu Nov 30 2023
3

HEY DUDES, DO YOU LIKE HARD MUSIC THAT ALSO MAKES YOU GET HARD Wikipedia lists this as Grunge but this is 100% Butt Rock for me. I only know "Black Hole Sun" which was everywhere at the time and still has a lasting legacy but... overall this is the music of my middle/high school days. Feels like I'm way past this. But, it's competent at what it's doing and I don't begrudge anyone who likes it. I think it's mostly down the vocals, just too monotone.

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Sat Dec 30 2023
3

Overlong and mediocre. The style wasn’t terrible, but it got repetitive and a little grating. Not something I’d listen to in its entirety again. 2.5 rounded up.

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Tue Jan 02 2024
3

The best song on this album is definitely “Black Hole Sun” and they knew it while recording this. 5/10

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Fri Jan 19 2024
3

Right, here we go, day 1! Solid start to the journey, avoiding some of the more controversial albums on the list that will go down better once I’m settled into the routine. Having heard a few individual songs from this record before, I was relieved when I saw it as album 1 and dived in with a fair amount of anticipation. And for the most part was not disappointed. The highs here are high, “Black Hole Sun” and “Let Me Drown” being in my top 2. I just feel that it went on a bit too long with a run time of 70 minutes, maybe cutting a few of the tracks would have been beneficial. That being said, I can see why it’s regarded as one of the defining albums of its genre and would be one I’d like to return to in the future. Overall, I’ll go with 3.5, but that might increase over time. Looking forward to what the next 3 and a bit years will bring!

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Tue Jan 30 2024
3

Some good tunes on this album. However, I think a lot of the songs sound the same.

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Tue Jan 30 2024
3

There are things I enjoy about this record. But it became a monotonous chore to get through. At 30 minutes, I would probably like it quite a bit more.

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Mon Feb 05 2024
3

It's taken me a while to revisit all this 90's grunge and give it a proper listen, because growing up in the 90's these songs were all over the radio and I was so sick of hearing Soundgarden, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, etc. that I actively avoided them for two decades. I'm glad to finally spend time with this Soundgarden record. I liked a lot about it, from Chris Cornell's vocals to Kim Thayil's guitar work. This album is considered a cornerstone of the grunge movement for obvious reasons. Two main complaints: 1) It's way too long of an album. With so little variety in the tracklist until towards the end, it feels bloated and a few of the songs blend together. There's no reason this thing should be over an hour long. 2) (And this is a deep dark secret I've harbored since I was a kid hearing this band all over the radio in the 90s) "Black Hole Sun" is such a boring ass song. It's tedious, it's repetitive, it's plodding...I think "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" has more lyrics. I hated hearing it on the radio when I was 10 and I hated hearing it as an adult. That being said, good album, worth a listen.

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Sat Feb 17 2024
3

The production feels kind of compressed. The influence of Led Zeppelin is here, which in turn goes back to some delta blues sound. Black Hole Sun stands out from the rest of the songs. The album as a whole feels a bit underwhelming. The potential was there, just needed better producing.

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Tue Feb 20 2024
3

A couple solid tracks and overall I like this group but after a while I'm like "when will it end?"

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Mon Jul 08 2024
3

No. 213/1001 Let Me Drown 3/5 My Wave 4/5 Fell On Black Days 4/5 Mailman 2/5 Superunknown 3/5 Head Down 3/5 Black Hole Sun 4/5 Spoonman 3/5 Limo Wreck 3/5 The Day I Tried To Live 3/5 Kickstand 3/5 Fresh Tendrils 3/5 4th Of July 3/5 Half 3/5 Like Suicide 4/5 Average: 3,27 Pretty good grunge record.

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Thu Feb 09 2023
2

There were some songs that I didn't hate.

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Fri May 10 2024
2

I love Spoonman and Black Hole Sun, but otherwise this album is another example of mostly bland 90's mainstream rock. I just hate the 90's aesthetic, the chugga chugga guitars, the stereotypical singing style. That isn't to say it is bad, it just isn't something I want to listen to.

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Mon May 13 2024
2

After Chris Cornell passed, my mom bought every Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Temple of the Dog cd and it was the only music she would listen to, in the car and at home, for like two years. I moved out during that time

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Mon Jan 18 2021
5

что-то среднее между Nirvana и Alice in Chains, класс!

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Fri Jan 29 2021
5

Este disco es más que un disco para mí, es parte una época. Desde el "Let me drown" pasando por las guitarras del "Head Down" y las míticas "Black Hole Sun", "Spoonman", "The day I try to live", "Kickstand" o "Like suicide". Puros noventa, puro sonido grunge.

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Wed Mar 24 2021
5

I love Soundgarden and this is the album I love the most.

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Tue May 04 2021
5

Super underrated grunge album, one of the trendsetters of it's time. Plus Chris Cornell's voice is in another level

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Wed Mar 24 2021
5

Super from beginning to end. This would have been a double album only a few years earlier. It certainly is on vinyl.

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Mon Jun 07 2021
5

Beetje oneerlijke competitie want dit is wel een van de hoekstenen van de ontwikkeling van mijn muziekale voorkeuren. Geen slecht nummer op dit album!

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Sun Feb 21 2021
5

Now I know where Foo Fighters got their sound from ;)

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Mon Apr 05 2021
5

Love this band. Great album. I remember when it came out.

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Tue Jul 06 2021
5

One of the best albums ever.

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Thu May 27 2021
5

Great album, already listened to audioslave but never Soundgarden. Will give this another listen

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Wed Jul 28 2021
5

god damn fantastic, so grim and evil at times but triumphant at others

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Fri Aug 13 2021
5

RIP to a legend. What a classic album

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Tue Aug 24 2021
5

Een van mijn All time favorieten

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Sat Oct 09 2021
5

Wasn't expecting it to be as good as Badmotorfinger but it definitely is

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Tue Nov 02 2021
5

Possibly the second or third best grunge album of all time, depending on how I'm feeling about In Utero that day. Haters will say it's too long, and yeah they probably could have cut the song Half, but this is the rare hour-plus album I'll actively choose to listen to.

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

A sprawling, expansive grunge/stoner masterpiece. So much variety and depth with amazing song and riffs coming one after the other. Great singing and musicianship. Like a lot of long albums I can't help but feel it would have been better if it were shorter, I'm just not sure what I would cut.

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Wed Nov 17 2021
5

Really enjoy this album when I'm in the mood for some moody, grungy rock. Super unknown is a great song as well as black hole sun.

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Sat Nov 20 2021
5

One of my faves from grunge. R.I.P. Chris Cornell

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Thu Jan 13 2022
5

Incredible album. Great variety, strong tracks, amazing guitar work. RIP Cornell.

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Sat Jan 22 2022
5

My haiku: My Wave, Spoonman best, Day I Tried To Live best too, How good is grunge rock.

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Mon Jan 31 2022
5

Superunknown was the first Soundgarden album I picked up. I had read an early review that said that it was going to be an amazing album, groundbreaking even. I was into Pearl Jam & Nirvana, they had broken right around college. But somehow Soundgarden had slipped me by when I was in college. When I did hear it back in March of 1994, my mind was blown. Listen to the original, not the remastered version (they boosted the volume too much, gah.). I go back and forth between my favorites on this album. Sure "Black Hole Sun" is overplayed, but there's a reason for that: it's a damn good song. I don't skip it when I listen to the whole album, but I don't listen to it by itself. They play songs with odd time signatures so flawlessly, it doesn't sound as clumsy as in other bands. I would steer clear from the Super Deluxe Edition version, only because the Demo & Rehearsal versions... like, how many times can you hear the songs in one sitting? I know fans of the band frown on this album, thinking of it as the "sell out," but honestly I think of it as a progression from their previous album. "Down On The Upside" is a fantastic album as well. Highly recommended.

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Fri Feb 04 2022
5

Teenage hormonal grunge throwback.

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Sat Feb 05 2022
5

GRUNGE. YEEEEEEEEEEEEEES. In seriousness, I grew up refusing to believe the grunge era ever ended. Soundgarden are a foundation of this genre. Rest in Peace, Chris Cornell.

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Thu Feb 10 2022
5

плотный саунд, риффы просто жир

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Sat Feb 19 2022
5

Is this really a 5 or am I giving it that rating because of nostalgia and it's really a 4? Who cares, this album is great. More polished and mainstream than Badmotorfinger and, thus, not my favorite but still really solid.

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