Soundgarden was always one of the most influential figures in grunge, and even until the end of the movement they provided powerful music. This is also a testament to Chris Cornell's prowess as a musician. Soundgarden's Down On The Upside showed their strength and their lasting influence in the genre.
What makes Down On The Upside effective even though the genre at the time was past its height is its daringness to do things differently, and to be diverse. There is, though, a lot of some of the classic grunge sound. 'Pretty Noose' opens the record as a brooding start with dark sounds, followed by 'Rhinosaur' with its more classic grunge sound. Songs like 'Burden In My Hand' follow that contemporary rock sound, before songs like 'Never Named' and 'Applebite' keep things energetic an evil.
As Down On The Upside continues, its diversity grows. 'Zero Chance' is one of the first of those unique tracks, the beautiful playing showing quite a bit of complexity. Soundgarden mix elements of country and punk in the unique 'Ty Cobb,' bringing together two pretty polarizing genres. Epic atmosphere makes 'Tighter & Tighter' sound huge, while 'An Unkind' takes that and tops it with interesting melodies as well. The daring nature of 'No Attention' gives it a rebellious attitude, while angry is intrinsic of the build in 'Blow Up The World Outside.' Down On The Upside is a very angry album, though it seems to be trying to rid itself of those feelings rather than act upon them.
Soundgarden's Down On The Upside showed their strength in their willingness to diversify their sound. It's genre bending and angry, capturing both the anger of their music and the rebellion of the genre. While it was their last effort in their initial run before hiatus, Soundgarden made sure to leave on a strong note.
Favorite Track: An Unkind, Zero Chance, Tighter & Tighter
Least Favorite Track: Switch Opens
Rating: 79 / 100
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