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  • Feature: The 5 Best Songs from Soundgarden’s “Superunknown”

    Tue, 03 Jun 2014 14:56:03

    Feature: The 5 Best Songs from Soundgarden’s “Superunknown” - By ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino...

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    Very easily, every song on Soundgarden’s 1994 Superunknown could be on the list below.

    We are completely aware of that, and we wanted to get that out there. The album defined an entire year, and not only that, a generation. It’s the most powerful album of the era. Moreover, twenty years later, it still stands up as strongly as it did back then. That’s what makes the Super Deluxe reissue that just dropped today so vital. It draws us back to this moment and opus...

    In this exclusive feature, we list the five best songs from Soundgarden’s Superunknown.

    "Let Me Drown"

    The curtain opens with a robust and raw riff that tumbles in with tribal intensity. Matt Cameron’s drums reverberate in fascinating form as Ben Shepherd’s bass throbs like an off-time heartbeat. Kim Thayil summons a sinisterly catchy six-string flood in tandem with Chris Cornell's own intense fretwork. However, it’s the bridge that really makes the song stand out. As everything subsides, Cornell faintly sings, "I see you turn around and burning down. The feeling starts to sink. I feel the hurt surround me. Please dissolve me. She’s resolved to be..." and then the shredding starts. It might as well sum up the album's delicate balance of light and dark in one simple statement. Drowning never felt so good.

    "Head Down"

    The creaky clean opening spirals into a psychedelic and polyrhythmic sonic tapestry. Cornell’s falsetto transfixes as the guitar becomes lyrical in its own right. It's one of the band’s most potent head trips as Cornell admits, "We see you cry, we turn your head, then we slap your face". It’s that kind of lyricism coupled with the musical intricacies that make it so hypnotically haunting.

    "Black Hole Sun"

    The song proved to be the perfect gateway to the album. It’s one of the most enduring and important rock tunes in the genre’s history. You remember hearing it over and over again during that era. It never got old. It still hasn’t.

    "4th of July"

    A brilliant and bleak apocalyptic poem way before that sort of thing was in vogue. You can practically see the sky crashing on this one. It features some of Cornell’s most vivid lyrics and a trudging riff that could shake the earth to its core.

    "Like Suicide"

    The climax of Superunknown remains its most tender and terrifying moment. There’s a slow build as this beast leaves one last breath as she "died just like suicide". The acoustic rendition is especially potent.

    Rick Florino

    What are your favorite Superunknown songs?

    See what members of Slipknot, Killswitch Engage, The Pretty Reckless, and more have to say about Superunknown here!

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    Tags: Soundgarden, Matt Cameron, Ben Shepherd, Kim Thayil, Chris Cornell, Slipknot, Killswitch Engage, The Pretty Reckless

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