Well, this wouldn’t have been my first choice album to listen to in the tub …
Not exactly a relaxing, chilled-out kind of vibe. Pretty heavy and morose. I’m unsure how Down On The Upside even made it onto my computer, because I’ve never listened to it before! But that’s the beauty of Bathtub Beats – close my eyes, swipe to scroll down on the list of albums on my phone for a few seconds then randomly stop, then open my eyes to “discover” an album to listen to in its entirety in the bath. The first Bathtub Beats review is here.
So … Soundgarden … They’ve had some massive hits and were part of the Seattle grunge explosion in the late 80s/early 90s. But I have to say they’ve never been on my list of faves. (So how is this album, released in 1996, in my collection? A mystery still to be solved.)
When I think of Soundgarden, I think Chris Cornell. Distinctive voice. Black Hole Sun (YouTube video of the filmclip) is probably his most recognizable song, from an earlier album, Superunknown. He was also the lead singer of Audioslave. More heavy stuff.
The only tune I can honestly say rang any bells from Down On The Upside, is Track 7, “Burden in My Hand”, and by the time I’d made it to Track 12, “No Attention”, I was paying just that. Exfoliating with the face washer then playing wet t-shirt competitions with said white face washer became waaaaay more entertaining.
But after all the heavy rock (and the laughable lyrics of “Never Named” (e.g. “I had a dog … He was a mix … He loved me like a god … When I was just a kid.” Yawn.), I started paying attention for the last four songs. If my wishes (while doing convoluted aqua aerobic leg exercises to keep me sane) for a shorter album had come true, I’d have missed tracks 13-16 and, for me, they’re what made the album bearable. They were somewhat “lighter” (less aggressive in the delivery) and the switch in pace for “Switch Open” was a blessed relief. Then it was a smooth transition into “Overfloater” before ramping it up again for “An Unkind” and I slipped further into a warm-water stupor for “Bootcamp” and then, wow. The album just finished. Like that.
This ended up being Soundgarden’s last studio album for 16 years because they split, but reformed in 2010. Here’s the track listing for those who know the album and may not have listened to it for a while.
|1.||“Pretty Noose“||Chris Cornell||4:12|
|3.||“Zero Chance”||Ben Shepherd||4:18|
|6.||“Blow Up the Outside World“||Cornell||5:46|
|7.||“Burden in My Hand“||Cornell||4:50|
|10.||“Never the Machine Forever”||Kim Thayil||Thayil||3:36|
|11.||“Tighter & Tighter”||Cornell||6:06|
So, I can safely say there’s no rush for more than an hour of Soundgarden in one sitting again, but I’ll be happy to hear those final four songs when the player’s on shuffle.
What will future Bathtub Beats bring? Hopefully something I love, because there are plenty out there. Just need the blind scroll to stop on a good one next time. Puhlease.
Wishing you a wonderful day.