Tag Archives: King Animal

In defense of Soundgarden’s “King Animal”… the album is getting mixed reviews…

Soundgarden’s 6th album, “King Animal” is getting mixed reviews by critics and fans online. A large number of people are disappointed in the new album. I’m reading other people’s thoughts about this album in facebook, and other forums and blogs. Why? This is a true Soundgarden record. This album defines the band’s sound. Out of their six albums of their career, I think this is the best one. I think the reasons for people being disappointed from what I’m reading are: 1) They expected this album to sound like “Louder Than Love” and “Badmotorfinger 2) They expected something heavy 3) They expected an album of radio friendly singles like “Badmotorfinger”, “The Superunkown”, and “Down On the Upside”.

Maybe this is why people don’t understand,”King Animal”, because it wasn’t meant to be a radio friendly album. On “King Animal”, you’re certainly not going to hear radio friendly like songs such as “Black Hole Sun”, “Spoon Man” or “Blow Up The Outside World”. In fact, I can’t see any of the songs on “King Animal” being considered as hit singles, and I love albums like that. I love albums that wants to stay away from being mainstream sounding.

On top of all this, this album has the “Louder Than Love/Badmotorfinger” classic sound all over “King Animal”. It has it’s signature sound from almost every album. There are a few songs that sound like that it was from “Down on the Upside” as well. While these are all brand new Soundgarden songs on the album, “King Animal”, it celebrates the sounds from the earlier albums. Of course, there are also some new and different styles thrown in there too. While this new album certainly is a grower, I liked it the first time I heard it. It is a pretty heavy album from what I’ve heard.

Soundgarden are maturing as songwriters. This is a unique and different approach to songwriting. The time signatures are odd, the tempos are different, the riffs are awesome, and Chris can still sing really good. He may not be able to sing like he did in 80’s but the man still has some great pipes. Him doing Audioslave and a few solo albums, did not take the sound away from Soundgarden at all. They still sound like Soundgarden, even after a 13 year break.

Anybody who badly judges the album, the first time hearing it and didn’t like it, probably haven’t gotten over their past. Well get over it. The new album has all of their old classic sound all over it, as I explained. Some people didn’t like it ’cause the songwriting is so different than the earlier albums. It’s a pretty tight and sick album. Loved it!

Kev

When iconic bands move forward from their original sound…

Soundgarden, is streaming their new album, “King Animal”, in it’s entirety on Itunes today, and I gave it a listen. I’ll give my thoughts on the album later on in this post, but first, there’s a topic I need to get off my chest. Whenever an iconic metal or rock band puts out a new album, everyone expects them to go back to their original sound that made them for who they were. For example, everyone wants Metallica to go back to speed metal. Everyone wants Pearl Jam to make another amazing album like, “Ten” again. Everyone wants the Smashing Pumpkins to sound like, “Siamese Dream” again. Everyone wants U2 to go back to their “Joshua Tree/Unforgettable Fire” days. When those bands release new albums, everyone’s disappointed ’cause they don’t have their old school style anymore.

The thing that people don’t understand about bands, is that none of them like to look back at their songwriting. It’s about moving forward and creating new art. Playing from the heart and playing with feeling. I’m sure these guys want to go back to their old sound, but with songwriting, they can’t help it, ya know? They just play whatever comes out of them. Play whatever is in their heads.

Back to Soundgarden, I don’t think they’ll make a “Badmotorfinger” sounding album ever again. While that is an incredible album, the band quickly changed sounds and styles after that. Bands want to sound different every album they do. That’s the way songwriting works. Bands and songwriters can’t take ideas from other people. It’s not about making the music of how other people want it to be. It’s about making the music that pleases the band.

“King Animal” is getting mixed reviews. After a long awaited Soundgarden return, everyone was getting excited. Expecting the new Soundgarden record to sound old school, and of course, it wasn’t going to be. I think the new Soundgarden album, “King Animal” is pretty damn good. Definitely unique and different. There are some pretty odd time signatures and different song structures. Soundgarden are maturing as songwriters. The vocal harmonies and Chris’s singing is just mind blowing. There are plenty of great guitar riffs on it. It’s not the best Soundgarden record, but it is definitely better than, “Down On the Upside”.

People really need to get over a band’s past, already. Just appreciate ’em, and stop being negative pricks over music, all the time. People don’t understand that bands love to experiment with different sounds. That’s what Neil Young have always done. Neil keeps changing all the time, and you don’t see people complaining to Neil about going back to his old school sound. Neil got away with it.

Musicians just write what they want. End of story.

Kev