CHRIS CORNELL ON SOUNDGARDEN’S KING ANIMAL: “HALELUJAH! WE FINALLY DID IT RIGHT!”

Chris Cornell recently told the LA Times, “The other day, we were rehearsing some of the new songs and we put the album on,” Cornell said. “And for the first time in my life, I swear, I was shocked: ‘Oh, that sounds exactly the way we sound right now.’ Hallelujah! We finally did it right.”

Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament commented on seeing Soundgarden rehearse at Pearl Jam’s studios, “They’re always smiling and seem excited to be around each other.”

  • versus

    I have tickets for 2 of their upcoming shows, and I’m hoping the songs translate better in person. I don’t want to sound negative because I’ve been a SG fan for quite some time, but I just can’t seem to connect to this album. If their performance on TV the other night was any indicator, I’m probably going to be disappointed because the songs just aren’t that strong. Let’s hope I’m wrong!

  • jhrnndz81

    @versus if you have been a fan of soundgarden for years and are all grown up now you react differently to the music! I’m sure the SG cd needs time to grow on you! I’ve always loved SG and AS but now that I’m in my thirties I feel the same way I don’t connect with the music

  • johnatan

    versus i have the same feeling for the album.. seems they rushed to some degree. it feels like the songs are too tightly packed-in and need more space to breath, the “distorted – psychedelic – punk – flow” sound just isn’t quite there.

    and cornell’s vocals are really straightforward, kinda boring and poptuneish.

    nevertheless there are some good songs that will grow on you.

    just check out the live performance on letterman.. those couple of songs from the new album sound better live and blend in very well with the “old” stuff.

  • Mr. Spiderman

    No, that bitch ain’t a part of me.

  • Markus

    Versus, I saw them live in Dortmund this month, and the new songs really fit well into their catalouge. You will notice this live – and wow the crowd enjoyed Been Away Too Long as hell!! Of course I enjoyed the old songs more than the new ones – but this was just because I haven known them for years and could sing along to them 😉

  • versus

    Phew, I’m glad I’m not the only one who seems to have “outgrown” SG a bit. I’m still figuring out if I just don’t connect to the music anymore, or if the new songs just aren’t that good. I’m leaning toward the latter, but only time will tell. I keep listening to King Animal in the hopes that it “clicks” eventually.

  • mandingo

    I must disagree , I had gotten pretty bored of soundgardens old stuff and had stopped listening to them for a while but i am loving king animal ! I grew up with soundgardens music but i feel the new album may even be their best work ( excluding superunknown ) I think they are heading in a positive direction musically and cant wait for more records !

  • disconnect

    IMHO, SG did do it right with Animal King; it is phenomenal; I love it and it stands with any other SG album.

    Others may not like it, but that’s their problem. I got me some new SG that kicks total ass.

  • Jake Brown

    King Animal is my #1 album of the year. I love it front to back. There’s nothing negative I can say about. Frankly, I’m surprised people aren’t connecting to it.

  • Inmytree

    I think that people not connecting with King Animal is more about them growing past Soundgarden rather than the song quality. King Animal is brilliant, if there’s a criticism its that it sounds too much like Soundgarden and doesn’t push the band beyond its boundaries enough.

  • 10

    Yeah, KA still sounds like Soundgarden, but the songs just aren’t quite as good. If you think it stands with the rest of their work, you’re in denial. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not awful and they’re not far away. I expect an improvement by the next album, which is typical of when bands reunite. The first album is usually ‘play-it-safe, get our feet wet again’ and things improve from there.

  • Pingfah

    I think it does still sound like Soundgarden, but it just seems more measured, thoughtful and crafted than I am used to, which I think is an expected trajectory considering their old albums became much more obviously melodic and produced as they went through their career.

    I reckon all the songs are very good, some of them are amongst the best they have written. Black Saturday is incredible, those notes just shouldn’t go together, but they work. How dischordant it is, is more obvious on the demo version, crazily clever stuff.

  • http://soundcloud.com/nowhere-official Mark

    What I believe he means is: Every song on King Animal translates live pretty much exactly how it was recorded on the album. I don’t think he means material wise King Animal is the most “right” album they ever wrote.

    And it is true… aside from ‘Rowing,’ every song on King Animal translates extremely well live. It is the first album they have written where every song has been played live… at least from what we know on Set List Wiki.

  • jcon

    @Mark
    They’ve played all of Superunknown also

  • Spoonman

    best album ever. you people are so critical. the band obviously thinks its pretty damn good if they would bother adding it to the SG legacy and their opinion is the only one i care about and i think a few true fans would be on the same page

  • http://soundcloud.com/nowhere-official Mark

    jcon, You’re correct. My mistake! Would edit the comment but I don’t think it’s possible…

  • cosmicatomic

    MY ONE COMPLAINT: Halfway There demo is sooooo much better than the studio version.

    I thought the production from the other demos was awesome (i.e. By Crooked Steps, love what they did with it).

  • Britney Spears

    The album wasn’t that good. Superunkown and Badmotorfinger blow this shit away.

  • Jack Irons

    Didn’t like the album much at first but now, I LOVE it!
    You’re right about Halfway There (demo), it’s AWESOME!

    It’s great to hear Matt in a band where the lead singer doesn’t sound like a dog in heat, smoking a cigarette…
    EV is a clown!!!

  • fsh

    Favorite album over the past 5 years. I think they nailed it.

  • Dave

    KING ANIMAL IS BADASS!!!!

    I just saw them at IRVING PLAZA NY…The new songs sounded amazing live….So far Blood on the Valley floor has been played in NY…it was amazing to hear it live for the first time, along with 8 other new ones…..Soundgarden has brought rock music back from the dead…

    KING ANIMAL!
    KNIGHTS….

  • SuperSG

    A) Rowing sounds AMAZING live. You people just cant handle the fact that Chris needs a backing track to make the song work.
    B) I love how much SpooooonMaaaan loves King Animal.

  • Britney Spears

    You Rowing is better than this song???:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ6jEuBC4iE&feature=g-hist

  • Fred Bacon

    I was hoping for a dance track on King Animal, something like a Call Me Maybe or Boyfriend, but otherwise, this album is 100% legit.

  • 10

    Rowing still makes me cringe EVERY time I hear it, and it has nothing to do with the pre-recorded vocals live. The music is sweet, the melody’s solid, but the lyrics are piss. Ruins what could have been a standout track.

  • Spoonman

    dude the lyrics of rowing are perfect. its like what music should be, relates to those of us who have to bust our asses to keep going. unlike rap that just talks about money and booty haha i like a song that highlights having to bust your ass to survive

  • Exactly

    10 is exactly right. It’s like one of those college analogy tests. Rowing : Breathing :: Living : Life. Or whatever. That song, with better lyrics and a huge killer riff part at the end would’ve ruled. The melody and the music is fine. I even like the repeated chorus.

  • http://nemsworld.com Christine

    My favorite tracks so far are “Blood on the Valley Floor” and “Black Saturday”.

    The Overall feel of the LP to me is a bit like listening to SG with periodic splashes of Led Zep, Sabbath throughout, and a tiny teeny PJ sound (on the track Attrition and Halfway There).

  • http://soundcloud.com/nowhere-official Mark

    SuperSG: I can “handle” and understand the backing track, but it’s something people don’t like to see live. It makes you wonder what else is pre-recorded, or what else they can use that’s pre-recorded. Listen, I’ve seen Soundgarden too many times since the reunion and I understand that their other vocals aren’t pre-recorded… just with all the new technologies nowadays and how easy it is to use auto-tune and pitch correction live, nobody wants to see pre-recorded vocals at a Soundgarden show. They are above that and I truly hope they find a better method for this song.

    There’s little to no reason why Matt Cameron can’t do the backing vocals on ‘Rowing’ live. He’s barely drumming during the parts where the backing vocals occur as it is. Will it sound nearly as good? No, because there’s like 10 Cornell vocals layered into the backing track. But it would make for a much better performance in my eyes. I just don’t want to see anything pre-recorded at a Soundgarden show, with the exception of the intro to ‘Searching’.

  • John

    Overrated album. Very few people are going to think this stands up to Superunknown or DOTU in a few years.

  • trkbk8

    Next to no risks on this album. A couple of classic sounding songs (Eyelid’s Mouth, By Crooked Steps) and then some fluffy pieces (Taree, A Thousand Days Before, Halfway There). That was it. Why they ever won’t do a heavy sounding song again like Never The Machine Forever or Slaves and Bulldozers is beyond me. Those were the ‘metal years’. Yes even through Upside.

    Kim says he’s still angry and wants to make noise. He could have pushed from more heaviness on Down on the Upside. Its the whole reason why An Unkind and No Attention is mixed with utter dreck like Zero Chance, Dusty, Boot Camp, and Overfloater.

  • mike

    As an album the songs are all good but its almost like they set out fill it with fast and ready singles. I wish there was more space in the songs for break out experimentation parts and guitar and lead parts. I loved the SG of old that were bolder in experimenting in the tracks with other sounds e.g. Saxophone solo on Rooms a Thousand Years Wide, Spoons on Spoon man etc and this album doesn’t create the space required for those moments.

    If you listen to it through its a reoccurring pattern that in each song its pretty much CC vocals full on all the way through. Just a little space in amongst New State Actor, Blood on Valley Floor, Eyelid Mouth etc for Kim to break out into a solo or experimental jam part would far improve the songs from an album longevity point of view. There are a couple of teaser moments with Kim’s lead where you think the solo is coming and Chris comes in or the song ends…shame

    But hey balanced up against a lot of the generic crap we get these days from new wave rock bands or tired boring albums from Poo Fighters and Muse etc then King Album is really a good album