For the first time in 16 years, just 2 years after their reunion, Soundgarden releases a studio album: King Animal.
As would be expected there was much hype and anticipation leading up to the release of the album, and I think it lives up to it. While at first there were some aspects of the album I wasn’t crazy about, after having heard the full album I greatly enjoy it.
They managed to make music that is so original that it sounds much different than anything you will have heard, while still maintaining the Soundgarden sound. If you have ever listened to the album in entirety you will understand what I mean.
The songs manage to stand well on their own but also join together as a very cohesive album with a very deliberate flow through the drive, sound, and lyrics. And once again in typical Soundgarden fashion, the best songs will likely not make it to the radio while the most polished songs will.
While there are many solid songs throughout the strongest part of the album is most definitely the middle (Bones of Birds, Taree, Attrition, and Black Saturday). These songs are not only arguably the best on the album, but they drive the album to it’s emotional peak and transition to the climax and end of the song. This is where the cohesion of the album begins to come together and is fully realized.
Overall King Animal is a very good album, a great album in some regards, but it lacks the luster that was possessed in Superunknown. That being said it is still worth a listen (or several, my play count is currently at 30). I give it a B.