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Album Review: TBA

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Lists: Heavy Blog Is Heavy's Best Of Selections, Part 3

Discovering Temple Of The Dog’s one-off album for the first time, one that actually pre-dated Pearl Jam’s multi-platinum debut Ten and Soundgarden’s similarly career-changing Badmotorfinger, was like digging through mud to uncover the perfect jewel. Unencumbered by the necessity for the twin extremes of discord and volume, this lovingly-crafted tribute to their friend, the late Mother Love Bone singer Andrew Wood, almost got lost amidst the hullabaloo of the early-Nineties grunge explosion. Featuring members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, their work is naturally blessed with the dual vocal talents of Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder, as soloists and in harmony – a combination that works in spite of their own very unique styles.

Very much driven by Cornell’s songwriting, their album is graced with a bitter-sweet melancholy and more hooks than a pirate convention. As such, it is evocative of his emotion-soaked solo work – driven, poppy, colourful. From the elegant, crystalline choruses of “Say Hello 2 Heaven” and “Four Walled World”, through the funky jams “Reach Down”, “Your Saviour” and “Pushin’ Forward Back”, to that Vedder sucker punch, “Hunger Strike”, their songs are imbued with passion, vivacity and precision. As a unique coming together of musical amigos all approaching their creative zenith, Temple Of The Dog may only qualify as a supergroup retrospectively, but it doesn’t make their inclusion in this list any less valid.

Recommended Track: Hunger Strike

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