Though they started grinding out the Seattle sound years before flannel became a fashion statement, Soundgarden has ventured beyond Grungeville's city limits into the Superunknown.
The music is still loud, the lyrics are still heavy, and lead singer Chris Cornell still works his way into a primal frenzy. Soundgarden, whose other members include Kim Thayil (guitar), Ben Shepherd (bass) and Matt Cameron (drums), remains a band that you feel as much as you hear. They get your blood pumping in the same way a few-right hooks to a punching bag would.
But this time, for every full-throttle face-melter like "Spoonman," there's a slow, moody change of pace such as the elegant "Black Hole Sun." "Head Down" has a warm, dreamy feel along the lines of Meddle-era Pink Floyd. "My Wave" and "Let Me Drown" have enough smooth edges to be hit singles. This diverse disc is the best from a band that was already at the top of its form. (A&M)