Of note among albums released today are two look backs into the past: one the not too distant past (the 1990s) and the other the recent past (just last year). The first in the not too distant past is Soundgarden, who releases its first album in 16 years with King Animal, and I’m giving it a listen as I write this. The second is The Weeknd, who rereleases all three of his 2011 albums, House of Balloons, Thursdays and Echoes of Silence, with three new songs, under the simply-named Trilogy.
With Soundgarden, Soundgarden are one of my favorite hard rock bands ever. Even before 1994’s breakout Superunknown (“Black Hole Sun” was the big hit here), they already were on my radar with their three previous albums, Ultramega OK, Louder Than Love and my personal favorite Badmotorfinger. Superunknown, though, took the band to an entire new level, mainly bringing their distinctive sound of grunge to the world. They only had one more album, Down on the Upside, before disbanding…and this album picks up where they left off: still rocking from the start with “Been Gone Away Too Long.” I’m up to the sixth track on the album and I haven’t heard a weak track yet. I’m looking forward to the next seven (plus three demos of three songs already on the album).
I discovered The Weeknd (the stage name of Abel Tesafye) through Pitchfork last year and picked up all three of his albums, House of Balloons, Thursdays and Echoes of Silence, from his website for free at that time. I don’t know how to describe them, so I’ll let you read what Pitchfork’s Ian Cohen wrote about it in today’s review of the rerelease of all three albums. Yes, I don’t know if I can defend his “nasty” lyrics, but I can defend his nasty sound, because it’s, well, just pure perfection to me.
I’ll leave you with a sample of The Weekend here to let you see and hear what I mean:
I’ll be featuring more of both The Weeknd and Soundgarden’s works on “What I’m listening to” later today/tonight on my other blog Still Unfinished.