My Sunday Song – “Loud Love” – Soundgarden

For My Sunday Song #334, we are going to walk through the song “Loud Love” by Soundgarden. The song is off their 1989 album ‘Louder Than Love’. They hadn’t broke yet here in the states so the song didn’t chart although the album went to #108 on the US Billboard 200 album chart. Now, in the UK the song did chart and reached #87. Not great, but it charted. Fun fact, it is believed that this song was supposed to be on the Wayne’s World soundtrack as it is playing in the background when Wayne meets Casandra. Early listings of the songs had it on their, but it was left off.

The song was written by Chris Cornell. I am not sure what they intended the song to be about, but to me when I look at the lyrics it feels like it is about someone pushing another person to their limits to get them to fight back, to show some emotion and not sit there and take it. They are going to keep at them until the pop and the line “I’ll hammer you until you fight” is a perfect example of that thought. There aren’t a ton of lyrics so no real proof, but that is my gut.

Musically, that guitar piece at the beginning is insane. It is a “feedback melody” is how I’ve seen it described. It is Kim Thayil standing in front of an amp, hitting a note until he gets feedback and then running his fingers up and down the fret. It is almost like the note is breathing. Really cool and what draws me to the song. Chris Cornell really screams out the chorus and lets out a scream towards the end that is pretty killer. Lyrically, there is not a lot to the song, but musically it wraps around those lyrics and drags it out to almost 5 minutes of heavy and thunderous music that paints the scene with a dark brush that feels a little disturbing and I love it.

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My Sunday Song – “Burden in My Hand” by Soundgarden

Happy New Year and let us kick it off with a new 10 song set of My Sunday Songs. And with #331, we are kicking off with the first of 10 songs that will feature Chris Cornell, First up is the Soundgarden song “Burden in My Hand” off their 1996 album ‘Down on the Upside’. It was written by Chris and was released as the second single September 18, 1996. It did really well spending five weeks at #1 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Chart.

The song is rather dark as it is about a guy that loses it and kills his wife. He admits it in the song. He is out in the desert where he buried her and his trying to deal with the grief and the guilt and coming to grips with what has happened. The lines “It’s just a burden in my hand / It’s just an anchor on my heart” reflects the guilt he is feeling. Kim Thayil of the band has called the song a modern “Hey Joe”. I can see that. Now, the song doesn’t say what happens to him or if he ever deals with his grief, but he is sitting there drowning his sorrows with alcohol and hopefully he drinks himself to death for what he has done

I love how the song starts out with Chris’ vocal going directly in to the first verse. The guitar comes in and it plays the song in C tuning (I read that on wiki as otherwise I’d have no idea). That opening verse with just the guitar, his voice and then the bass is perfect. The drums not coming in to until the bridge really adds a punch to the bridge. Then the full band is in for the second verse. I love the dark tone coming from the music as it matches the darkness and gloom of the situation. Chris vocals aren’t judgmental to the character, it is almost indifferent to what he has done, yet you feel a little empathy through his vocals. It is really interesting approach and it works.

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