Featuring members of Soundgarden and what would soon become Pearl Jam, Temple of the Dog's lone eponymous album might never have reached a wide audience if not for Pearl Jam's breakout success a year later. In turn, by providing the first glimpse of Chris Cornell's more straightforward, classic rock-influenced side, Temple of the Dog helped set the stage for Soundgarden's mainstream breakthrough with Superunknown. Nearly every founding member of Pearl Jam appears on Temple of the Dog (including the then-unknown Eddie Vedder), so perhaps it isn't surprising that the record sounds like a bridge between Mother Love Bone's theatrical '70s-rock updates and Pearl Jam's hard-rocking seriousness. What is surprising, though, is that Cornell is the dominant composer, writing the music on seven of the ten tracks (and lyrics on all). Keeping in mind that Soundgarden's previous album was the overblown metallic miasma of Louder Than Love, the accessibly warm, relatively clean sound of Temple of the Dog is somewhat shocking, and its mellower moments are minor revelations in terms of Cornell's songwriting abilities. It isn't just the band, either -- he displays more emotional range than ever before, and his melodies and song structures are (for the most part) pure, vintage hard rock. In fact, it's almost as though he's trying to write in the style of Mother Love Bone -- which makes sense, since Temple of the Dog was a tribute to that band's late singer Andrew Wood. Not every song here is directly connected to Wood; once several specific elegies were recorded, additional material grew quickly out of the group's natural chemistry. As a result, there's a very loose, jam-oriented feel to much of the album, and while it definitely meanders at times, the result is a more immediate emotional impact. The album's strength is its mournful, elegiac ballads, but thanks to the band's spontaneous creative energy and appropriately warm sound, it's permeated by a definite, life-affirming aura. That may seem like a paradox, but consider the adage that funerals are more for the living than the dead; Temple of the Dog shows Wood's associates working through their grief and finding the strength to move on.
Dave Matthews Band's Under The Table and Dream
Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
On their major-label debut, Under the Table and Dreaming, the Dave Matthews Band is helped by the lean production of Steve Lillywhite, who manages to rein in the group's tendency to meander. The result is a set of eclectic pop/rock that is accentuated by bursts of instrumental virtuosity instead of being ruled by it. That also means that the Dave Matthews Band is capable of turning out pop songs, and as the hit single "What Would You Say" and "Ants Marching" illustrate, they have a flair for catchy hooks.
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Yes, I was, uh... I was thinking about ordering the tape, the videotape... about the college girls and the... the wild... the wildness. They're going wild or something? Somebody told me... about going wild.
Well, Im finding out quickly that I don't agree with the majority of the voters on these polls. I love DMB, well, early DMB. Their early stuff is some of my favorite music to listen to. Im really not getting the for them here, I understand the dislike for their recent stuff, I don't care for it much either, but they are an extremely talented band and Dave is a great songwriter. This album has some of their greatest songs. How do you guys think they are the worst band on the planet? even worse than Yanni? Is it just because they are popular? And Dave isn't talented? Go listen to his Acoustic CD with Tim Reynolds, its amazing
Edit: Yeah, he's talented along with the rest of the band, they are one of the most, if not THE most talented bands in this competition
"Let's Keep The Friendly Confines Friendly" - Ernie Banks
Temple of the Dog easily. This album was just amazing. It never gets old and often times get's better. The only song on this CD that I don't like a whole lot is Hunger Strike. Sad part is a lot of times that's the only one anyone knows.
I was all set to vote for Temple of the Dog, then I saw all the anti-DMB sentiments on here. So, voting DMB, who are one of the best bands in this whole competition, even though this particular CD is matched up against a Temple juggernaut.