Album Review: Soundgarden “Down On The Upside” Anniversary LP

“Down On The Upside” 35th Anniversary Vinyl


AM Records

Producer: Soundgarden

Co-Producer: Adam Kasper

2 LP’s

Tracks: 16

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Soundgarden’s Platinum selling 1996 release “Down On The Upside” is the latest album from the bands catalog to be included in the Seattle natives 35 year Anniversary Collection. The third in a series of vinyl releases commemorating the bands career the 16 track, 2 LP set is being pressed on limited edition 180 gram colored vinyl and comes packaged in a full color, dual gatefold sleeve complete with album liner notes.

Though this is not the first time “Down On The Upside” has appeared on vinyl it is certainly the brightest. Right away listeners will notice the heavy weight, 180 gram, limited edition Orange and Purple marble pressings which play host to some of Sound Garden’s biggest hits of the mid 90’s. Listeners will obviously want to check out “Pretty Noose”, “Blow Up The Outside World” and “Burden In My Hand” but I also would recommend “Rhinosaur” and “Dusty” as well. Visually the release pulls out all the stops as the orange and purple vinyl feature subtle marble swirls which look really cool when spinning on your turntable. The gatefold packaging is also nicely done and is printed on heavy weight card stock fitting of a special release.

Though the album is nice to look at I found it to be pretty lax in the listening dept. The sound quality was ok but it was certainly dated and could have benefited from a remix and re-master. In 1997 the band released a greatest hits compilation including the songs “Karaoke” and “Bleed Together” which we outtakes from the “Down On The Upside” sessions however, neither of those songs were included here making for a big miss in my book. The last disappointment was the fact that no digital download codes were included thus making it slightly difficult to listen on the go. If you purchased a copy of this record upon its initial release then I say stick with that and skip over this re-release but, if this is an album that has been on your list to pick up now is a great time while it is available in a limited edition release.       

Track Listing:

1.) Pretty Noose

2.) Rhinosaur

3.) Zero Chance

4.) Dusty

5.) Ty Cobb

6.) Blow Up The Outside World

7.) Burden In My Hand

8.) Never Named

9.) Applebite

10.) Never The Machine Forever

11.) Tighter and Tighter

12.) No Attention

13.) Switch Opens

14.) Overfloater

15.) An Unkind

16.) Boot Camp

3D Blu-ray Review “Upside Down”

Actors: Kirsten Dunst, Jim Sturgess, Timothy Spall
Directors: Juan Solanas
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Millennium Entertainment
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Run Time: 103 minutes

Film: 4.5 out of 5 stars
3D: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I am sucker for anything sci-fi and set in an alternate or futuristic reality.  When I read the premise for “Upside Down”, I was instantly hooked.  I thought it was  extremely originally, clever and very thought provoking.  Unfortunately, these kinds of films are not very marketable to the mass. As always Millennium Entertainment has stood up and given this film a proper release.  I have to admit, I was hoping it was going to be good but I thought it was actually pretty amazing. Definitely one of the most visually amazing films I have seen this year! I found myself very engaged with the film, its characters and got swept into the upside down world that was created within the film.  Highly recommend seeing this, especially in 3D!

Our leads, Kirsten Dunst and Jim Sturgess, give great performances, especially Sturgess who really let’s it all out (like usual) for this role. He has been on my radar since “Across the Universe” and has consistently impressed me especially last year with “Cloud Atlas”. The two leads have great chemistry between each other. Since the film is about their forbidden romance, the two of them makes it feel very believable and has your routing for their success. Timothy Spall, who is best known for his role of Peter Pettigrew in “Harry Potter” series is also equally awesome as well in his supporting yet important role..

“Upside Down” talks place in an alternate universe where two intertwined worlds not only exist but also have opposite gravities. Adam (Sturgess), who comes from the lower (class) end of the world, finds the girl of his dreams, Eden, but she is upside down from him. Get it Adam and Eve? After an event happens and they lose touch for 10 years, Adam tries to find a way to win her back even if she is practically in a different world.  The question is posed to our two lovers… “what if love was stronger than gravity?”

Millennium Entertainment  is releasing this film in a 3D + 2D Blu-ray & DVD combo.  I am psyched to see them give this film a 3D Blu-ray release since it is a very visual film and it really lends a lot to the extra dimension. In fact this wasn’t even released theatrical in 3D, which I believe was big mistake. There is a lot of great extras depth added to this film. When I was watching this film I actually believed that I was in this world.  When the world’s turned upside down, I felt like I should be turning my head around. I also couldn’t help but relating back to “Oz The Great and Powerful” which cost $150 million more than this film and looked completely fake as shit.  These visuals were absolutely amazing and deserve the attention.

In terms of quality “Upside Down” also looks great in 2D but just misses the opportunity for the great added depth and visual effect. The 1080p transfers are very impressive.  The 3D transfer tends to feel a little darker but I feel that it only added to the blue-hued futurstic world. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track is nothing short of epic. I kept thinking to myself when I was watching this film, “who the hell scored this?”, since the scores feels so big. Kudos to Benoît Charest, who also composed “The Triplets of Belleville”. His score is well represented on this Blu-ray.

The special features are quite impressive like the film.  They are also all available in 3D, which is not necessary for their context but still neat.  “The Making Of” is a great look into the production, which is very well done and a must watch if you liked the film. There are a few short Deleted Scenes included and an storyboarded alternate opening, called “History of the World”. Sticking with storyboards, there are about two dozen conceptual drawings including as well as storyboard  from the film’s finale and a few others. Since the film is very visual there are also a new previz shots for the Sage Mountain sequence, the Office and lastly the Final Shot – all with commentary from Juan Solanas takes viewers throughout he process of making a shot.


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