Soundgarden, ‘Been Away Too Long’ – Song Review

2012-12-31

Review by Anne Erickson

Soundgarden’s new song, ‘Been Away Too Long,’ is packed with energy, grungy riffing

One of the biggest songs of the year in the rock world, no doubt, is Soundgarden’s “Been Away Too Long,” a song that marks the first original music from the band since 1996’s “Down on the Upside.” From the first winding riff to the last crackle in Chris Cornell’s voice, Soundgarden’s “Been Away Too Long” is classic Soundgarden, recalling the band’s ‘90s grunge rock roots but still sounding contemporary enough to fit on the radio dials today.

“Been Away Too Long” is certainly one of Soundgarden’s heavier songs. Following their new, somewhat mellow track “Live to Rise,” which the band released earlier this year, “Been Away Too Long” shows that Soundgarden can still rock, with fast-paced, meaty guitar riffing and frantic, catchy drum beats.

Following a brisk, upbeat verse, the chorus quickly kicks in with Cornell crooning, “Going straight / I only ever really wanted a break / I’ve been away for too long /No I never really wanted to stay / I’ve been away for too long / I’ve been away for too long / I’ve been away for too long!” Musically, the chorus offers an uber-psychedelic aura that’s retro and simply fun.

One of the highlights of the song is the bridge, which offers trippy, experimental guitars and Cornell’s longing, lingering vocals: Keyholes, trough key holes / Where those I am still hiding / Everyone inside/ Tank girls and fly guns and silver boots on my way home.”

With the energy and creativity that’s all throughout “Been Away Too Long,” it’s obvious Soundgarden are as inspired as ever and haven’t lost their vision. The song appears on the band’s current full-length, “King Animal.”




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