"Been Away Too Long" is heavier than "Live to Rise," Soundgarden's contribution to the soundtrack for The Avengers that won't be appearing on King Animal. Recently, Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell confessed that "Been Away Too Long" was his attempt to come to grips with the fact that his band had been out of the public eye for so long. That information adds a sense of urgency and excitement to the experience of listening to the song, but, to my ears, it doesn't keep "Been Away Too Long" from sounding a bit sluggish. The big, roaring guitars are there, but the uptempo track rumbles more than it explodes, never quite achieving liftoff. The song feels like Soundgarden's attempt to shake off the rust, but they're not quite yet ready to reassert their position as one of rock's finest outfits.
But what do you think? Take a listen to "Been Away Too Long" and vote in my poll.
Photo courtesy Total Assault.