Yes, the Seattle grunge-metal band that took unvarnished morbidity to the top of the charts with 1992’s Dirt — an album that was essentially an extended paean to drug addiction — is back, minus electricity. Dressing up their sludgy dirges in shimmery acoustic finery does little to counteract the prevailing mood of Unplugged‘s junked-out despondency in songs like ”Down in a Hole” and ”Rooster.” One emerges from a listening session with an unclean feeling. The last words on the album are singer-guitarist Layne Staley telling the audience, ”I wish I could hug you all.” Buddy, keep your hands to yourself. C
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