“Searching with My Good Eye Closed” by Soundgarden
It’s pretty normal for us, especially when analyzing songs by late-20th century hard rockers, to have to go out on limbs in the name of trying to analyze these track’s meanings. And “Searching with My Good Eye Closed” is definitely one such case, in a way.
And in conducting this analysis, we would argue that the most revealing parts of the song, besides its title, would be the intro. For here it is revealed that the vocalist is under the influence of “the devil”, if you will. And in connecting that concept to the title, we are made privy to the notion that this current ‘search’ the vocalist is on, he is conducting ‘with his good eye closed’.
And what we are arguing is that he is not referring to “good” in the functioning sense of the word. What that part of the titular metaphor rather means, utilizing another one if we may, is that he has turned off his moral compass.
And what he is actually “looking for”, according to the first verse, is “the paradigm” in the name of “pass(ing) it off”. Paradigm is yet another term that can be interpreted in a number of different ways.
But all of this generally connotes that the narrator is seeking out the ideal path in life, so that he can likewise impart it onto others, i.e. the addressee. And in the process, he is acknowledging that external forces, which read like the powers that be, have proven detrimental to his overall wellbeing since birth.
Or put otherwise, the vocalist feels as if he was born into a world of no hope.
And if you’re confused trying to put all of these different assertions, ideas, theories and ideologies together don’t worry, you’re not alone. For as we have also stated in the past, rock music, especially once again circa the 1990s, was such that sound and sentiment definitely took precedence over narratives actually making sense.
In other words, in terms of pleasing their fans, it doesn’t appear to be so much what vocalists like Chris Cornell said but rather how he said it. But still, sometimes you have to give it these analyses the ol’ college try.
And in this case, we feel that the singer has set off on a quest akin to a spiritual journey. But he has done so, perhaps being influenced by the hypocrisy of the society in which he lives, being led by his ‘bad’ as opposed to his “good eye”.
Facts about “Searching with My Good Eye Closed”
This track is from Soundgarden’s third album, “Badmotorfinger”. The release date of the song, being put forth by A&M Records, was on 8 October 1991. And it was written by Chris Cornell (1964-2017), the former frontman of the band who is responsible for authoring many of their classic tunes.
Meanwhile the entirety of Soundgarden is credited, as a singular entity, with co-producing this track. And at that time, in addition to Chris Cornell, the group consisted of guitarist Kim Thayil, bassist Ben Shepherd and drummer Matt Cameron.
Soundgarden covered this song on a couple of occasions with Brandi Carlisle serving as the lead vocalist in place of Chris Cornell.