Thematically, the album is much darker than the band's multi-platinum debut. "2 X 4" is about Hoon's experience at a drug detox, the country-tinged "Skinned" is about serial killer Ed Gein, "Car Seat (God's Presents)" is about Susan Smith who killed her children by driving her car into a lake in Union, SC, and "St. Andrew's Fall" is about suicide by jumping from a 20-story building. When asked about "Mouthful of Cavities" the band's guitarist, Rogers Stevens, was quoted as saying, "It's probably about the convoluted nooks and crannies of Shannon's brain." It featured haunting harmonies between Shannon Hoon and female vocalist Jena Kraus. Alternatively, "New Life" is about the birth of Hoon's daughter Nico Blue, "Wilt" is about having bad breath, although in Captain Beefheart-esque lyrics, "Galaxie" is about Hoon's experience with his car, a 1964 Ford Galaxie, and "Lemonade" is a tongue-in-cheek song about a bar brawl.
In 1995, Soup was ranked number 13 in Kerrang! magazine's "Albums Of The Year" list, above releases by the likes of Alice in Chains, Faith No More, Green Day, Ozzy Osbourne, and AC/DC. In 2005, Soup was ranked number 357 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time. In the 2009 book, A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon, drummer Glen Graham is quoted as saying, "I talked to a guy from Spain yesterday [from Popular 1 Magazine], and he was saying, "Soup is the top album of the ‘90s according to our readers.' It was like, 'What?'"