Now, I was never the biggest Pearl Jam fan… I mean, yeah, I did my best low voice while singing along to “oh Iiiii, Ooooh, I’m still aliiiiive… WEEELL!”, or something. And yeah, I belted out my share of “don’t caaall meee, daughter” from Vs., but it wasn’t until Vitalogy came out in 1994, that I had an album by them that got stuck on ridiculous repeat. Back then I had the CD, and I remember it was the first album that replaced Weezer’s perfect debut in the car for at least a few months! Now, I’m not sure if that’s chronologically correct for release times, but it was the way it happened.
Anywhos, I’m not sure what it was back then, but listening now, after all these years and comparing it to Ten in my mind, I think it’s because it’s so much less polished and more rough & raw and, well, “grundgy” (but not in a Nirvana way). Which is probably not typical for a third album… normally, bands get “better” at producing pretty and watered-down albums, but I tend to think Pearl Jam found themselves shunning the popularity they saw with the Cobain-led grunge movement. That Vedder wanted to prove he wasn’t just masturbatory material for angsty teenage girls (and a few boys, I’m sure) with a powerful voice and a social conscience, that he and his crew was for realz, dawg (or something).
And then, I go and ruin it, just like that. Blink.
Whatever the reason(s), the results were brilliant, PJ takes us from scorching rockers (always wanted to type that), to sweet pop and some experimental noise tracks (ala Beatles “No. 9”), to create a perfectly balanced album, full, and complete, and (in my humble opine) their masterpiece.
I was really happy to find this one up in Montreal, for a just a few loonies to boot! In perfect condition with the full blown book insert! Yeah, pretty fucking sweet find, which I now (after two mornings listening to it) get to share with you. So, let’s hop to it, eh? Ready to get your post-grunge-anti-grunge-grunge Pearl Jam on?
1 Last Exit
2 Spin The Black Circle
3 Not For You
4 Tremor Christ
5 Nothing Man
1 Pry, To
4 Satan’s Bed
5 Better Man
6 Aye Davanita
8 Stupid Mop
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