Ten – PEARL JAM – 1991

Yes, here we have it, the smash hit of 1991, the year of smash hits, the year that changed rock. While Nirvana’s Nevermind changed a cultural landscape, this here album, I would say, has a more humble aim, that is to simply rock’n’roll. The Pearl Jam sound integrates the ringing guitar tones and solos of classic rock with the ‘grunginess’ and beautiful ugliness of 1991. We have the standard sing-a-long stadium anthems in the form of Alive and Why Go and we have the sad ballads like Black and then we have the dirty mean songs with their incisive riffs like Even Flow, Deep. And the best part is that they all are great. Greater. Greatest that PJ ever got, I might as well state that at the outset. They never got this consistent and this yummy again.

The Band

The Band

I will be damned but all the songs, and I really mean ALL the songs stick out and begged to be rewound again and again. And of course it’s a lot to do with Eddie Vedder. He takes an average riff, and aaaaaaaaaaaaarghhhh…..I just love his vocals on this one. He’s not trying to sound like anything, not trying to sound angry, frustrated, depressed or purposely trying to “rock”. He does all that without trying…..and therein lies the greatness.

The absolute, goddamn bottomline is that there are very few albums of the modern era that are as consistent and as “rocking” so to speak, as this baby here. Anyways, I am yet to come across a modern rock era album that can claim to be this consistent and this good. An essential addition to your collection and the best Pearl Jam album ever. No other album in their catalogue comes close, except for perhaps, just maybe, Vitalogy. But that comes later…


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