Pearl Jam

Reviewed by: Andrew Unterberger
Reviewed on: 2004-11-18

Posted 11/18/2004 - 09:02:46 AM by JoshLove:
 Thank you Andrew. Just thank you. I know this sounds pretentious as hell, but I made a vow with myself back in '95 or so, that no matter how much of a hipster (and now a "popist" I guess) I became, I would faithfully listen to every new album Pearl Jam put out. Maybe it's just stubbornness on my part, but I LOVED Pearl Jam from '91 til about '96 or so - hell, I'll admit I loved them even more than Nirvana, they were my FAVORITE band and there's no sense trying to act otherwise, and I guess I'm just not willing to even entertain the possibility that I may have been WRONG about something I felt so strongly, about a band who was probably more responsible, for better or worse, for turning me into a music LOVER than any other. I mean, I think it's super that all my generational comrades in music crit grew up on Pavement or My Blood Valentine or Uncle Tupelo, but I was raised on meat-and-potatoes, arena-ready, insta-classic rock, and I still think I turned out OK. I predict someday a Chuck Eddy-like figure will emerge to defend the much-maligned genre of grunge-rock much as Chuck did with pop-metal (though it won't be Chuck himself of course cos he hates the stuff). Maybe me, though, or maybe you, Andrew. Also, this: "perfect two-disc encapsulation of a band that had no entirely great albums," is 100% OTM - I always thought that if you could cull the best moments of even any two PJ albums you'd have a classic, but they never really produced a start-to-finish masterpiece, which is kind of a shame, but almost a wonderful testament in a weird way to their artistic restlessness and charming (yeah I said charming) self-indulgence - no Is This It or OK Computer for them, PJ would gladly sacrifice canonization if it meant they couldn't do accordian songs about Bugs or ridiculous studio experiments like "Foxymophandle Mama (That's Me)"
Posted 11/18/2004 - 10:09:07 AM by Cletus:
 In recent years I've been assiduously expanding my musical horizons, but my God, did I love this band growing up. Great job, Andrew. And I'm uncomfortable blaming the likes of Creed on Eddie and the boys. Sure, Pearl Jam provided the musical template that "post-grunge" drove into the ground, but I'm quite confident that no matter what the musical style, someone like Scott Stapp would have managed to suck horribly.
Posted 11/18/2004 - 03:35:49 PM by IanMathers:
 (I was raised on "Shiny Happy People"-era REM, Crowded House, 54 40, Neil Young, Van Morrison and Elvis Costello, personally, didn't get to the Stockton Slackers or MBV until much later)
Posted 11/23/2004 - 08:54:07 AM by Helluo:
 I've never quite understood why people have such an aversion to 'No Code.' To me, it was the perfect PJ album; it had the louder songs, the ones that go on too long, the mellow variety, and the catchier-than-hell melody you find yourself whistling days later. Some told me when it first came out it was 'too experimental,' I shrugged and asked "do you want them to keep playing the same three songs over and over?" Anywho, of course 'Ten' is the seminal album, but to me whether you like it or not - 'No Code' is what separates music lovers from PJ rabid fans. Its just good music. That said, right on, the songs on the Singles soundtrack where/are/remain phenomenal, 'State of Love and Trust' is just dizzyingly good.
Posted 11/25/2004 - 11:57:39 AM by milliard:
 great review and posts. it's good to see a discussion about pearl jam that includes not a shred of snobbery. i grew up on pearl jam too, and not only that, i appreciate them as one of the greatest bands of the 1990s. i say they're right in there with MBV, GBV, NMH, Pavement, Radiohead Etc.. And Josh, you're not the only honorable person i've heard call Pearl Jam their favorite band in the 90s. can't wait to hear the comp. i hope "man we'll soon forget" didn't get cut. while it's late-period pearl jam, and instead of a band backing vedder there's just a little ukelele, it's easily my favorite PJ song.
Posted 01/19/2005 - 05:35:49 PM by patient:
 wow, even though i've become ultra indie kid, obsessing over spiderland and in the aerolplane over the sea, i really became a music lover through pj. theyre a straight forward rock band that is good quality and u really appreciate the music on a higher level than most rock like that these days. i recently listened to all my pj cds, pretty cool stuff, honestly. i used to think yield is their best album, cuz of the sound and stuff, but idk, maybe vitalogy or ten?