To create an album that is absolutely memorable, relatable, and sonically amazing is no easy task. However during the musical renaissance of the 90’s there was an abundance of bands that did just that. Pearl Jam came out swinging with their debut album TEN. Songs like “Once,” “Black,” “Garden,” “Alive,” hell the entire album is a gem. There is not one ounce of filler on this album. The only thing I can really pick on about the album are the mixes. The band was never completely satisfied with the final result. When TEN was re-released, longtime producer Brendan O’Brien remixed it to the way the band had envisioned it originally. You can definitely tell the difference. A couple years later in 1993, Pearl Jam released what I consider to be their finest piece of work, VS. This album had a much more together feel along with a rawer and more aggressive sound. There was also a more natural, band-oriented album, rather than each member bringing in a bunch of songs that was already arranged. It really does show. As a whole its a more cohesive put together album. This is where the bands identity lies. It also showed a broad section of the band and their ability to do ballads, faster songs, slow songs, and the more punk driven songs. Again, there is not one song on this album that is filler. From the heavier side of things like “Go,” “Animal,” “Rearviewmirror,” to the more delicate like “Daughter,” “Elderly Woman…” and “Dissident” and closing it out with the more than beautiful “Indifference,” this is such a well rounded album.
Obviously I pick VS as my favorite album of theirs. Where do you stand?
By: Brian Lacy