Pearl Jam - Vs.
Oh man it can't go loud enough. Here I come 14 years old again...wishing my parents would have let me sleep in front of the local chain store for the midnight sale of Pearl Jam, Vs. - Five Against One, whatever its called... this album, cheeesey as it may shine nowadays in the light of radio and marketing po(o)p. Shit, it doesn't even hold a candle to Ten, which I would have reviewed first had the overall amount of listening enjoyment been the pre-requisite. Either way, I need an album of old notes, an album of former abuse to get my review chops going again.
Let's begin the recovery process with track one "Go", echoed lonely drums coursing-running difficult and torrentedly, the guitar and bass take over. Here comes Vedder, more like a mubler of tones then a lyricist or singer on their sophomore effort. The bridge brings a more adapt aggressiveness and definitive hard rock blend. Then the repetitive chorus, "Dont Go On ME!!!!". Melodramatic, but bitey all at the same time, this track fits nicely in a very long armed and genred album. O, "Glorified G", where have you been since your release? Funky grunge never repeated itself by my standards, this song had an awkwardness from its first listen, but it always seemed to warm my heart. More successful during its bridge, "Always keep it LOADEEED!!!" Vedder screams in his finest control.
Softer songs echo in places like "Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town", which somehow edge a bluegrass feel, and make it Alternative/Rock's own stepchild. Vedder's voice is as prominent here as any. Never exciting or impressive, his tones are simply unique and will probably never be repeated. "Hearts and Thoughts they fade, faaaade away". Let's get away from the mellow progression that Pearl Jam eventually became (after their third release Vitalogy), and hit up Pearl Jam on vibe from their overnight success Ten. "Dissident" had a harmonic and vocal teamship that left chills up my spine the first thirty times I heard it. There I said it, this track was the heart and soul of Vs, and bred the sound of songs like Porche, and Garden on Ten.
Though this album got weaker, but more freaky as it progressed, the lyrical content fairly odd for its time became what to expect from Vedder- and his band of Ament merry men- in years to come. This album showed a confidence, and a I don't give a sluff attitude. Very solid Blues/Alternative with a Grungy kick. Rather than fitting the grunge era it fit in, Pearl Jam went their own ways, and no one can fault them for that.
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