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Wednesday, December 2, 2009


RIOT ACT (2002)
320 KBPS

In some ways, Riot Act is the album that Pearl Jam has been wanting to make since Vitalogy — a muscular art rock record, one that still hits hard but that is filled with ragged edges and odd detours. Vitalogy found the band sketching out their ideas for their brand of artsy rock, separating bracing hard rock and experimentalism throughout that fascinating album, and since then they bounced between those two extremes: indulging themselves on No Code, over-compensating with the streamlined Yield. Here, they manage to seamlessly blend the two impulses together in a restless, passionate record that delivers musically and emotionally. If it doesn't announce itself as a comeback or a great step forward, it's because the changes are subtle — it's a process of their post-Vitalogy sound finally gelling, not making an artistic breakthrough. Given the appealing but haphazard nature of their late-'90s work, it's quite satisfying to have a Pearl Jam album play as strongly as Riot Act, and again some credit must be given to drummer Matt Cameron. He enlivened 2000's Binaural, but his forceful drumming gives the weirder songs and ambitions support and urgency. Also, the production is the best in nearly a decade — a warm, burnished sound filled with details that enhance the basic song instead of overwhelming them (in other words, it's not No Code, nor is it the Spartan Yield). Again, these are subtle shifts in sound, but they are notable and, given several plays, this does indeed seem like the richest record Pearl Jam has made in a long time.

1. Can't Keep
2. Save You
3. Love Boat Captain
4. Cropduster
5. Ghost
6. I Am Mine
7. Thumbing My Way
8. You Are
9. Get Right
10. Green Disease
11. Help Help
12. Bu$hleaguer
13. 1/2 Full
14. Arc
15. All or None


Anonymous said...

en effet, tres bon album, un de mes favoris
(SFP un homme de gout ;))

J Thyme...kind said...

Do these guys really need any help to sell more albums? They saturated the media to the point of overkill here in America.

Mr Moodswings said...

Well, I'm not in the USA so I can't tell but I still feel more people need to listen to Pearl Jam as they are one of the finest bands to have appeared since the early 90's.

grizaham said...

I live in the US and think PJ flies WAY under the radar here even with the new album thru Target! LONG LIVE PEARL JAM!

john wall said...

Pearl Jam is the standout band of the 1990's along with Nirvana. There music is honest and genuine and there is a message behind their music. Eddie Vedder is one of the great front-mans of all time, and McCready is an amazing guitar player.