It’s hard to choose a starting place for this post because I have been so intensely involved in one particular band for the past few months, and since they blow my mind away, it’s hard for me to decide where to even begin my explanation of love and appreciation for/towards them. Ironically enough, they used to be on list of “Bands I hate and will never listen to, ever”. It’s evolution, baby!
So, Pearl Jam. The undying love still treks on, and even more intensely than before. I have to say that after carefully examining their discography (live albums and Lost Dogs included) up until Riot Act, I am way more fond of their post-Vs. stuff than I am of their music prior. Surprising, I know, since I channel the “grunge” gods like no other, I’m even surprised that I prefer their alternative-alternate over their deeply rooted, Seattle-punk based influences. Oh well.
But for recommendations, I would definitely 100 percent recommend Vitalogy (1994). It is a quintessential Pearl Jam conglomeration of creativity and uniqueness that displays the total change of pace the band was going for come 1994. It’s an album equipped with it’s own personality essentially; Not For You, Better Man, Nothingman, Last Exit, Corduroy…I mean, there is no wrong here. Each song is like it’s own human being— packed with individuality and a nature all of its own.
Regardless of their differences in melody, lyrical content, and over all feeling, the songs on Vitalogy are unified in such a fashion that the album is frankly addicting. I can listen to Not For You and Corduroy a million times over with no disregard towards either.
I’m all for repeats and I always have been, but these two songs sound different to me every time- and that’s why I choose to listen to them on repeat. So many sounds and instruments are being utilized in not just the two songs mentioned, but in all of the songs on the album, that every time you listen to one of them you hear something different that you didn’t hear before, or you listen to the song from a different perspective than you did prior, ultimately leading to even your frame of mind altering the way you hear the song.
Vitalogy is pure power and energy. If you want to hear a Pearl Jam album that isn’t the least bit “grunge”, try it out and see how you like it. If not there are other options.
No Code and Yield (1996 and 1998, respectively) are good as well; I prefer Yield over No Code simply because of the creative process that spawned Yield—it was a more positive and passionate environment shared between all the musicians of the band, instead of monopolized and controlled by Eddie Vedder. Not to discredit him; he has grown on me significantly, but regardless I still have some angst towards him and his crazy Capricorn control freak ways. He can’t help them though, heh.
From No Code I recommend the following:
Who You Are (my favorite from the album)
Off He Goes
Brain of J
Do the Evolution
Given to Fly (my favorite from the album)
SO yes. If you want to enter the 21st century, something I will always be weary about, Binaural (2000) is genius. Nothing As It Seems sends chills up your spine. Just saying.
On a side note… I’m going to Outside Lands this August! I can’t wait to see some of the greatest musicians of all time, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, and not to forget my most favorite act on the lineup…Metallica. There are no words I can think of to explain the anticipation and excitement I have to see what Metallica chalks up for their set. Metallica live is something I have longed to see for far too long; their performances exude more energy than a hyper active five year old, and I feel that rush just from watching youtube videos…so you can assume what I’ll feel like during their live show. Ahh!
In terms of some of the other acts, I’m not nearly as excited to see them but I still am rather chipper about experiencing them live. Die Antwoord will be incredibly cool, as will Beck, Tame Impala, Norah Jones, etc. But once it gets closer to the date I’ll definitely post another entry in regards to an Outside Lands playlist of some calibur.
Thank you for listening always— updates will hopefully coming more frequently now than they have been.