Pearl Jam - Vs
Epic Records
Hard/Alternative Rock
12 songs (46:17)
Release year: 1993
Pearl Jam, Epic Records
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

Following up one of the greatest Rock albums of the nineties would be a hard task for any band, but somehow Pearl Jam managed not only to make Vs almost as good as their debut Ten but broke sales records with its release, selling over 950,000 copies in the first week, going straight to the top of the Billboard 200 and outperforming all the other top ten entries put together. It helps that the songs on the album are pretty much uniformly superb, setting a formula of mixed styles that would define later releases. Opener Go and following track Animal burst out and Rock unashamedly, twisting riffs and surprisingly complex arrangements hidden beneath a Punkishly catchy front. As usual, the band are excellent, playing with heart and soul. Vedder himself gives one of his best performances, keeping up the intensity during recording sessions by sleeping in his truck and deliberately making himself uncomfortable in the band’s tranquil surroundings, The Site in California.

As mentioned, the songs are all terrific, especially Daughter, the tale of a girl abused by her parents as they don’t understand her learning disability, Glorified G, a mocking singalong aimed at overly-proud gun owners, and personal favourites Dissident, a laid-back yet quietly intense story of a woman sheltering a political refugee who ‘folds’ and hands him in, and W.M.A., an experimental percussion-and-bass-driven song about a black friend of Vedder’s who was hassled by police, ignoring the white singer. I find the funk-ridden Blood rather a step-down after these songs’ emotional feeling; the song attacks the media for doing what the media does, and whilst you can’t help but applaud the band for shooting themselves in the foot commercially by not making videos and suing Ticketmaster, I always feel a slight contempt for celebrities who complain about media intrusion. It’s still a good song, however, and the excellent Rearviewmirror more than makes up for it.

For the rest, whilst few would agree that Rats are better than people, the song itself is pretty good, and Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, Leash and Indifference are a great little threesome to end the album on. Really, there’s little that can be said against this album – if you started your Pearl Jammin’ with Ten, then you should continue it right here; an Alt Rock classic and practically the second best album from the band.

Killing Songs :
Go, Animal, Daughter, Glorified G, Dissident, W.M.A., Rearviewmirror, Indifference
Goat quoted 90 / 100
Adam quoted 92 / 100
Other albums by Pearl Jam that we have reviewed:
Pearl Jam - Backspacer reviewed by Goat and quoted 82 / 100
Pearl Jam - Live On Two Legs reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam reviewed by Adam and quoted 88 / 100
Pearl Jam - Yield reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Pearl Jam - Vitalogy reviewed by Adam and quoted 89 / 100
To see all 10 reviews click here
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