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C. Davis (Wales, UK)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pearl Jam at their adventurous and experimental best, 21 Jun. 2007
This review is from: No Code (Audio CD)
I bought this album having heard Vs, Ten and their most recent self-titled album, hence I was expecting something along those lines: a mixture of energetic, punky, guitar driven songs alongside some more mellow acoustic songs. Therefore when I first heard this album I was suprised, suprised and disappointed. Of course after a few listens certain songs began to stand out (namely Lukin, Sometimes and In My Tree) and the album began to grow on me but after about 5 or 6 listens I was totally converted.

The album is an entirely different proposition to Pearl Jam's more mainstream efforts, it is a diverse and in some ways experimental piece but nonetheless filled from start to finish with well thought out, brilliantly structured and clearly emotional songs. The style of songwriting ranges from Lukin which is a one-minute full on heavy metal rock-out (and a real spectacle live) to Present Tense which is an intense yet down tempo ballad-esque song. In My Tree is largely percussion and bass powered and is one of a few songs on the album dealing with the problems that fame has presented the band with. Other highs include Hail Hail and Smile but the album is too consistent to choose a favourite track.

Overall, this is an album to avoid if you are seeking mainstream grunge along the lines of Nirvana and early Pearl Jam but for anyone looking to expand their musical horizons or any die-hard Pearl Jam fan this is a must have album which I would recommend highly. My favourite PJ album.

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