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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars speaking as a child of the 90's.....
Apart from 'Ten' this is maybe their best record. (Ten isn't 'dated' - its an album of music.) No Code is like the healing process after all the rage and torment of Vitalogy (yet still has a lot in common with that record.) Like Vitalogy, it is innovative + diverse + uncompromising + above all (as ever with PJ) comes straight from the heart. Although No Code is...
Published on 30 Mar 2000

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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Works best as a whole
It's amazing how much abuse people are willing to hurl at Pearl Jam's fourth album. I don't think it's that bad. In fact, I quite like it. It's not my favourite album or anything, but it's still pretty good. The mistake that most people make, I feel, is that they are - and this is true of every Pearl Jam release - expecting another Ten. And, granted, Ten was...
Published on 30 Nov 1999


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars speaking as a child of the 90's....., 30 Mar 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: No Code (Audio CD)
Apart from 'Ten' this is maybe their best record. (Ten isn't 'dated' - its an album of music.) No Code is like the healing process after all the rage and torment of Vitalogy (yet still has a lot in common with that record.) Like Vitalogy, it is innovative + diverse + uncompromising + above all (as ever with PJ) comes straight from the heart. Although No Code is their most meditative/expansive and mellow record, it also contains their 3 heaviest songs: Hail Hail, Habit, and Lukin. Still, the fact that this album alienated most of the conservative kerrang-type fans Pearl Jam somehow managed to pick up, is surely a bonus point. In summary, this album will expand your mind + soul (and is a whole lot less pretentious than this review.)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected, underrated - a high quality musical experiment, 2 Oct 2003
This review is from: No Code (Audio CD)
Pearl Jam's second foray into alternative styles is an even more successful experiment than the punk-ish Vitalogy. Proving the band is versatile enough to try its hand at just about any type of rock, No Code refuses to adhere to the grunge foundations Pearl Jam helped to lay. Collaborating with Neil Young on Mirrorball clearly extended their musical confidence and, as evident in the delicate guitar harmonies and wistful ramblings of 'off he goes', added a touch of country and western to their musical repertoire. There's also a bit of The Who in the superb 'in my tree', and healthy dose of The Ramones in 'Mankind', during which Vedder's vocals rather refreshingly take a back seat to rhythm guitarist Stone Gossard‘s - again exuding the impression of a band at the height of their confidence. The sublime Dylan-esque finale, ‘around the bend’ (a nod towards Creedence Cleerwater Revival perhaps, who recorded another track titled ‘Green river’?) finishes the album on the same high point it sustains throughout the hour. Whatever your opinions regarding the direction Pearl Jam took with their music post-Vs, this is worth the asking price for the last two minutes of ’habit’ alone, which contains some of the most assured bass playing Jeff Ament has ever recorded. It is fairly obvious that the hybrid-rock niche the band continued to carve itself was detrimental to their mainstream success, but No Code will always be my favourite ‘mistake‘. Anyway, if seven equally fantastic and diverse studio albums come hand in hand with chart anonymity, here’s to the second half of Pearl Jam’s career. Smile!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pearl Jam's most complete and balanced album by far, 17 Mar 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: No Code (Audio CD)
'Ten' was epic but seems a bit dated and old school grunge nowadays, 'Vs' was too energetic for it's own good (although fantastic) and then 'Vitalogy' came along suggesting a new direction for the band with its dark and intriguing, messy 'experimental grunge' using bizarre chords and guitar sounds - but it worked beautifully. 'No Code' is the perfect blend of the heartfelt, simple acoustic sounds of 'Vs' and the intriguing complexity of 'Vitalogy'. Stand out songs include 'Sometimes', 'Hail Hail', 'Off He Goes', 'Present Tense' and 'Around The Bend'. I really don't understand why this album was so poorly received, even by fans of the band, I think 'No Code' is their most accomplished album yet.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 23 Mar 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: No Code (Audio CD)
I was a bit weary about buying this album as it didn't sell a lot of copies compared to the bands other albums and all the reviews i'd read of it weren't very good. However once i'd got it home and listened to it i was amazed! This is one of thier best albums and very under rated. It is quite mellow and shows a very artistic and creative band. Although in saying that there are also some very heavy songs on it such as Lukin and Habit. Stone also sings lead vocals on one song- Mankind. Although his voice isn't as powerful as Eddies, he is a good singer and Mankind is very catchy and upbeat. The lyrics on most of the songs are very meaningful and intruging and leaves it up to you to find your own meaning to the song. This album proves that Pearl Jam are a band who will experiment and risk putting out an album even if they think it may lose some of their existing fans, rather than making a half-hearted album that they know will be a commercial sucess. If you are a music lover then buy this
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars somethng different again, 11 April 2006
By 
K. Allen (Edgbaston, Birmingham United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: No Code (Audio CD)
I love this album. Up until I heard it I mainly listened to Ten and RVM although I had also heard Vs, Vitalogy and Binaural. As soon as I heard No Code it became a firm favourite as I feel once again Pearl Jam experimented with many different musical styles and influences. Ed Vedder's exceptional voice is showcased on such beautiful tracks as Off He Goes and the almost calypso style lullaby Around the Bend which has become one of my favourite ever Pearl Jam tracks. But there is also plenty there for lovers of the louder pacier songs where Ed has a good scream! Not every song works perfectly, but none the less, any Pearl Jam fan would find this a valuable addition to their collection - and if you don't know their music, its well worth a listen too as it encapsulates so much of what they are about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Coda, 11 Feb 2009
By 
This review is from: No Code (Audio CD)
Is there a better Pearl Jam album? Not in my opinion (although Yield and Vs. come close). Has there ever been a better album ever? That is a closer call, although this would be in my top five of all time. And should be in yours.

That very title ('No Code') half describes this album's genius. Eclectic in the extreme, we are treated both to Pearl Jam's greatest attempts at punk ('Habit', 'Lukin'), poignancy and tenderness ('Off He Goes', 'Present Tense') and pure joy ('Smile'). But what elevates it above all that is its paradoxical wholeness - there is a consistency of warmth and meaning here that defies the variation in pace and rhythm. That, more than any particular song, is what makes this so distinctive and magical. The artwork, replete with Vedder and Co.'s own polaroids of all kinds of things and all kinds of places, only reinforces this sense of 'No Code' as far more than the sum of its brilliant little parts.

Like all truly revelatory albums, words cannot quite convey why this might be exactly what your life needs. I can only say that you should try it. If you are already a Pearl Jam fan, you should indulge yourself simply for the pleasure of 'Mankind', which is sung by one Stone Gossard.

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. If they ever scale these heights again, I may be persuaded to believe that there is, after all, a God.

Essential cuts: Everything. But especially 'Hail, Hail', 'In My Tree', 'Smile', 'Off He Goes', 'Habit', 'Present Tense' and 'Mankind'.
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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
By 
C. Davis (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like a fine wine, this one gets better with age, 12 Dec 2006
By 
Nate (Brisbane, QLD AUSTRALIA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: No Code (Audio CD)
This album is not as bad as the critics hailed it to be. It certainly grows on you with each listen and was very much a cross over record for the band, showing a more relaxed, mature side to the band. And following the sales of the first 3 records the band earned the right to go down whatver path they pleased.

I would say this would have to be the most eagerly anticipated album of all time, in my opinion anyway. The bands popularity had reached enormous heights by the end of 1995 and I had just seen the band live for my first time so I couln't wait to get my hands on this album. Having got the merkinball EP as an appetiser I couldn't wait for the main meal, but at first listen I must say I was very disappointed. Where was the Pearl Jam I had grown to love and rocked hard? I asked myself... While there were a couple of songs I liked instantly, like Hail, Hail and red mosquito, this album spent a good couple of years collecting dust on my shelf. I thought the design of the album sleeve was ridiculous, this was 1996 remember and CD cases were standard, although now it seems all bands have adopted this new design.

So from memory I think it was Easter of 1999 that I really got into this album. Yield had already been released and I had seen the guys perform live once again. They played a few of the 'No Code' songs and they sounded great. Present Tense is by far the best song off the album, it starts off quite mellow before bulding into an in your face your knockout blow of a song. Other notable inclusions are Smile, Off He Goes and Around The Bend. This is very much Stone and Eddie's album and Stone even lends his vocal to a song 'Mankind' which is quite good.

In summary, this album stands very much on its own in the Pearl Jam catalogue. There are no others like it, and from time to time, it deserves a listen, because it signified a fork in the road of the Pearl Jam journey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of their best, 2 Jun 2007
This review is from: No Code (Audio CD)
I am sick of people thinking that No Code and Vitalogy are poor albums. They cannot get Ten out of their head. Isn't it a bit naive to suggest that a band who have 8 studio albums reached their song writing peak with their very first album?

No Code, like its predecessor Vitalogy, is daring and unique. Songs such as 'Hail, Hail', 'In My Tree' and 'Present Tense' are exceptionally well written. Although they are not as immediately catchy as Ten was when you first heard it, given time you should realise that they are considerable more advanced musically and lyrically.

In my opinion, the true selling point of this album (and Vitalogy) is Eddie Vedder's lyrics. 'Hail, Hail', along with maybe 'Satan's Bed' off Vitalogy, has probably the best lyrics he ever wrote.

Be warned, you will have to listen to this album a lot before you 'get it', but once you do, it will be worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Start of the 2nd Pearl Jam!, 19 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: No Code (Audio CD)
For me Pearl Jam moved on leaps and bounds on this record. Gone were the punky, angst-ridden songs of the previous three records. Now it seemed Vedder had discovered pot and was writing more philosophically! This is ofcourse vital so the band can mature and grow. "Off He Goes" is a work of genius, a poignant lyric and fantastic accoustic backing make it the stand out track. "Hail,Hail" is a great rocker, "Smile" is an atmospheric bluesy thing with a great chrous. I'm not sure Stone Gossard should of had the chance to singon "Mankind"! He's a great guitarist but how can you compete with Eddie Vedder at vocals? Stick to the guitar Stone! I don't understand people who slate this album. I think it's much better than Vitalogy. No Code paved the way for Yield and Binaural.
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