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3.9 out of 5 stars46
3.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 10 November 2002
Yes, this is just another Pearl Jam record.
The seventh album from the ledgendary 'Jam is just like the rest of their albums and typical Pearl Jam; mature, clever and occasionally innovative rock music.
There are some immediately brilliant great on here, most notably the recent single I Am Mine. However the rest of the album needs a few more listens to fully appreciate the subtlety and great musicianship throughout this album. After a few more listens other tracks that weren't noticeable before, develop; Save You is a rocker that somehow reminds me of Do The Evolution from Yield, and Ghost and Thumbing My Way are sure to be favourites.
There are a couple of bad cuts on here; Help Help is quite uninteresting and obvious filler, Bushleaguer is a very odd, spoken word track, not to my tastes, but some may like it, and Arc is a weird, minute long chant. Three songs out of fifteen isn't bad going considering the rest of the album contains at least good songs.
Vedder's lyrics are still very mature andd thought provoking and occasionally still odd. The musicianship is prett much flawless throughout. Matt Cameron is proving an excellent addition to the Pearl Jam camp too.
Overall this is a damn fine album, which definately tops their previous effort Binaural, but unforunately it proves that they will never create a better album than Ten in consistency and truly memorable songs.
Riot Act? probably not.
A subtle, clever, soothing rock album which still is a notch above the mainstream? Definately!
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on 19 November 2002
I was initially thinking about giving this 4 instead of 5, but in truth if this was by any band other than PJ i would be raving about it.
Lyrically the album is as strong as ever, despite what the amazon reviewer said (they are entitled to their opinion though, i mean it is their website) i think that Eddie (and Matt on the odd song) writes relevant and affcting lyrics, o.k. so his political rants do kind of fall short of Zack De La Rocha, but that kind of angst wouldnt really fit in to a pearl jam album. Equilly though, he more introspective songs make a lot more sense than Tom Yorke (i do love Radiohead though).
Songwise it's kind of more of the same. while there is no doubt that PJ have progressed since No Code these last few records have had a common sound i think. Basically if you liked those then you'l like this, its kind of got more in common with yield than anything else though.
It's fair to say that there isnt a bad song on this record and for a change there are a bunch of stand out tracks. Like everyone else I am mine stands out for me, but my personal favourite is All or none. Opener Can't Keep is one of those low groove tracks that PJ are so good at now while Thumbing my way is the kind of folk that was on No Code.
Frankly this is an exceptional album, the best pearl jam have done in years, highly highly recomended
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on 18 November 2002
From one of the only bands that emerged from the grunge era and is still around today comes the finest album of this year. Pearl Jam are back with a vengeance. From the in your face 'Save You' to the eerily melodious 'all or none' this is an album that reeks of brilliance. Although Pearl Jam have chilled out alot since their Vitalogy days their talents for songwriting and the quality of their music hasn't diminished in the slightest. Although the single 'I am mine' is undoubtedly one of the best songs on Riot Act this CD is choc-a-bloc with class tunes. 'Thumbing my way' captures the softer side of Pearl Jam whereas 'Ghost' and 'save you' bring out the harder grungier edge of our ageing rocksters. PJ have been around for more than ten years and this is their seventh album. I would say that this album is a return to form, but then, when have they ever been out of form. Eddie Vedder's voice is as haunting as ever and the production on this album is a lot cleaner than on Binaural. Few other bands can match PJ for consistently creating stunning yet completely different albums. And who else could write a surprisingly damn fine tune and call it 'Love Boat Captain'. If you have ever been a PJ fan then buy this album, you won't regret it. And if you're not a PJ fan, what's wrong with you???
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on 8 June 2012
This is what makes Pearl Jam a legendary band in my opinion. They have always had a loyal fan base over their 20 year career, producing a mixture of completely different sounding albums over the years. If you were a newcomer to the band you'd read the reviews and get understandably confused over which album was their best work. Every PJ fan seems to pick a different album to everyone else but this one is my favourite. I have all of them, but for me, this is the only album post Ten & Vs where I am completely happy with every track. This album is the most heartfelt out of all them and also the most varied. For some reason this album is the most under-rated in the catalogue. 'You Are', 'Ghost' and 'Save You', being some of their best tracks they have ever produced but there isnt a duff track on the album. Ignore this one at your peril!
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on 2 June 2003
A new decade for Pearl Jam has seen them embark on a massive world tour and finally achieve massive chart success with offering from a new line up including the awesome Matt Cameron. Prior to this album they had been derided by intellectual snobs and in genral frowned upon.The band obviously were not concerned,the proof being this album. I defy anyone not to at least acknowledge that this record ahs something for everyone. It is quite possibly their greatest hour and definetly rivals 'Ten' and 'Vs' as their seminal work. They have always been an easy target in the press with this album they have written a piece most 'nu-metal' trash could only dream about. Vedder returns to form with a reckless abandonment and a sense of maturity has entered the band. Undoubtedly the angry young men of the 1990s have been replaced by fatherhood and wealth but they still ahve that edge. This is infinetly superior music to pretty much anything availiable at the moment with the expection of a band like Red Chilli Peppers. Maybe it is time to place Pearl Jam in that category - a truly great American rock band.
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on 8 June 2008
I know a lot of Pearl Jam fans and people in general will disagree with this, but I think this is one of their best albums. I still prefer Ten, but not by much and to me I consider this about as good as Vs. if not better, although completely different. One reason why I can understand some fans don't like it is because it's differnet. It has a lot more quiet songs with acoustic guitar. There is still some aggressive songs, such as 'Save You' but the majority are more restrained.

This album has some really clever lyrics, such as 'the ocean's full cause everyone's crying' which may sound cheesy to some but I think Eddie Vedder has written some great lyrics thoughout all their albums and Riot Act is no exception. Perhaps the strangest of songs on here is Bu$hleaguer because Vedder is simply talking over it, but I feel it really works and each song on here is different to the one that preceded.

There is one song that I pretty much always skip, which is 'Help Help' which is a boring song. With this exception I think all the songs on this album are great. The guitar is really stripped down, and some of the riffs sound incredibly easy to play, or write but complexity does not necessarily make a good song.

I'd reccommend Riot Act to people who want something a bit different, something less heavy than Ten or Vs. and to fans of Pearl Jam.
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on 24 November 2002
Although Ten did contain PJ's most memorable songs ie.Jeremy and Black etc, and remains a classic, it's production is not as timeless as the songs. Riot Act's predecessor Binaural was Pearl Jam's weakest album yet, with around 4 or 5 excellant songs, notably Light Years and Grievance dulled by the unfocused production and quite a lot of just okay songs. Riot Act however is in my opinion Pearl Jam's BEST album, even surpassing Yield. The album is challenging, and has a lot of longevity (i've been listening constantly to its tracks for 4wks), there are no real bad tracks and many excellant ones. I Am Mine (the 1st single) is the best PJ song since Corduroy. Thumbing My Way is absoulutely gorgeous. Save You is a great punk workout, in the vein of Last Exit. You Are is perhaps the most experimental song Pearl Jam have released and is equally astounding. All or None is a beautiful album closer. Bushleaguer is an intriguing Political rant with amusing lyrics and an interesting contrast in the music. Cropduster is a superb Pj/MC5 syle tune with lyrics focusing on the life cycle. Love Boat Captain is a hymn about Love which builds up into a great rock song. Can't Keep is a wonderful opener, and is knid of an update on the almost tribal beats of some of their No Code era work. The albums other tracks are all good aswell. This really is a superb album and far superior to The Queens of The Stone Age's SOngs for the Deaf and the new Foo Fighters album. A definate rival in my mind with Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (The Flaming Lips) for album of 2002. BUY IT AND LISTEN THREE TO FOUR TIMES AND YOU WILL BE HOPELESSLY ADDICTED TO THIS ALBUM!
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on 21 April 2003
Actually, when I first bought this I didn't really like it. I've always had a problem with Pearl Jam's complacency/confident swagger on previous records. Though I enjoyed them both, I felt that No Code and Yield were somewhat forced, like they were just going through the motions. Binaural reinforced my belief in their greatness, and I looked forward to Riot Act for some time. However, listening to tracks like Love Boat Captain I started to believe that the band had become lost again - 'It's been sung before, but it can't be said enough - all you need is love'. I don't know, there's something I don't like about that.
But I've warmed to it, even the 'Ladysmith Black Mambazo' imitation. I don't believe this is one of their best albums, but it's hardly a weak showing. It took me some time, but I can't discredit Pearl Jam - it's not really possible for them to make bad music.
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on 4 September 2008
Often hailed as the worst Pearl Jam album ever Riot Act is actually pretty good. No seriously, I don't get how it picked up its' rep. Save You is an immediate Pearl Jam classic, it's fiery like beast from Ten or Vs...and it's not the only highlight. The slow numbers All or None, Thumbing My Way and (the rather brilliant I am Mine) add a very melodic feel to the album. The album is also fairly unique in the Pearl Jam discography. Tracks like Cropduster, Love Boat Captain and You Are (penned by Matt Cameron - perhaps the new drummer helping the band take new direction) really make this album feel different (perhaps a little odd to some hence the albums' poor reputation). However make no mistake, this may not be the finest work from Pearl Jam but it's good quality unapologetic rock from Seattle's finest.
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on 10 February 2003
..Wasn't a big Pearl Jam fan.. used to think they were overrated but, hey, decided to give this one a go.. and it's stunning - how they can produce something this creative after so long on the circuit is beyond me. Everything is right on this - the songs are great - some are absolute gems (Save You, Cropduster, You Are, Get Right), the production is perfect.. Had a grin on my face all the way through listening to this.. and I'm still grinning now.. Just get it - you won't regret.
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