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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 9 August 2001
Following the sweeping epic "Ten" was always going to be tough . Or so we thought . The boys from Pearl Jam showed how easy it all was when they released this blistering album , and consequently held the record for five years for the fastest selling album in the world ..EVER. Moonwalk on that thought Mr Michael Jackson. It's easy to see why "Vs" struck a chord with so many people - it has the intimate beauty of acoustic numbers such as "Daughter" ; the percussion led anger and passion as typified by "WMA" , "Animal " and "Rearviewmirror" , and perhaps the most poignant love song they had at this stage penned in "Dissident". Eddie's vocals are wounded and howling , yet that rich baritone is always bubbling under the surface - proving why he is the greatest rock singer of his or any other generation. The lyrics are insightful and heartwrenching as always. On "WMA " (White Middle American ) Vedder raises the political stakes and declares how easy the affluent white population have it - "He won the lottery , by being born.... police stopped my brother today ". A singer with a song and a cause to sing. The music is tight and fluid and aches to be played loud. It rushes out of the starting box with "Go" and never goes flaccid for a second. You end up shell shocked and breathless , but I guarantee you will be reaching straight for that repeat button before you know it. Truly astonishing.
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on 17 July 2005
I must admit to being slightly biased here because I love Pearl Jam but even I didn't think the band could come close to reaching the dizzying heights of perfection that was their debut 'Ten' but boy, was I wrong!
This, their 2nd album, actually has a more varied and experimental edge. Full-on rock anthems such as 'Go', 'Animal' and 'Leash' sit alongside more melodic songs such 'Daughter', and 'Elderly Woman...' and the funk-fuelled 'Glorified G' and 'Rats'. This is the sound of a band not afraid to try out new things and further expand their musical horizons.
Eddie Vedder's voice and lyrics are are strong as ever and his ability to tell stories through the songs is second to none, in my opinion. It is hard to pick out stand-out tracks from this record because everything is so tight and it would probably be quicker to pick songs that you did not like.
This stands shoulder-to-shoulder with 'Ten' as one of the best rock records of recent times. Please, if you are a fan of good music - buy this album!
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on 20 March 2006
When Vedder and Co burst onto the scene with "Ten", the burning question was "How the hell do you follow that?" Here Pearl Jam provided the answer with an album full of visceral savage rock and songs aimed at all sections of American society, from gun-nuts to bigoted Police Officers.
From the opening ferociousness in "Go" to the bittersweet tenderness of Indifference, in which Vedder really lets his voice do all the work to carry a haunting chiming riff this is an album that confirmed Pearl Jam as MAJOR league players.
The band sound tight, yet retain a power and urgency and fluidity straight out of the practice room.
Along with "Ten", they would never be this immediate and downright angry again...truly essential Pearl Jam
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on 20 November 2000
Much more varied and punk orientated than it's predecessor Ten. Tracks such as Leash and Animal will live in Rock history, but acoustic moments show Pearl Jam's softer side in Daughter and Small Town. This album epitomises the Rock scene of the early 90's, moppimg up all the kids who did not relate to the more aggressive Nirvana In Utero. A Fantastic work which shows Pearl Jam at their VERY best!
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VINE VOICEon 20 July 2009
From the opening assault of "Go" and "Animal" via the acoustic tenderness of "Elderly Woman...." through to the atmospheric closer "Indifference", Pearl Jam pulled rabbits out of hats to make one of the most magical albums of the 90's.
If you are new to Pearl Jam and want to listen to what all the fuss was about then this is essential listening. Ed Vedders lyrics coupled with musicianship of the highest order form the backbone of what is in my opinion the best the group have so far released. (obviously lots of people will disagree with me here).
What you are buying here is 45 minutes and twelve tracks of a group at the peak of their powers. Songs of racism, abuse, love lost, and love betrayed amongst other things. Both brutal and tender a true classic of the "Grunge" era (If Grunge is what you want to call it!!).
Stand out tracks for me, "Rearview Mirror", "Go", "Daughter" and "Elderly Woman.....", Magic indeed!!
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on 6 October 2000
Well its not as good as ten, but that just goes without saying doesnt it? But the album kicks off with one of the best pearl jam songs, go and continues with the great animal and the accoustic song daughter which is one of my personal favourites, so as my three favorites kicked this album off what else could there be? Well lets carry on with the glorified version of a pellet gun (glorified G) and the epic dissident. Also note the greatness of abruezze's drumming on W.M.A and the ending bass solo of Blood and you have a more live feeling album. Also look out for Rearview mirror another of the best, elderly woman another great accoustic, and leash which rocks my world! Oh I guess all thats left is rats (so catchy) and indifference, which is a great way to end an album
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on 10 September 2003
Bottom line: This album is better than Ten. Hard to believe as that is, I think it is more diverse and manages the feat of being consistently great. It is an unsung classic that deserves it place amongst the great rock albums of the 90s along with Ten, Nevermind, Superunknown and Dirt of the same era.
It takes a few listens to sink in but, like all truly great recordings, before you know it you will fall in love with this album.
It rocks: Opener 'Go' is frenetic, and 'Animal' and 'Leash' possess a thunderous groove. 'Blood' is a raw explosion of noise which has Vedder howling himself hoarse over a thunderous rock barrage.
It soars: 'Dissident' is Vs' answer to 'Alive' and very nearly as good!
It sooths: 'Daughter' and 'Elderly Woman...' are gentle, poignant, mainly acoustic numbers.
It's political: 'Rats' compares humans (unfavourably) to rats - its true, think about it, 'Glorified G' is a mocking take on America's gun culture many years before Columbine, Micheal Moore and Marilyn Manson - with lines such as 'Got a gun, in fact I got two but that's OK cos I love God!'. WMA tackles racism in the police force.
It has the ultimate album closer: 'Indifference' where Vedder ponders how much difference anything you do makes over a gently ambient soundscape of guitar, organ and bass. It is the ultimate late night with an incense stick type of song and is lyrically superb.
Buy this give it a few listens and fall in love. If you already have then, hey, you know I'm right...
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on 24 April 2003
This album is stunningly brilliant. I am sure that anybody predicting what this second album would sound like after hearing "Ten" would be wrong. It is incredibly different and this is why it is so good. It is packed with energetic rythyms with Vedder's powerful melodies and interesting lyrics combining superbly with McCready, Gossard and Ament's varying guitar work. Overall, the sound is happier than its predecsesor Ten. The best tracks are "Go" - an intense, pumping start to the album. "w.m.a" - haunting and powerful. "rats - a great Pearl Jam song and "elderly woman..." - a brilliant window into Pearl Jam's quieter side.
I changed by not changing at all
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on 14 February 2003
I bought this album on impulse and I've never looked back. I would rate Eddie Vedder up there with Kurt Cobain and Billy Corgan, for having the most influence on me. Classic riffs and lyrics that demand a certain, awe-inspiring respect. The intensity of 'Go' the opening track sets the standard for the rest of the album, 'Daughter' and 'Elderly Woman...' will just blow your mind.
Jonny's reccomendation: BUY THIS ALBUM!!
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on 5 January 2003
Pearl Jam has taken some pretty firm stances throughout their career on several social issues. Abortion, race relations, poverty, and the environment are just a few they have tackled throughout their time in the spotlight. You can get overtones of this social conscience in all other music. The concept of the broken home is also rather recurrent throughout their body of work.
"Vs." is an extension of the aforementioned concepts. It is filled with amazing, and profoundly powerful, rock anthems. Songs like "Go," "Dissident," and "Leash" are great. "Dissident" did make its way to rock radio for some time. "Leash," already mentioned above, is straight rock 'n' roll. The first single "Animal," was a rather interesting choice for a single. Though I like the song, it isn't exactly radio friendly.
Contrasting the rock anthems on the record was some very good melodic rock songs. The big single off of this record was "Daughter." I never quite did get this song. But, nonetheless, it is pretty good. I think there are much better songs on the records than the ones that were released singles. "Indifference" a slow, bass laden slow song, has this "Twin Peaks" kind of feel to it. It is very cool. The song with the longest title I have ever heard in my life is one of the best songs: "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town."
This record is one of the most prolific works of its time. It held the record for the "most records sold in the first week of availability" for several years. Before the concept of internet presale, this record went platinum in just over a week. It is amazing and a must have for any Pearl Jam fan.
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