I have deliberately waited some time before posting this review and there is no doubt this latest and very welcome release needs space and time to breathe. Whilst there are one or two of the earlier tracks which strike an immmediate chord with the listener, it takes several listens to get into the real heart and soul of the album.
Trust me, the wait is worthwhile and very rewarding for those that persist. This is a collection of tracks which really showcases the band's strengths from the upbeat and punky first three tracks, to the atmospheric album closer, Inside Job.
In between we have what, in my opinion, is the real 'standout a mile' track - Gone. I have to see this particular song has become one of my very favourite Pearl Jam tracks up there with the likes of Jeremy and Dissident from the early days. I'm quite surprised that so few of the 40-odd reviewers haven't mentioned this powerhouse of a song - great verse, superb pre-chorus bridge and simple, yet, very effective chorus.
Despite the above hyperbole, I've only given the album 4 stars. This is simply because there are, in my view, one or two fairly weak tracks which don't quite exhibit the same class as the rest. That's a huge same as this is so nearly on a par with Ten and Vs.
Any existing fan of the band will certainly get into this. For those who weren't around in the good ol' grunge days, trust us oldies and purchase without fear. You cannot fail to like such tracks as Life Wasted, World Wide Suicide, Gone, Severed Hand and Inside Job. A very strong record.