Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pearl Jam-Ten

Post # 173 [Poll Winner: Favorite Pearl Jam Album of the 90's]
It is perhaps a little overdue that I finally review some Pearl Jam on this blog. Though there were polling opportunities before, they never managed to come out on top (they failed to win the Favorite Grunge-Band poll, and Favorite Debut Album poll.) Over the 2nd half of 2011, I decided to focus on the 90's with my reader's polls, and I finally made my way to Pearl Jam. They have had the most staying power of all the grunge-era bands, and deserve some attention for it.

It may have been expected that Ten would win favorite album of the 90's, but it is also poetic, as it celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. This album was a major cornerstone for the entire Grunge genre. Ten is well known for the several smash hits it includes: 'Even Flow', 'Alive', 'Black', and 'Jeremy'. Beyond those songs is a top-notch rock album from one of the biggest rock bands to emerge during the 90's.

Through a persistent commitment to follow their own agenda, and to write music from the heart and not follow trends, or bow to the will of producers or critics, Pearl Jam have established a very loyal and devoted following. Many of these fans first developed this obsession with Ten. This album brought a certain appeal to the hard-rock music scene of the early 90's. By the time 'Jeremy', the album's 3rd single, was released people were catching on. Along with their contemporaries Nirvana, Alice In Chains, and Soundgarden; Pearl Jam were offering a different sound, and new take on angst-driven hard rock. Leagues of new fans, who had perhaps grown tired of the pop-driven Hair-Metal scene, flocked to this new 'alternative' scene, and gave the grunge movement its primary fan-base.

I invite you to go back to your CD archives, dust of your scuffed-up copy of Ten, and give it another listen...
The singles you have probably heard several times over, unless you've lived in a cave for the last 20 years...
-Even Flow

My other recommended tracks from this genre-defining masterpiece:
-Once (Perhaps the best of several overlooked tracks on this album)

-Release (The hidden track at the end, 'Master/Slave', fades out, and if you have your player on repeat, picks up again as the intro of 'Once', bringing Ten full circle.)

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