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Vs.
     

Vs.

4.5 18
by Pearl Jam
 

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Pearl Jam took to superstardom like deer in headlights. Unsure of how to maintain their rigorous standards of integrity in the face of massive commercial success, the band took refuge in willful obscurity -- the title of their second album, Vs., did not appear anywhere in the packaging, and they refused to release any singles or videos. (Ironically, many

Overview

Pearl Jam took to superstardom like deer in headlights. Unsure of how to maintain their rigorous standards of integrity in the face of massive commercial success, the band took refuge in willful obscurity -- the title of their second album, Vs., did not appear anywhere in the packaging, and they refused to release any singles or videos. (Ironically, many fans then paid steep prices for import CD singles, a situation the band eventually rectified.) The eccentricities underline Pearl Jam's almost paranoid aversion to charges of hypocrisy or egotism -- but it also made sense to use the spotlight for progress. You could see that reasoning in their ensuing battle with Ticketmaster, and you could hear it in the record itself. Vs. is often Eddie Vedder at his most strident, both lyrically and vocally. It's less oblique than Ten in its topicality, and sometimes downright dogmatic; having the world's ear renders Vedder unable to resist a few simplistic potshots at favorite white-liberal targets. Yet a little self-righteousness is an acceptable price to pay for the passionate immediacy that permeates Vs. It's a much rawer, looser record than Ten, feeling like a live performance; Vedder practically screams himself hoarse on a few songs. The band consciously strives for spontaneity, admirably pushing itself into new territory -- some numbers are decidedly punky, and there are also a couple of acoustic-driven ballads, which are well suited to Vedder's sonorous low register. Sometimes, that spontaneity comes at the expense of Ten's marvelous craft -- a few songs here are just plain underdeveloped, with supporting frameworks that don't feel very sturdy. But, of everything that does work, the rockers are often frightening in their intensity, and the more reflective songs are mesmerizing. Vs. may not reach the majestic heights of Ten, but at least half the record stands with Pearl Jam's best work.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/19/1993
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0074645313627
catalogNumber:
53136

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Vs. 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Simply The Best Pearl Jam CD Ever! If You Dont Own This Buy It You Will Love It
Guest More than 1 year ago
Okay this cd is definetly a cd you have to buy if you like pearl jam, or even if you don't. It will make a fan out of you. All the songs have a great unique sound, they're diverse, and the lyrics are some of the best ever written. You need to get it. All of the songs are good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is like Ten. Good rock songs with good vocals. This is very relaxing album! A ballad "Daughter" is a standout track! If you like peaceful songs with good lyrics, this is for you!
trippyrocker More than 1 year ago
In early 1993 Pearl Jam headed back to Seattle pissed off, angry, and frustrated with the attention from the media and constant pressure from their label. They were able to take all those feelngs and create a work of art. Vs basically follows the same formula as Ten, just with some slight differences. First, the songs are shorter and have less guitar leads and more focus on the riff. Much like Ten the lyrics deal with very touchy subjects like child abuse, police brutality, and racisim. When i first heard the original mix of Ten, i could barely understand what the hell Eddie was saying. Gladly Pearl Jam did a steller job on the production. When Eddie does'nt mumble you can hear his voice well and even the bass parts are tuned up a couple notches. To me Ten was like a dreamy rock and roll album and Vs is a much more fast and aggressive(with the exception of a few ballads and acoustic tunes)in your face rock album. Overall: In my opinion the whole reason this album did so well was because of Ten and Pearl Jams early intense live shows. Everyone who wanted to hear what Pearl Jam's sophomore album would sound like. Is it full of monstrous guitar leads and radio friendly songs? NO, to sum it all up, its basically what Ten would sound like if the songs were shorter and faster with more aggressive lyrics.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The 90's is scarred with the arrival of bands who made successful debuts but failed to maintain popularity due to the failings of their later efforts. The immense artistic achievements and radio popularity of Vs., however, ensured that Pearl Jam would remain one of the best bands of the decade and continue to please fans and impress critics after their colossal debut. The album is a balance between hard-hitting numbers like "Go" and "Animal" and acoustic-based songs like "Daughter" and "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town." The songs garner strength by sharing beautiful melodies and steady rhythm figures; "Dissident" and "Rearviewmirror" are effective combinations of lead and rhythm guitar lines that intermingle nicely with Vedder's powerful vocals. Two of Vs.'s best songs two of the band's most unheard of, however: the concluding combination of the fast, catchy "Leash" and the crawling, somber "Indifference." These two effectively wrap the LP up and at the same time encourage the listener to play it over again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
VS. was nominated for a 1995 Grammy Award for Best Rock Album. ''Daughter'' was nominated for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals, and ''Go'' was nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance. Although it topped the pop charts and sold 5 million copies, Pearl Jam's stunning second album is unknown to much of the rock audience. Recoiling from the octopus-like grasp of the music industry, the group refused to support VS. with either videos, singles or a major tour, and rock radio was given just two acoustic-powered ballads, ''Daughter'' and ''Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town,'' as so-called emphasis tracks. The former was about a sexually abused young girl promising to rise above her past, the latter about a forgotten woman with nothing but long gone memories. The rest of the album rocked significantly harder--harder and more raw, in fact, than anything on TEN--and zoomed in on a cusp between those two stories, on moments when outlaws, outcasts, the dispossessed and the disaffected were being called to political judgment. The woman sheltering a ''Dissident'' gives in and turns him over to the police. But the abused subjects of ''Go'' and ''Rearviewmirror''--two of the album's most musically heroic songs--manage to turn the tables and get away. There was a suffocating bleakness to much of VS. (in ''Rats,'' humans are compared most unfavorably to those animals) that would have dragged down a lesser rock band. But singer Eddie Vedder had the support of one of the most transcendent of all classic-rock bands, with a supple rhythm section and two creatively complicated guitarists equally at home with the thrashy pulse of ''Go,'' the delicate prettiness of ''Elderly Woman...'' (check out the layered, stereo guitar work there) and the new wave angularity of a song like ''Glorified G.'' It was serious, but also serious rock and roll.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite Pearl Jam albums.Better Man really spoke to me because I know some women in abusive relationships(this song always gets me misty eyed). By far my favorite song on this album is Animal because I am a vegetarian and I am against cruelty towards animals. Thank you Pearl Jam for another amazing album. If you consider yourself a PJ fan you have to buy this album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album isn't as good as Ten, but it is definitely a must have! "Dissident," "Go," and "Daughter" are the best songs on the album. All I can say is sheck it out.
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