Sound — 10
Put simply? This sounds like nothing else you've ever heard. Sure, there are heavy references to '70s and '80s rock groups but Mother Love Bone have an incredibly unique sound. If you like Pearl Jam and don't have an aversion to "'80s" music, then the musical side of MLB will be a delight to listen to. However, the main draw of this album is Andy Wood. The late frontman was an unbelievably charismatic, magical person. Unlike the "Kurt" style frontmen of the grunge bands that followed, Andy was not scared to be a rock-star. He was never cool and he knew it, instead dedicating his life to bringing "LoveRock" to the world. Wood's vocals are not virtuosic or even particularly technical but they are unique and strangely beautiful on songs such as Man of Golden Words and the astonishingly heartfelt Chloe Dancer/Crown Of Thorns (which by the way is the best song ever written). Musically, MLB were fantastic but the real reason to hear this album is Andy. tis useful to point out that this album is a compilation of MLB's debut EP and only album.
Lyrics — 10
OK, here we need to clear up a few things. If you listen to Mother Love Bone expecting Pearl Jam-like songwriting (Most find this band through their knowledge of PJ), you will be surprised. Wood's lyrics ranged from touching and beautiful (Man of golden words, gentle groove, Chloe dancer/crown of thorns) to obscure classical references (Bone China's "She like a brunnhilda" springing to mind). However, listen with an open mind and you will realise that this band were unique. Besides, the stunning Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns is worth the price of the album alone. I know it seems like sacriledge considering the existence of Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Neil Young etc, but I really believe this is the best song ever written by anyone. I cannot express in words how this song makes me feel.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, this is within my top 5 albums ever made. Some may find the '80s production and some of the more upbeat songs a little hard to listen to but the ballads are unbelievable. Man of Golden words is almost as amazing as Crown of thorns. The whole album just makes you feel happy, even with Crown of Thorns being a ballad about losing your girlfriend because of your drug addiction. Eventually Andrew Wood lost his fight with that addiction but thankfully he left behind a small but unique legacy that few could ever match. He wrote Crown of Thorns, the only song I have ever literally fallen in love with.