Sound — 9
This cd is a pretty definitive collection of Pearl Jam's history, with songs off every album, plus some not featured on any album. Spread across two discs, there are 33 songs in total. From the opening song on disc one, 'Once' (minus the 30-odd seconds of weird noises that is featured on the Ten album) to the final track on disc two, the rare 'Yellow Ledbetter', Rearviewmirror is a solid reminder that Pearl Jam were (and still are) one of the greatest things to ever come out of Seattle. Eddie Vedder's lyrical genius and Mike McCready's brilliant guitar playing emphasize that they are one of a kind. The album has its share of classics (Alive, Even Flow, Rearviewmirror, etc, etc) but it also has a few duds as well. The slow paced 'Off He Goes' is pretty dull, and 'Who Are You' can be fitted into the same category. Having said that, with 30+ other songs to listen to, the bad songs are certainly outweighed by the better songs.
Lyrics — 9
Eddie Vedder should be classified as one of the best songwriters of our time. Teamed with Jeff Ament, Mike McCready and Stone Gossard, Pearl Jam are a considerable force when it comes to songriting. From the beauty of 'Given To Fly' to the morbidly amazing 'Black' the band shows that they were in the top ten bands of the 90s. Vedder is also one of the best singers of our time, possessing a voice of great range. In the one song his voice can fluctuate between slow crooning to perfectly timed screams. And with McCready, Ament, Gossard and Matt Cameron, four very capable musicians, the lyrics submit perfectly into the music.
Overall Impression — 9
As a greatest hits collection, it obviously can't be compared to any other of their albums, but in general they have picked a pretty good mix of songs. Stronger songs from disc one include Alive, Even Flow, Jeremy, Rearviewmirror, Spin The Black Circle and Do The Evolution. Better songs from disc two include Black, Daughter, Edlerly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, Betterman, Given To Fly, Last Kiss and I am Mine. Duds from both sides include Who Are You, Off He Goes and Immortality. I love the fact that they have songs off every single album, and that they haven't just picked the singles. I love that they have included songs not found off othert albums I.e Last Kiss, I Got ID, Yellow Ledbetter and Breath. What I don't like about this album is the fact that they didn't include the song MFC (Mini Fast Car). That's about the only thing wrong with this album.