Rearviewmirror: Greatest Hits 1991-2003 Review

artist: Pearl Jam date: 07/22/2008 category: compact discs
Pearl Jam: Rearviewmirror: Greatest Hits 1991-2003
Released: Nov 16, 2004
Genre: Rock
Styles: Alternative Pop/Rock, Grunge, Hard Rock
Number Of Tracks: 33
It not only gives casual fans all the hits, but it captures why the band mattered, while providing a better listen than their proper LPs in the process.
 Sound: 9.3
 Lyrics: 8.7
 Overall Impression: 8.7
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reviews (3) 11 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8.7
Rearviewmirror: Greatest Hits 1991-2003 Reviewed by: RookMaster, on november 30, 2004
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Being that Rearviewmirror is the greatest hits compliation for Pearl Jam, there is a lot of variation in the styles and sounds of the record. Pearl Jam is known for the amount of variety they've produced in their albums throughout their career, and this is the epitome of it. Your first notion when looking at the track list are the remixes of the three songs chosen from the album "Ten", which are "Alive", "Black", and "Once". Think of them as not remixed but remade using newer modern equipment. Every song on this album is of pure quality. // 10

Lyrics: Eddie Vedder is a lyrical genious, moreso in my opinion than Kurt Cobain. Rearviewmirror expresses everything that Vedder has felt/stood for in his music career in definite fashion. Not only is Vedder's lyric-writing superb, but his vocals are just as great. He can alter his voice at any time and have it still sound good, unlike a lot of other artists you see nowadays. My only problem with his vocals is the fact that you can start to hear the deterioration of his voice on the tracks from later albums. Vedder needs to quit smoking. // 8

Overall Impression: A little personal sidenote, I feel that some of the tracks on here should be replaced with other tracks. I would have loved to see "Indifference" off Vs., "No Way" off Yield, and at least another song off Lost Dogs, such as "Sad", "Dead Man", "Fatal", or "Wash". These could replace "Immortality", "Light Years", and "Save You". If you own all of Pearl Jam's albums, like I do, then odds are you won't be purchasing this but downloading the remixes and the track "State of Love and Trust". I wouldn't blame you for it, but it's always nice to have a "best-of" CD to keep with you in the car and this is a great "best-of" album. Then again, it is a best-of album, so odds are you have all the albums that these songs appear on. But if you haven't picked up all of Pearl Jam's records or you haven't ever heard of Pearl Jam (shame on you!) want to find out what you've missed, then this is a choice purchase for you. If someone stole this, I'd break their face if I could find them, but I'd most definitely repurchase the CD if I couldn't find a face to break. // 8

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overall: 9
Rearviewmirror: Greatest Hits 1991-2003 Reviewed by: Will_GnR_87, on june 19, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 9

Lyrics: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 9
Rearviewmirror: Greatest Hits 1991-2003 Reviewed by: les_paul_01, on july 22, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This CD is Pearl Jam's greatest hits collection, hence it spans all the changes in the band's sound in it's nearly 20 year career. The band emerged at the height of the Grunge era, and for any who hasn't heard of them before, it's not too hard to imagine "Alive" or "Jeremy" ruling the airwaves. However, the band always looked to experiment, as a result of which after the debut album (the first few songs on both discs), Pearl Jam more or less emerged onto a kind of style that has been evident on all later releases, a kind of timeless, slightly weird, slightly experimental (but always interesting) folky alt-rock. Whereas most Greatest Hits CDs just list the songs in chronological order, Rearviewmirror does so, but after dividing the songs neatly into a Rock and a Ballad (or Up and Down). This means that when listening to the record as a whole, there's less variation in each disc. Anyone who's listened to a Pearl Jam album would know how easily the band can switch from full-out rock mode, to sombre, ballad mode (take "Why Go" immediately followed by "Black" on Ten as an example), so the way it's done here is certainly interesting for any listener (although it does take away the surprise for any first-time Pearl Jam listener). The record features remixes of "Once", "Alive" and "Black" (and although it isn't listed as one, "Even Flow" has a slightly different mix than the original), which I guess was done to give the most up-front impact on any first-time listener. Personally, I don't think the remixes are any better or worse than the original versions, I just think it's interesting hearing an alternate version of the same song. // 9

Lyrics: Eddie Vedder is widely regarded as one of the best lyricists of the past 20 years. He has a way of writing words that never seem generic, but always seem so natural. His voice's range matches the variety offered up by the rest of the band. He can go from all-out rock n roll to gentle balladeering at the drop of the hat. Take "Animal" and "Elderly Woman" from the Vs. album. Both at completely different ends on the rock spectrum, yet Eddie seems equally at home on both of them. Probably the only complaint I have of his singing is that it deteriorates towards the later albums, mostly due to his smoking. It goes without saying that he's still a great singer, but at the same time it's sad to see his vocal range & tone disappear. // 9

Overall Impression: The collection here is a pretty definitive one. There aren't too many surprising choices of songs here (which is both good and bad. sometimes it's interesting to find out what a band thinks of it's own music), so the choice is not likely to annoy anyone, so it suits it's purpose pretty well. Pearl Jam are a rock band first and foremost, but I personally think it's the Ballad (Down) side that really shines the most. They've included quite a few non-album tracks towards the end (Yellow Ledbetter, Man Of The Hour, Last Kiss), which I guess makes it good for completists. For massive fans of any band (such as myself with Pearl Jam), sometimes Greatest Hits collections seem a little uneccesary, as usually you have most of the tracks on CD already anyway. However This compilation has been handled really well (I think it's been made for listening, something many greatest hits fail to address), and I can happily listen to either disc. // 9

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