Vs. review by Pearl Jam

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  • Released: Oct 19, 1993
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (42 votes)
Pearl Jam: Vs.

Sound — 10
The sound on this album is incredibly more right in your face, and almost nasty in a good way at times. This was Eddie Vedder's hardest album to make, because he was too comfortable. I don't know how that affected him though, because along with the rest of the band turned what is their 2nd best album. Yes, I still believe Ten, their debut, is better than this, but by a hair. Just like ten almost every song on the album is great. The other thing that makes this record great to me is that it is most likely Pearl Jam's heaviest album. They really pack a punch with this, with the heavy sound, to the raw/in your face production.

Lyrics — 9
The impression that I get with the lyrics of Vs. were very similar to Ten, but in different ways. Daughter is about abuse relationships and struggling childhood, something that showed up on the song Jeremy from Ten, but in a completely different way here. Glorified G talks is somewhat of a mockery of gun-activists. Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town is about the title in a nutshell, but is explained in such a unique way. Overall the lyrics all fit well with the music, just not quite as well as Ten.(you can say that sentence about pretty much everything about this album, the cover, the lyrics, etc., their all great, just not quite as good as Ten) Vedder really shines on this as always. One of the big highlights for me is in the song Rearviewmirror when Vedder sings "once you were in my rearviewmirror" in a huge hook moment. There is several of these moments on this album, just like with Ten. Also it seems to me that the lyrics flow together a recurring thought of conflict throughout the album. Originally it was to be called Five Against One after the first line of the song Animal, but it was changed to Vs. along the way. Vs. seemed like a dumb title to me when I first heard of it, but now it seems so much clearer (pun for those hardcore Pearl Jam fans). Daughter, Elderly Woman, Go, Animal, Rearviewmirror, Leash just to name a few all fall nicely under that title of conflicts.

Overall Impression — 10
This is got to be their 2nd best album like I said before. Vitalogy and Yield contend for the number 3 spot. To me the best songs are Rearviewmirror, Daughter, Go, Animal, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, and Leash. The only song that I don't like on the album is W.M.A. It just never caught on to me. I just love the pure intensity shown on this album. The album cover sums up to what Pearl Jam were feeling at the time. There's not much to hate, although sometimes the way Pearl Jam were making things it seems that sometimes they get caught up in their Non-commerical agenda a little too much to not make videos and such. Normally I wouldn't complain, but I truly wish more music-loving people out there heard this record, and some others of Pearl Jam besides Ten. I would buy this again if it were stolen/lost in a heartbeat. Simply enough, you are not a Pearl Jam fan unless you have heard this album.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I love Dissident haha, guess the username doesn't show that or anything. Great album, actually my favorite Pearl Jam album. it seemed to have more varying style than Ten did, but stayed true to my favorite period of the band
    Captain Sadler
    Rats is great, and so is WMA. Blood, however, drives me crazy. It's just way too discordant, even more so than say, Lukin. Good album all around though.