Vs. Review

artist: Pearl Jam date: 08/12/2014 category: compact discs
Pearl Jam: Vs.
Released: Oct 19, 1993
Genre: Grunge, Alternative Rock
Label: Epic
Number Of Tracks: 12
Though sounding quite a bit more raw, "Vs." is a step in the right direction for Pearl Jam, conveying a musical sophistication that only improved from that point.
 Sound: 9.4
 Lyrics: 8.8
 Overall Impression: 9.4
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reviews (5) 13 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8.7
Vs. Reviewed by: DownInAHole., on august 17, 2006
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: Released in 1993, this is Pearl Jam's second album. It is 46 minutes long and the sound quality is very good in a grunge kindo of way. The original CD came in a cardboard cover that was hard to figure out how to open. This is just a very good CD throughout. There are no weak songs on it. There are some great numbers, like W.M.A. and Rearviewmirror. There is a lot of energy in the music. The only real problem is the mix, in some spots. The drums can be up front too much on some tracks, especially Leash. // 8

Lyrics: Eddie Vedder is an amazing singer-songwriter-composer, and it really shows on this album. I will always think of him as one of the original "grunge ambassadors" just because of his raspy glass-shattering voice. He is an excellent singer. Stone Gossard's and Mike McCready's guitars went very well with Eddie's vocals. // 9

Overall Impression: This album caught a lot of flack and a lot of people didn't like it. I am not one of those people, I really liked this album. Trying to follow up "Ten" (one of the greatest rock albums ever) is a difficult thing to do and soph. albums more often then not end up sucking. Vs is solid Pearl Jam that any fan will love. Will also be enjoyed by fans of '90s rock. If I lost this I probably would end up buying it again. It is PJ at their best so I strongly urge you to pick up a copy. // 9

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overall: 10
Vs. Reviewed by: Layne_cantrell, on january 30, 2006
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Unlike the debut album Ten (which is awesome too), Vs has a raw, stripped back sound that makes it sound like a live show. Trust me, this is a good thing. The guitars are loud, proud and in your face, the drums are heavy thanks to Dave Abbruzzese's hard hitting and Eddie Vedder's vocals are primal on the rockers and eerie on the ballads. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are always Pearl Jam's strongest point and unlike Ten where the words were written by Vedder and the music by the rest of the band, Vs was a collective effort. Of course, Vedder contributes most to the lyrics and they are typical PJ material, covering issues like gun crime (Glorified G), police brutality (WMA) and basic angst (Leash). // 10

Overall Impression: Many say that this album was a disappointment after Ten. They are talking rubbish. Yes, the second half of the album is more difficult to get into than the first but persevere and you will be rewarded. WMA has an awesome groove and the repetition is intentional. One of Dave A's best beats. Also Leash is in my opinion the best rocking PJ song with the best refrain (listen and you'll see what I mean). If I lost this or it was stolen I'd buy a new copy the same day. Awesome album. // 10

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overall: 9
Vs. Reviewed by: Jaytee805, on august 12, 2014
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: In what was only Pearl Jam's third year of making music, Eddie Vedder approaches this album's vocal section with the attitude of a rookie at heart coming to understand that his fame has grown far more massive than he himself. Displaying his ability to transition instantaneously from distorted growling to sweet serenading, Vedder's unique vocal style truly sets this album apart from those of Pearl Jam's contemporaries.

"Vs." takes on a different sound than Pearl Jam's previous work, assuming a more straightforward-rock sound than "Ten." Though sounding quite a bit more raw, "Vs." is a step in the right direction for Pearl Jam, conveying a musical sophistication that only improved from that point. // 9

Lyrics: As would prove a pattern in his songwriting, Eddie Vedder's lyrics on Vs. Are very personal, ranging from opinions to past experiences. Notably, on "Glorified G," Vedder mocks the need of some to possess firearms, stating "Got a gun, in fact I got two. That's okay man, 'cause I love God," and even going so far as to state "glorified version of a pellet gun" for the song's main hook. In "Daughter," he takes a dark turn to describe parents wondering why their daughter is unable to learn, unbeknownst to them that she is in fact mentally disabled, and the daughter's subsequent self-hatred. In the more light-hearted, Jeff Ament-penned "Rats," Vedder compares rats to humans, by sarcastically comparing many of our faults to those of rats, and even going so far as to say that quite a few of the things we do are lower than what rats do in the same situation. The iconic "Rearviewmirror" finds Vedder reminiscing about the times he's wanted to escape a particular instance. He states, "It made me feel like I was in a car, leaving something, a bad situation. There's an emotion there. I remembered all the times I wanted to leave..."

"Vs." takes a rather unique approach to sonically pairing lyrics and music. In particular, "Dissident" stands out in that the melody intertwines with the chorus riff. The two feed from each other in nothing short of a perfect complementary way, and then feed into one another as the song progresses. // 8

Overall Impression: Released amidst the grunge explosion, "Vs." can be compared to other artists in that it was a crucial album to the success of the genre. The highly anticipated follow-up to 1991's "Ten," "Vs." sold over 900,000 copies in the first five days of release, a record which, due to an alteration in album sales scoring, is currently unbreakable. Exhibiting a thorough combination of raw angst and aggression with a sense of musical sophistication, "Vs." takes "grunge" to an entirely new level.

This album marks a crucial point in Pearl Jam's history. Upon the release of "Vs.," the band proved it planned to stick around for some time. With the follow-up to "Ten," Pearl Jam brought both international attention to grunge, but a unique group of followers to themselves as well as they started to advance in defining their sound. 

If this record were stolen from me, I would appreciate that perhaps I turned another musician onto one of Seattle's best. For this reason, I recommend purchasing two copies. // 10

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overall: 8.7
Vs. Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 02, 2004
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Pearl Jam's second album is also their rawest sounding album. While "Ten" had an arena rock/arena rock feel to it, "Vs." has that old stripped down, in your face sound to it. Their first album to be produced by alt. rock legend Brendan O'Brian gives the band a completly different feel from their debut. The band itself lends it's intense energy to the overall sound of the album, as if "Vs." was recorded live in concert. It's this intensity that seperates "Vs." from every other studio album Pearl Jam did because they never sounded so verocious. // 10

Lyrics: Eddie Vedder is, and always will be, considered one of the great rock vocalists of all time. His vocal style is instantly recongizable, and also one of rock's most imitated and accesilble voices. While much credit and accolades are given to his voice, his lyrics mostly are shortchanged when it comes to acclaim. One of Pearl Jam's strengths comes from Eddie's heartfelt and passionite lyrics, that are relatible to any person from any walks of life. On "Vs." Eddie shows off his more primal side. He comes close to screaming himself hoarse on the album's first two tracks, and keeps up the intensity throughout the album. The lyrics range from gun control (Glorified G) to simple stories like not wanting a love to leave (Go). While Vedder fell into a comfort zone with his vocal tone from "Yield" on, on "Vs." he never sounded more passionate, or more angry. // 8

Overall Impression: While "Vs." stands as one of Pearl Jam's best works, it's faults are glaring. "Vs."'s strengths lie in it's opening, or more accuratly, from "Go" to "Dissident." The first five tracks are some of the strongest, most complete songs Pearl Jam has ever done. However, "W.M.A." begins to kill the album's momentium. Even though "Daughter" came after two of the most intense songs in Pearl Jam's repitouir (Go and Animal), "W.M.A." kills the passion the band brought to the album. "Vs."'s only saving grace in the second half is "R.V.M." and "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town." Besides that, Pearl Jam's "Vs." stands as an enigma in their discography. Half of the tracks, from "Go" to "Dissident", "Rearviewmirror" and "Elderly Woman..." stand as some of the best work Pearl Jam recorded to record. The rest, well, it all depends on the listener. // 8

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overall: 9.7
Vs. Reviewed by: acdclandon, on december 24, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 10

Lyrics: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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