Pearl Jam

Epic Records, 1993


REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


Enough praises have been shouted about Vs. being one of the greatest rock records of all time, but is enough really enough? Well, apparently not. If there is an album that is a true representative of modern rock music, it is this one, and the more is said about it the better.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Vs. was a part of one of rock music's most prolific and most brilliant phases -- the grunge boom. Most of the classic albums in modern rock were created during the period of 1990 to 1995, and Vs. was a part of this explosion of great rock records.

What makes Vs. so special? To start with, there are the singles. Vs. is a rare record in that it has huge hit singles, none of which were "officially" released and none of which has a video. "Go," "Daughter," "Animal," and "Rearviewmirror" are eternal rock anthems, but the band never released them individually. As a matter of fact, the record is full of unforgettable anthems. From start to finish, Vs. is full of tracks that sound like selections from a "best of…" compilation.

Vs. is less polished but more mature than Ten, Pearl Jam's debut. This album is heavier and less refined, the closest to a punk record the band ever made. The tracks scream aloud in all fury as if there is a maddening agony inside each of them that has to be let out.

With cuts like "Blood," "Rats," and "Leash," this deep distress seems too obvious with the presentation, but the more pensive numbers -- "Daughter" and especially "Indifference" -- give the greatest impact of this juggernaut with their hauntingly somber but equally anguished demeanors.

These days, it is almost impossible to find a great grunge record; grunge is dead, and its offshoots like emo are doing little to nothing to keep this great genre going proud and strong. However, grunge produced albums that are timeless and still sound as inspiring as they did when they were released. Vs. is an ageless record, and a good way to remind intelligent listeners of rock that though it may seem like it, grunge never truly died.

Rating: A

User Rating: B+



© 2005 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Epic Records, and is used for informational purposes only.