SOUNDTRACK: PEARL JAM-Yield (1998)
This Pearl Jam disc is something of a return to form after the experimentation of No Code. Part of me feels bad that they experimented less, because I do enjoy a band’s wild side, and yet these songs are uniformly fantastic, and they include some of my favorites by Pearl Jam.
“Brain of J” bursts out of the speakers, as one of their heavier opening tracks. Catchy and fast. “Faithful” starts as a ballady song but the choruses once again build into a great sing along. “No Way” is a more experimental sounding song. It’s right in the middle of their speeds, but the guitar has a mysterious echo on it that gives it an eerie feel. “Given to Fly” is a classic: slow, building, anthemic. “Wishlist” is another of Sarah’s favorites: a simple, catchy melody that builds and builds.
“Pilate” is a rather confusing song: “Like Pilate, I have a dog” Okay. A gnashing rocking chorus with verses that are actually catchier. “Do the Evolution” quickly became my favorite Pearl Jam song from the live sets. This studio version is a little slower, and to me it sounds off. But it’s such a weird little song, what with the “choir” singing “alleluia” and yet it is just a perfectly tidy punk song. Certainly one of my favorite PJ songs. The next untitled song (a red dot) is one of those weird, forgettable tracks that PJ throws on their albums, it’s less than a minute of steel drum inspired chanting. It’s quickly followed by another of my favorite songs “MFC” a rocking song that sounds like its subject matter (driving).
“Low Light” is a slow song that builds, but it is a very full song; the whole band plays, keeping it from being dull. “In Hiding” has a great guitar opening and one of those great Pearl Jam singalong choruses. “Push Me, Pull Me” is another weird little track, that reminds me of some of the Who’s wackier numbers. “All Those Yesterdays” ends the disc on a quirky song. It’s catchy but not as catchy as some tracks.
The album ends with an untitled hidden track. It’s a Middle Eastern style guitar solo. Amazon says the song is called “Hummus.”
I really enjoy this disc, it’s a shame it took me so long to discover it as I had given up on PJ after No Code. But now it ranks as one of my favorites.
[READ: April 24, 2009] “Two Cosmicomics”
I’m not sure why all of these Calvino stories are appearing in magazines all of a sudden. But after the one in the New Yorker not to long ago, I figured I’d give this one a try, too. (more…)