Pearl Jam
Ten


5.0
classic

Review

by Edmund Blackadder USER (32 Reviews)
July 8th, 2009 | 60 replies


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the album that made the 90s, TEN (Standing ovation, clapping ensues, people cry with joy).

Pearl Jam
Ten
Epic Records, 1991

Pearl Jam is...
Eddie Vedder: Vocals
Stone Gossard: Guitar
Mike McCready: Guitar
Jeff Ament: Bass
Dave Krusen: Drums

1991 has been hailed as a great year for modern music. Gone were the cheesy, overproduced stadium anthems and terrible clothes of the 80s, and gone was the unfortunate trend of terrible rap singles (Ice Ice Baby). Grunge music had just begun to take center stage in the musical industry, with grunge giants Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Stone Temple Pilots expanding the fledgling genre. This group of grunge giants would not have been completed if not for the rise of Pearl Jam.

Forming in 1990 after the demise of grunge forefathers Mother Love Bone and Temple Of The Dog, the members of Pearl Jam came together in a studio in their hometown of Seattle to record their first album, Ten. The album soon become a surefire success, despite various critics claiming that Pearl Jam were sell out copies of fellow bands Nirvana and Alice In Chains. A massive tour was announced in order to help boost the record's sales, which skyrocketed, allowing Ten to peak the charts and eventually become one of the best selling albums of all time.

But what of the music contained here? Does the quality of the album still hold up, almost eighteen years later? The answer is a definite yes. This album manages to capture grunge at it's peak, and combine it with powerful arena rock hooks and strong songwriting.

Eddie Vedder is a superb vocalist, and Ten captures him at his prime. His magnificent, deep voice soars above the musical soundscape and is filled with emotion and power. Growls and animalistic shrieks are not uncommon in his vocal style, but the simply add to the sheer animosity of the harder songs ('Once', 'Why Go', 'Even Flow'). His voice is also suitable on slower, ballad songs such as the gorgeous 'Black' or the eerie 'Oceans'. As the chief songwriter for the band, his lyrics are as great as his voice, dealing often with depression and drug abuse. 'Alive' tells the story of a young man who realizes that his father is not his real father and that his mother is attracted to him (just as strange as it sounds), while 'Once' continues this cycle, with the young man expressing his hatred to the world. Overall, Eddie is an excellent songwriter and vocalist who expresses angst and anger through his musical stylings. Pearl Jam would not be complete without his strong influence.

The guitar assault of Mike McCready and Stone Gossard is a force to be reckoned with. Ten is abundant with catchy, hard hitting riffs such as those on 'Once', 'Deep', and 'Even Flow'. A great amount of distortion is used, but not so much that the rest of the instruments are overpowered. McCready's solos are unique and emotional, especially the two minute masterpiece found on 'Alive'. Effects pedals and other items are used on many of the songs, especially the wah wah riff of 'Deep' and the opening of the epic 'Jeremy'. Although Stone mostly hangs back as rhythm guitarist, he occasionally adds his own soloing to the mix, such as the quick, distorted solo on 'Why Go'. The dual guitarists manage to give this album and arena rock feel, while also adding distortion and crunchy riffs in order to expand on the grunge aspect of their music.

Although the guitar and vocals tend to take the stage for much of the album, the rhythm section is not neglected. Dave Krusen is a decent, with the use of cymbals and snare drum disguising his less than technical approach. 'Even Flow' contains a very infectious drum groove that fits perfectly with the equally catchy guitar line. A more jazzy approach is taken towards slower songs such as 'Release' and 'Oceans' with the kits providing more of an atmosphere than a real rhythm. Jeff Ament is also quite talented, and, although his bass lines are often drowned out by the guitar, when they become more audible they prove to be catchy and well written. The first thirty seconds of 'Why Go' show Jeff and Dave collaborating very well, with very catchy, original results that would later be replicated on the later Pearl Jam tune, 'Go'.

In conclusion, Ten is an absolute classic album. The vocals, songwriting, and instrumentation all combine to create a spectacular musical experience, and one that has yet the be topped by the band. Musical variety is abundant here, with fast hard rock songs 'Once', 'Deep', 'Why Go', touching ballads 'Black', 'Oceans', 'Release', and slow epics, 'Alive', 'Jeremy'. Even if you are not a fan of grunge or hard rock, you should still listen to this album, as I guarantee it will make you fall in love with the genre, and this band.

Recommended Tracks
-Even Flow
-Alive
-Black
-Why Go
-Oceans
-Jeremy
-Garden



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user ratings (2674)
Chart.
4.4
superb
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
shindip
July 8th 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

so... I guess im gonna start reviewing all the PJ albums...

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
July 8th 2009


7338 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

great review pos'd, amazing album, one of my top 5 ever

handoman
July 8th 2009


2386 Comments


not a fan

NebSnurb
July 8th 2009


535 Comments


Amazing album, highly emotional and energetic.

Mendigo
July 8th 2009


2299 Comments


Black is so awesome

cvlts
July 8th 2009


8955 Comments


pos

klap
Staff Reviewer
July 8th 2009


10421 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

you would choose pearl jam's discography

Digging: Tennis - Ritual In Repeat

Romulus
July 8th 2009


8436 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good album, good review, good luck on the rest

shindip
July 8th 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Im not going to go as detailed with my next PJ reviews, as none of the albums are really as close and personal to me

Nagrarok
July 8th 2009


8246 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Then listen to them more. You can't make the first review with much detail and than stray off that path for all the other albums... It just doesn't make sense. Review's great though, excellent start, and as I actually already said, keep it up. This is still in my top 5 albums of all time, not sure which place though.

MentalityOfA
July 8th 2009


1213 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pretty boring song titles.

shindip
July 8th 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

^
^
considering ive had this album the shortest time and listened to it less, it wont make a difference

Nagrarok
July 8th 2009


8246 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Pretty boring song titles.

Does not define how good a song is.

KILL
July 8th 2009


71795 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album is cooooooool

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

Chewie
July 8th 2009


4532 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ya Pearl Jam are solid as fuck

Meatplow
July 8th 2009


5524 Comments


this is one of my favourite rock albums, I can listen to it over and over

shindip
July 8th 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

^samesies

Douchebag
July 8th 2009


3624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm gonna get killed for this but whilst it's a brilliant album, I can't listen to it over and over again like so many people... and I much prefer nevermind when it comes to 90's rock sorry

MassiveAttack
July 8th 2009


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I can this is early 90s rock in all its glory. In Utero > Nevermind, Ten > Vs, Jar of Flies > Dirt, Superunknown > Down On The Upside, Purple > Core...mmmmm yes.

ninjuice
July 8th 2009


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nevermind sucks Ten's balls, people.



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