Pearl Jam
Ten


5.0
classic

Review

by BigHans USER (108 Reviews)
January 20th, 2014 | 128 replies


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist


Sometimes music just owns a piece of you. We all have albums or songs we identify with in some unique fashion that correlates to the overall scope of life. Maybe it’s a recent divorcee connecting with “Blood on the Tracks” to get them through the unmitigated sh*tstorm. Maybe it’s a kid hearing that first note off an accessible metal album and becoming a riff junkie for life. Maybe it’s the sensitive beta type who opts for “For Emma, Forever Ago” to transition through a devastating relationship rather than inhaling a bottle of pills. Or maybe it’s the faux alpha that turns to “Vulgar Display of Power” and alcohol fueled rage rather than facing the actual issue of burden. Any serious fan of music has a handful of records that either define them as a person, or encompassed an era in their life that manifests itself throughout the course of that life. “Ten” is one of those for me.

I have purchased “Ten” 3 different times due to loss or theft. It’s a record I simply HAVE to own in a physical manner, and it’s not even an option, because there are several facets about it that define characteristics of my life. “Release” will be played at my funeral. It’s one of the most gorgeous, powerful songs ever constructed, and seeing it live would be a cathartic, out of body experience. The essence of this song and its climbing, atmospheric might connects with me so intensely that it's imprint is how I want people to remember me when I’m gone. In a grand sense of horrific irony, I knew a person growing up who loved “Jeremy” and tragically mimicked the ominous song’s final result (except for doing it in a classroom). I know at least 3 people who think “Black” and its devastating yet gorgeous atmosphere is the greatest song ever written. The enthralling catchiness of “Alive” and “Even Flow” unequivocally overpowered my 12 year old brain, instilling the now laughable desire to buy 3 Pearl Jam shirts, at least 5 flannel shirts, and pushing my mom to take a vacation in Seattle just so I could walk around with them and hopefully run into Eddie Vedder. Don’t judge me.

If we eliminate purely personal connections, “Ten” effortlessly stands on its own merits as one of the greatest rock albums ever made. Every track (aside from “Deep”) is powerful in its own way, whether manifested in a titanic riff (“Alive”), a vexing chorus (almost all of them), a ferocious anthem (“Porch”), a foreboding tale (“Jeremy,” “ Why Go,” “ Once”) or a transcendent atmosphere (“Release," “Garden,” “Black”). Pearl Jam would eventually cave under an onslaught of pretention, Vedder would relinquish a large part of his vocal prowess almost immediately after this came out, and overall the band just forgot how to write great songs, at least for a period of time. Despite that, it’s difficult to find an album that was more right place, right time than “Ten.” It was perfectly executed arena rock for a new era, and was the ideal replacement for the dwindling landscape of what hard rock was facing at the time. Without “Ten,” we wouldn’t have endured Scott Stapp failing at the worst vocal rip-off in the history of culture and the radio rock/post grunge movement would have had to find a different muse, but we would be left without a watershed album.



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user ratings (2686)
Chart.
4.4
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
BigHans
January 20th 2014


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Cool Story Bro. Happy 100th to me (not counting OFace reviews).

Hep Kat
January 20th 2014


15351 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i wrote a review for this for my 50th. it was shit though dont read it

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 20th 2014


6202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fantastic review, pos.

I have it too on physical copy.

Digging: Seduced (AT) - The Proclamation

dannyboy89
January 20th 2014


12031 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Awesome review Hans, leave it to someone like you to write stuff like this.

Pos'd hard, album is also one of my faves.

greencorn5
January 20th 2014


211 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah we sounded like the same kid growing up. What are you @ 30ish? Anyways great album, and a nice short review to go with it. This is one album where you don't really need to get into the specifics of the music or lyrics because it has been around for 20 years and has sold like a billion copies. But still probably my all time #1. Also, I think "Deep" is absolutely a powerful song though it took me years and years as an adolescence to fully appreciate it compared to the more listener-friendly stuff on here.

YoYoMancuso
January 20th 2014


11151 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album has not aged well for me at all. Garden is still like the best song ever though. Review rules as usual.

BigHans
January 20th 2014


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks guys, yeah Greencorn, I was 12 the first time I heard this, which was shortly after it came out.

manosg
January 20th 2014


6255 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Never got into this album that much as to think of it as classic. Excellent review, pos.

Digging: Acrimony - Tumuli Shroomaroom

tempest--
January 20th 2014


13896 Comments


Great record, my mum has the CD m/

sapient
January 20th 2014


2101 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Album has not aged well for me at all. Garden is still like the best song ever though. Review rules as usual."

Out of the Grunge version of the Big Four's breakthrough records (Ten, Nevermind, Badmotorfinger, Dirt), this definitely has aged the worst, but the song-writing is still top quality

Digging: The Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

intotheshit
January 20th 2014


3639 Comments


Hans, my man.... Your writing has definitely gotten better over the years. Great review. Album is a classic. Release is godly

BigHans
January 20th 2014


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks Pit, but I actually think, in the words of the immortal Toby Keith "I aint as good as I once was"

dannyboy89
January 20th 2014


12031 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I WILL WALLLLLLLKKKKKKK

tempest--
January 20th 2014


13896 Comments


"pushing my mom to take a vacation in Seattle just so I could walk around with [Pearl Jam shirts] and hopefully run into Eddie Vedder. Don’t judge me."

lol

BigHans
January 20th 2014


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I actually did go to Seattle in 92, have family out there. I thought I was so badass with my Pearl Jam shirts. I thought everyone would think I was the coolest fucking guy on the planet. Sadly, my ego wasnt fed.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 20th 2014


19920 Comments


gratz on 100. good review too

Digging: Transit - Joyride

zakalwe
January 20th 2014


8503 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Jesus Hans that opening paragraph rings all sorts of truths, love it.
Like yourself I have bought this numerous times because life just isn't the same without it knocking about.

Digging: Throwing Muses - Red Heaven

BigHans
January 20th 2014


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thats my test to how important an album is to me. If I can't live without having it on physical copy.

intotheshit
January 20th 2014


3639 Comments


When are we gonna do it Hans?

BigHans
January 20th 2014


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Whats that Pit



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