Review Summary: Control Myself, CHAPTER 5: "It's Evolution, Baby..."
People didn't hate No Code
, they just didn't care that it existed; nobody could be blamed for that. After three albums of constant growth and power, it was disheartening but almost natural for that album to be released. But Pearl Jam knew they couldn't repeat the incident, as doing such could have seen downfall as bad as Alice in Chains and Soundgarden were facing in the late '90s. The antidote had to be made.
Released at the beginning of nu-metal and post-grunge, Yield
was a total left turn from the expansively difficult nature of their 2 previous releases. Trading in experiments for singles, the band wrote simpler and put egotistical writing issues aside, creating a sort of manifesto by which most Pearl Jam albums are now created by. Concisely tracked, "Brain of J." and "Do the Evolution" are welcome returns to the bands brand of punk-inflected hard rock extravaganza. Concise as ever, the tracks remain memorable darting about the oddity of "MFC" and the tranquil flow of "Faithful". Very rarely does Yield
confound, and it's all the better for it's attempts to ease new audiences into the bands sound.
However simply saying that Yield
is the bands most accessible would undermine the fact that at times it does have its share of surprises and "Bugs". Underpinned by some truly horrendous numbers- the John Cale inspired "Push Me, Pull Me", vaguely prepared number "•"- Yield
unfortunately never climbs the heights it's intended, forgetting at times that this is Pearl Jam for the fresh batch of Gen Y consumers. Other experiments like the No Code
-esque "Pilate" are inoffensive but again simply don't work in the context of the record. Were it not for the ascending anthems in the nature of "Given to Fly" and "All those Yesterday's", these tracks would be unforgivable, with Yield
all the better for when it is finally performing on track.
mightn't be the bands best work but it's still their cornerstone for accessibility. Giving an overall portrait of a band in their confused throws and search for redemption, Yield
was but the eye of the storm- their next album would be their most awkward and difficult to contend with piece yet.
NEXT: "Standing Outside Hating Everyone Here..."