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 Post subject: Re: Pearl Jam (self titled): Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sun March 24, 2013 2:32 pm 
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I realized when we were doing those Let's Actually Listen threads a while ago that this was the album of the "WTF chorus" for me. WWS, Marker in the Sand, Army Reserve at least all have these pretty cool verses followed by a chorus that just completely takes me out of the song. The boneheaded "the world, world over" chorus particularly sticks out just cause the rest of the song is so good.


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 Post subject: Re: Pearl Jam (self titled): Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sun March 24, 2013 2:40 pm 
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i agree with you on Army Reserve's chorus.

I love the Marker chorus but I agree I'm not sure it fits well with the rest of the song. Marker always kinda felt like 3 separate songs combined into one. The chorus/outro, the bridge, and the verses. They are all god, but something feels a little off in the final fusion that holds the song back.

I guess I understand not liking the WWS chorus, but I think the music is catchy as hell and I love how Eddie sings it and tends to snarl out the final 'suicide' Not his finest hour lyrically, but the song carries me past that.

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 Post subject: Re: Pearl Jam (self titled): Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sun March 24, 2013 2:57 pm 
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oh i think WWS is perfect. The music is amazing, the guitars, the solo, Matt background vocals...even Ed´s voice is great too.

and the chorus??? one of their best.

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 Post subject: Re: Pearl Jam (self titled): Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sun March 24, 2013 2:58 pm 
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I have no real issue with WWS other than the chorus, which I find horrendous and unimaginative. The verses and pre-chorus work really well.

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 Post subject: Re: Pearl Jam (self titled): Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sun March 24, 2013 3:15 pm 
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after how low energy riot act was it is impossible to overstate what a relief WWS was.

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 Post subject: Re: Pearl Jam (self titled): Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sun March 24, 2013 3:26 pm 
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theplatypus wrote:
I have no real issue with WWS other than the chorus, which I find horrendous and unimaginative. The verses and pre-chorus work really well.


Yeah, that's it. I feel about that chorus the way pretty much everyone else feels about "Evacuation" a song who's chorus I never had a problem with.

It's such a great build up, the way the intensity level ratchets up in each part of WWS, than giving way to that chorus is a letdown.


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 Post subject: Re: Pearl Jam (self titled): Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sun March 24, 2013 3:34 pm 
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I struggle to put into words how much I hate this album. It basically represents the very worst of pearl jam in one album. Uninspiring, bland and worst of all it's just so safe and mainstream. I really can't help but feel like this is their mid-life crisis album, like they (eddie, probably) got really upset about how unpopular Riot Act and Binaural were and decided to prove to everyone that they still have it. In the end it just sounds really immature and out of place, like those mothers who dress like their teenage daughters and try to be their best friends.

The only things I like here are Army Reserve, Unemployable and the verses on Marker (the chorus is lazy as shit).

Sorry for being so negative, but I LOVE Binaural and Riot Act and wish so desperately that this album would have followed that path rather than going in the exact opposite direction.

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 Post subject: Re: Pearl Jam (self titled): Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sun March 24, 2013 3:48 pm 
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what exactly is safe and mainstream about S/T that wasn't present on previous PJ records?

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 Post subject: Re: Pearl Jam (self titled): Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sun March 24, 2013 4:18 pm 
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There are parts of it that definitely feel a bit stilted in terms of "this is our return to RAWK". It seemed like every PJ release had critics and others saying, "no, no, they REALLY sound like Ten this time around", and this was the first time it felt like they were listening to their own press. I don't know if that's mainstream or not, but I suppose in a way it could be viewed as such.


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 Post subject: Re: Pearl Jam (self titled): Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sun March 24, 2013 4:34 pm 
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most of the comparisons I read likened it to Vs. I guess I can see that in that both records are probably the most immediate sounding of all PJ albums, but each one really has its own sonic identity, and the production on that album is so abrasive it is hard to call it safe.

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 Post subject: Re: Pearl Jam (self titled): Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sun March 24, 2013 4:48 pm 
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The production on S/T? The production on that album is probably the safest a mainstream rock album these days can have, IMO. I don't know if the reason they did it was to fit in on modern rock radio, but it's mastered in such a fashion that it would have no problem doing so.


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 Post subject: Re: Pearl Jam (self titled): Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sun March 24, 2013 5:12 pm 
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it's loud, but it is a very harsh sound. Hardly pleasing to the ears. It just doesn't strike me as 'safe'.

I guess I'm just railing against the usual 'I don't like it so it must be because it is safe and mainstream, hardly in compliance with my cutting edge tastes'.


(that's not directed at you Digster)

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 Post subject: Re: Pearl Jam (self titled): Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sun March 24, 2013 5:14 pm 
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Stone did talk about a conscious move towards writing more accessible songs after Riot Act.

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 Post subject: Re: Pearl Jam (self titled): Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sun March 24, 2013 5:15 pm 
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i have so much less patience than I used to

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 Post subject: Re: Pearl Jam (self titled): Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sun March 24, 2013 5:48 pm 
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stip wrote:
it's loud, but it is a very harsh sound. Hardly pleasing to the ears. It just doesn't strike me as 'safe'.

I guess I'm just railing against the usual 'I don't like it so it must be because it is safe and mainstream, hardly in compliance with my cutting edge tastes'.


(that's not directed at you Digster)


I'm just saying there's not much difference between how the S/T is mixed and mastered than what mainstream rock producers do to get their songs on the radio. Now I'm not saying that was the reasoning behind it, but what would you call that besides 'safe?'


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 Post subject: Re: Pearl Jam (self titled): Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sun March 24, 2013 6:12 pm 
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other than Binaural, were previous PJ records mixed in a way that was really unlike how the records of that time were produced. Some could have been done better than others, but were any of them groundbreaking or challenging the way albums were mixed and mastered?

That's a genuine question.

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 Post subject: Re: Pearl Jam (self titled): Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sun March 24, 2013 6:37 pm 
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I don't know, probably not immensely. No Code's mix doesn't really seem like it's all that orthodox and Riot Act was certainly out of step with how most popular rock sounded at the time.

The mastering on s/t is basically a symptom of 'the loudness war', which came about due to the advent of low-res MP3s being our primary source of music listening, and the fact that they needed to jack up the volume on songs so that they wouldn't sound quieter in comparison to other songs on the radio. This video is often used to explain it, and it laid it out pretty well for me when I first saw it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gmex_4hreQ


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 Post subject: Re: Pearl Jam (self titled): Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sun March 24, 2013 6:43 pm 
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that was kind of my point, though. That I'm not sure S/T isn't any more adapted to the time than at least a sizable chunk of PJ's other records.

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 Post subject: Re: Pearl Jam (self titled): Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sun March 24, 2013 6:55 pm 
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Well, there really wasn't much of an overarching issue with most production through PJ's career. Drums were miked pretty loud in the 90's, but I don't know if there was a mastering technique as blatant as what they do for S/T. Also, there was no mastering technique that hurt those albums in the way that this does, besides Ten, which definitely fit the times for better or worse.

I get what you're trying to say, but I still think S/T, and to a lesser extent Backspacer, is a unique case in their catalog (again, besides Ten)


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 Post subject: Re: Pearl Jam (self titled): Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sun March 24, 2013 7:00 pm 
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tommymctom wrote:
Uninspiring, bland and worst of all it's just so safe and mainstream. I really can't help but feel like this is their mid-life crisis album, like they (eddie, probably) got really upset about how unpopular Riot Act and Binaural were and decided to prove to everyone that they still have it.

This is exactly how I feel about this album.


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