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Rate Riot Act
5 Stars: A top tier album 22%  22%  [ 22 ]
4 Stars: A very good album 46%  46%  [ 46 ]
3 Stars: Average 24%  24%  [ 24 ]
2: Stars: I expect more 6%  6%  [ 6 ]
1 Star: Embarrassing 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 99
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 Post subject: Re: Riot Act: Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Fri January 04, 2013 9:48 pm 
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Stip wrote:
Riot Act is one of those albums that, like No Code, let me down in a personal way that makes it harder to appreciate (although I liked Riot Act more than No Code when they first came out).

In 2002 I was angry, furious, and sort of bewildered by what happened to my country. Pearl Jam was still a band that mattered (or could matter). They had just released an album with songs like Grievance and Insignificance. They were calling a new album Riot Act. I was fully prepared for them to be leading the artistic backlash against Bush and the war on terror. Instead we got an album that no doubt reflected their own confusion (it's not Riot Act's fault that it isn't what I wanted it to be) which was more honest, perhaps, but not what I wanted. Instead it was left to fucking green day to play that role. In a lot of ways Riot Act was the only time I went into a pearl jam record needing something from it beyond good songs, and it let me down.

Like B, I also happen to think there are a number of sub par songs on here, so it's not just that, but I'm sure all of the above is affecting my judgement at some level


That's very fair.
I think had the Roskilde tragedy not happened, the album would be totally different. But their personal demons far outweighed their political demons of the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Riot Act: Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Fri January 04, 2013 10:10 pm 
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even to this day I tend to downplay the role that rosklide played in terms of the tone of the album. That's probably a mistake on my part. I should listen again and listen for that

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 Post subject: Re: Riot Act: Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Fri January 04, 2013 10:22 pm 
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Stip wrote:
Riot Act is one of those albums that, like No Code, let me down in a personal way that makes it harder to appreciate (although I liked Riot Act more than No Code when they first came out).

In 2002 I was angry, furious, and sort of bewildered by what happened to my country. Pearl Jam was still a band that mattered (or could matter). They had just released an album with songs like Grievance and Insignificance. They were calling a new album Riot Act. I was fully prepared for them to be leading the artistic backlash against Bush and the war on terror. Instead we got an album that no doubt reflected their own confusion (it's not Riot Act's fault that it isn't what I wanted it to be) which was more honest, perhaps, but not what I wanted. Instead it was left to fucking green day to play that role. In a lot of ways Riot Act was the only time I went into a pearl jam record needing something from it beyond good songs, and it let me down.

Like B, I also happen to think there are a number of sub par songs on here, so it's not just that, but I'm sure all of the above is affecting my judgement at some level


I would agree with this, but I think it's also why Riot Act has gone up a great amount in my estimation since it's release; free of that context of me really wanting it to be a raw and intense listen at the time has made it easier to accept on it's own terms.


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 Post subject: Re: Riot Act: Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 3:04 am 
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Sigerson wrote:
Riot Act is a great album, especially in winter.

Yep.


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 Post subject: Re: Riot Act: Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 3:06 am 
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Stip wrote:
I always wonder how I'd feel about Riot Act if it came out now. It definitely felt like the wrong record at the time.

Disagree. Felt like the perfect album at the time, for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Riot Act: Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 3:07 am 
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durdencommatyler wrote:
Sigerson wrote:
Riot Act is a great album, especially in winter.

Yep.


Ive never really thought about it for a certain time of year, im gonna give it a couple listens in the next week or so and see how it feels


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 Post subject: Re: Riot Act: Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 3:11 am 
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Stip wrote:
Riot Act is one of those albums that, like No Code, let me down in a personal way that makes it harder to appreciate (although I liked Riot Act more than No Code when they first came out).

In 2002 I was angry, furious, and sort of bewildered by what happened to my country. Pearl Jam was still a band that mattered (or could matter). They had just released an album with songs like Grievance and Insignificance. They were calling a new album Riot Act. I was fully prepared for them to be leading the artistic backlash against Bush and the war on terror. Instead we got an album that no doubt reflected their own confusion (it's not Riot Act's fault that it isn't what I wanted it to be) which was more honest, perhaps, but not what I wanted. Instead it was left to fucking green day to play that role. In a lot of ways Riot Act was the only time I went into a pearl jam record needing something from it beyond good songs, and it let me down.

Like B, I also happen to think there are a number of sub par songs on here, so it's not just that, but I'm sure all of the above is affecting my judgement at some level

I think that's insightful, Stip. It's a case of judging a book by its cover (or title) to some degree. I've often wondered if people would have liked it more - or been less disappointed, at least - if the thing hadn't contained the word "riot."

Part of what I loved about the album was its clash with my expectations. I love the juxtaposition. But I also loved how surprised I was that it wasn't just a juvenile, pseudo-punk, rolley-rocker full of anger and petty cynicism. There is a lot more depth and maturity on that album than I expected. There's also a lot more hope than I expected.

It's not a defeatist record. And I LOVE that.


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 Post subject: Re: Riot Act: Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 3:12 am 
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Dr. Van Nostrand wrote:
durdencommatyler wrote:
Sigerson wrote:
Riot Act is a great album, especially in winter.

Yep.


Ive never really thought about it for a certain time of year, im gonna give it a couple listens in the next week or so and see how it feels

Oh yeah, man. For me it's absolutely a winter record. I remember listening to it in November/December/Jan, walking around campus in the snow and feeling connected to something; like there was a bigger picture we were all a part of. It's great.


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 Post subject: Re: Riot Act: Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 3:14 am 
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digster wrote:
Stip wrote:
Riot Act is one of those albums that, like No Code, let me down in a personal way that makes it harder to appreciate (although I liked Riot Act more than No Code when they first came out).

In 2002 I was angry, furious, and sort of bewildered by what happened to my country. Pearl Jam was still a band that mattered (or could matter). They had just released an album with songs like Grievance and Insignificance. They were calling a new album Riot Act. I was fully prepared for them to be leading the artistic backlash against Bush and the war on terror. Instead we got an album that no doubt reflected their own confusion (it's not Riot Act's fault that it isn't what I wanted it to be) which was more honest, perhaps, but not what I wanted. Instead it was left to fucking green day to play that role. In a lot of ways Riot Act was the only time I went into a pearl jam record needing something from it beyond good songs, and it let me down.

Like B, I also happen to think there are a number of sub par songs on here, so it's not just that, but I'm sure all of the above is affecting my judgement at some level


I would agree with this, but I think it's also why Riot Act has gone up a great amount in my estimation since it's release; free of that context of me really wanting it to be a raw and intense listen at the time has made it easier to accept on it's own terms.

That's interesting and makes a lot of sense. I was in a pensive, contemplative place at the time and I feared an album full of bombast and anger and intensity. Riot Act ended up being exactly the album I needed; the album that mirrored my frame of mind and my own shortcomings and thoughts at the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Riot Act: Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 3:16 am 
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durdencommatyler wrote:
Dr. Van Nostrand wrote:
durdencommatyler wrote:
Sigerson wrote:
Riot Act is a great album, especially in winter.

Yep.


Ive never really thought about it for a certain time of year, im gonna give it a couple listens in the next week or so and see how it feels

Oh yeah, man. For me it's absolutely a winter record. I remember listening to it in November/December/Jan, walking around campus in the snow and feeling connected to something; like there was a bigger picture we were all a part of. It's great.


We dont have any snow right now, but it is definitely cold, should be a nice experiance, this thread has had me wanting to give it a listen anyway


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 Post subject: Re: Riot Act: Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 3:20 am 
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Dr. Van Nostrand wrote:
durdencommatyler wrote:
Dr. Van Nostrand wrote:
durdencommatyler wrote:
Sigerson wrote:
Riot Act is a great album, especially in winter.

Yep.


Ive never really thought about it for a certain time of year, im gonna give it a couple listens in the next week or so and see how it feels

Oh yeah, man. For me it's absolutely a winter record. I remember listening to it in November/December/Jan, walking around campus in the snow and feeling connected to something; like there was a bigger picture we were all a part of. It's great.


We dont have any snow right now, but it is definitely cold, should be a nice experiance, this thread has had me wanting to give it a listen anyway

If you can do it, take it with you. Walk around in the cold while listening to it. It's a great soundtrack to the world around you. Kinda like Radiohead's Kid A. I highly recommend listening to it on the go.


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 Post subject: Re: Riot Act: Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 5:09 am 
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durdencommatyler wrote:
That's interesting and makes a lot of sense. I was in a pensive, contemplative place at the time and I feared an album full of bombast and anger and intensity. Riot Act ended up being exactly the album I needed; the album that mirrored my frame of mind and my own shortcomings and thoughts at the time.


Same here, pretty much to the letter. I didn't do the "rank the albums" this time around but this is my second favorite album after "Yield." I was well past wanting return-to-form rock albums by the time "Riot Act" came out--it was exactly the kind of salve I ended up needing.

There is some defeatism in it, I would say, though it doesn't win out. Maybe resignation or fatalism would be a better term--something about understanding the difference between things that you have the power to change and things that are beyond your control. Which would explain why it's such an introverted record in so many places, thematically.


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 Post subject: Re: Riot Act: Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 5:10 am 
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cutuphalfdead wrote:
Kevin Davis wrote:
cutuphalfdead wrote:
It took you 10 years to realize that the reason you don't like an album is because there's a large stretch of songs on it that you don't like?


:haha:


I thought this post was getting passed over but you saved the day.


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 Post subject: Re: Riot Act: Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 9:50 am 
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"Riot Act" is their swan song as far as I'm concerned. After that it's been Pearl Jam-Lite.


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 Post subject: Re: Riot Act: Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 2:02 pm 
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Wendy Carlos's Twin wrote:
"Riot Act" is their swan song as far as I'm concerned. After that it's been Pearl Jam-Lite.


I would call Backspacer their first "Lite" album. I still lump Binaural, Riot Act, and Pearl Jam as their "dark, political phase."

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 Post subject: Re: Riot Act: Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 3:27 pm 
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durdencommatyler wrote:
Stip wrote:
Riot Act is one of those albums that, like No Code, let me down in a personal way that makes it harder to appreciate (although I liked Riot Act more than No Code when they first came out).

In 2002 I was angry, furious, and sort of bewildered by what happened to my country. Pearl Jam was still a band that mattered (or could matter). They had just released an album with songs like Grievance and Insignificance. They were calling a new album Riot Act. I was fully prepared for them to be leading the artistic backlash against Bush and the war on terror. Instead we got an album that no doubt reflected their own confusion (it's not Riot Act's fault that it isn't what I wanted it to be) which was more honest, perhaps, but not what I wanted. Instead it was left to fucking green day to play that role. In a lot of ways Riot Act was the only time I went into a pearl jam record needing something from it beyond good songs, and it let me down.

Like B, I also happen to think there are a number of sub par songs on here, so it's not just that, but I'm sure all of the above is affecting my judgement at some level

I think that's insightful, Stip. It's a case of judging a book by its cover (or title) to some degree. I've often wondered if people would have liked it more - or been less disappointed, at least - if the thing hadn't contained the word "riot."

Part of what I loved about the album was its clash with my expectations. I love the juxtaposition. But I also loved how surprised I was that it wasn't just a juvenile, pseudo-punk, rolley-rocker full of anger and petty cynicism. There is a lot more depth and maturity on that album than I expected. There's also a lot more hope than I expected.

It's not a defeatist record. And I LOVE that.


I still largely hear it that way. The fact that they put the most optimistic songs on the first half of the record and kept arguably the two most optimistic songs off the record makes it hard for me to hear it otherwise.

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 Post subject: Re: Riot Act: Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 3:28 pm 
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B wrote:
Wendy Carlos's Twin wrote:
"Riot Act" is their swan song as far as I'm concerned. After that it's been Pearl Jam-Lite.


I would call Backspacer their first "Lite" album. I still lump Binaural, Riot Act, and Pearl Jam as their "dark, political phase."


I would too. That three album run is all sort of working through the same ideas in the same way that the Ten through Yield run is working out some different ideas. Backspacer really signaled a different thematic direction. Whether it was a one-off thing or the start of something new remains to be seen, obviously.

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 Post subject: Re: Riot Act: Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 4:00 pm 
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Kevin Davis wrote:
durdencommatyler wrote:
That's interesting and makes a lot of sense. I was in a pensive, contemplative place at the time and I feared an album full of bombast and anger and intensity. Riot Act ended up being exactly the album I needed; the album that mirrored my frame of mind and my own shortcomings and thoughts at the time.


Same here, pretty much to the letter. I didn't do the "rank the albums" this time around but this is my second favorite album after "Yield." I was well past wanting return-to-form rock albums by the time "Riot Act" came out--it was exactly the kind of salve I ended up needing.

There is some defeatism in it, I would say, though it doesn't win out. Maybe resignation or fatalism would be a better term--something about understanding the difference between things that you have the power to change and things that are beyond your control. Which would explain why it's such an introverted record in so many places, thematically.

Completely agree.

I often see people paint this as such a dark, defeated album. But the album is just as much about breaking through the darkness, finding a reason to keep going/fighting as it is anything else. There is a lot of fight/hope in Riot Act. But it's muted. What you said about understanding the difference between things you can change and things you can't, feels right. And I think that's where the struggle/frustration lies in Riot Act.


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 Post subject: Re: Riot Act: Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 4:03 pm 
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yeah, KD's word choice is better, in particular resignation. But I don't like that in Pearl Jam. I'm sure I said this in the tour threads somewhere but Riot Act and Binaural are both records that I think are well crafted and the things I don't like often reflect my unwillingness as a listener to go along for the ride more than the ride itself. I think that's an important distinction (and one of the things that often rubs me the wrong way about a lot of Backspacer bitching)

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 Post subject: Re: Riot Act: Official Album Thread
PostPosted: Sat January 05, 2013 4:03 pm 
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Stip wrote:
durdencommatyler wrote:
Stip wrote:
Riot Act is one of those albums that, like No Code, let me down in a personal way that makes it harder to appreciate (although I liked Riot Act more than No Code when they first came out).

In 2002 I was angry, furious, and sort of bewildered by what happened to my country. Pearl Jam was still a band that mattered (or could matter). They had just released an album with songs like Grievance and Insignificance. They were calling a new album Riot Act. I was fully prepared for them to be leading the artistic backlash against Bush and the war on terror. Instead we got an album that no doubt reflected their own confusion (it's not Riot Act's fault that it isn't what I wanted it to be) which was more honest, perhaps, but not what I wanted. Instead it was left to fucking green day to play that role. In a lot of ways Riot Act was the only time I went into a pearl jam record needing something from it beyond good songs, and it let me down.

Like B, I also happen to think there are a number of sub par songs on here, so it's not just that, but I'm sure all of the above is affecting my judgement at some level

I think that's insightful, Stip. It's a case of judging a book by its cover (or title) to some degree. I've often wondered if people would have liked it more - or been less disappointed, at least - if the thing hadn't contained the word "riot."

Part of what I loved about the album was its clash with my expectations. I love the juxtaposition. But I also loved how surprised I was that it wasn't just a juvenile, pseudo-punk, rolley-rocker full of anger and petty cynicism. There is a lot more depth and maturity on that album than I expected. There's also a lot more hope than I expected.

It's not a defeatist record. And I LOVE that.


I still largely hear it that way. The fact that they put the most optimistic songs on the first half of the record and kept arguably the two most optimistic songs off the record makes it hard for me to hear it otherwise.

We just hear this record very differently, I think. Nothing wrong with that. At least this way we get to actually talk about it.


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