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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Vitalogy
PostPosted: Fri December 27, 2013 2:59 pm 
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stip wrote:
digster wrote:
I feel like Vitalogy may end in the bleakest spot of any of their records. I wouldn't deny there's a fighting spirit at the beginning, but by the time Stupid Mop sputters out, it seems like there's nothing left of it. It was kind of shocking when I listened to the album straight through most recently; in isolation the songs sound more hopeful then tracing it from start to end.


I'm not sure I agree. Betterman and satan's because have some fight in them, and immortality doesn't end with the desolate sound it starts with. I may be unfairly excluding stupid mop. On the other hand, maybe it is significant that it is the only song not in eddies voice


I think it's definitely a progression, although Better Man's up-tempo sound always struck me as mocking as opposed to a call to 'keep fighting' as it were (after all, the songs ends with the character repeating over and over, "can't find a better man," absolutely a sign that she's given up). However, by the time you get past to Immortality and Stupid Mop, things are pretty relentlessly bleak. I think that's why Ave Davanita, and it's placement, is no accident. It separates those last two songs into the final 'chapter' of the record.

I have no problem with that bleakness, by the way. They've ended some of their other records in similar spots and they've been great endings as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Vitalogy
PostPosted: Fri December 27, 2013 4:10 pm 
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McParadigm wrote:

I almost always listen to the two pieces together, to the point where when I do hear Immortality without it the ending kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Minus stupidmop, it sort of sounds like the first half to something that the band couldn't be bothered to finish.


You've just proven to me that I will never reach your level of sophistication and intelligence. I can't possibly understand how stupid mop is an essential extension to one of my top 5 PJ songs. The only explanation is that I am not smart enough to appreciate the intricacies of the connection.

Interesting piece of art? Yes.
Enhances the quality of the album concept experience? Maybe
A necessary song which extends Immortality into a proper album close ? Um... Not for me


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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Vitalogy
PostPosted: Fri December 27, 2013 4:36 pm 
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hlniv wrote:
You've just proven to me that I will never reach your level of sophistication and intelligence. I can't possibly understand how stupid mop is an essential extension to one of my top 5 PJ songs. The only explanation is that I am not smart enough to appreciate the intricacies of the connection.


It's like trying to have a conversation with my wife when she's pregnant.

No, honey, I'm not talking about your intelligence. Yes, honey, of course I respect your opinion. I'm simply trying to explain how I feel, as well. Do you need me to hand you the remote, or are you enjoying this show?

Try not to perceive everything as a personal attack. Except for maybe this post.

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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Vitalogy
PostPosted: Fri December 27, 2013 4:39 pm 
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I don't know if I'm gonna get a chance to LAL this record in the near future, but the great discussions, capped by McParadigm's excellent analysis really make me want to. It all has also made me think about reassessing my placement of this album in that ranking thread. I had it at number 4, a respectable spot by all means, but I think now I'd place it 2nd behind Binaural. It's just such a good album and has such a personal connection.


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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Vitalogy
PostPosted: Fri December 27, 2013 4:40 pm 
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McParadigm wrote:
hlniv wrote:
You've just proven to me that I will never reach your level of sophistication and intelligence. I can't possibly understand how stupid mop is an essential extension to one of my top 5 PJ songs. The only explanation is that I am not smart enough to appreciate the intricacies of the connection.


It's like trying to have a conversation with my wife when she's pregnant.

No, honey, I'm not talking about your intelligence. Yes, honey, of course I respect your opinion. I'm simply trying to explain how I feel, as well. Do you need me to hand you the remote, or are you enjoying this show?

Try not to perceive everything as a personal attack. Except for maybe this post.


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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Vitalogy
PostPosted: Fri December 27, 2013 4:45 pm 
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harmless wrote:
McParadigm wrote:
hlniv wrote:
You've just proven to me that I will never reach your level of sophistication and intelligence. I can't possibly understand how stupid mop is an essential extension to one of my top 5 PJ songs. The only explanation is that I am not smart enough to appreciate the intricacies of the connection.


It's like trying to have a conversation with my wife when she's pregnant.

No, honey, I'm not talking about your intelligence. Yes, honey, of course I respect your opinion. I'm simply trying to explain how I feel, as well. Do you need me to hand you the remote, or are you enjoying this show?

Try not to perceive everything as a personal attack. Except for maybe this post.


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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Vitalogy
PostPosted: Fri December 27, 2013 4:55 pm 
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digster wrote:
stip wrote:
digster wrote:
I feel like Vitalogy may end in the bleakest spot of any of their records. I wouldn't deny there's a fighting spirit at the beginning, but by the time Stupid Mop sputters out, it seems like there's nothing left of it. It was kind of shocking when I listened to the album straight through most recently; in isolation the songs sound more hopeful then tracing it from start to end.


I'm not sure I agree. Betterman and satan's because have some fight in them, and immortality doesn't end with the desolate sound it starts with. I may be unfairly excluding stupid mop. On the other hand, maybe it is significant that it is the only song not in eddies voice


I think it's definitely a progression, although Better Man's up-tempo sound always struck me as mocking as opposed to a call to 'keep fighting' as it were (after all, the songs ends with the character repeating over and over, "can't find a better man," absolutely a sign that she's given up). However, by the time you get past to Immortality and Stupid Mop, things are pretty relentlessly bleak. I think that's why Ave Davanita, and it's placement, is no accident. It separates those last two songs into the final 'chapter' of the record.

I have no problem with that bleakness, by the way. They've ended some of their other records in similar spots and they've been great endings as well.



That's reasonable, bit I still hear Betterman as refusing to give up on the hope of something better even with no out in sight. And while immortality is a dark song it ends on that moment of indecision, and while stupid mop is hopelessly bleak with strong intimations of suicide it is still, I think, significant, that the song is not in eddies voice. Sort of a 'there but for the grace of god go I/road not taken outcome. A warning, not a prophecy. Where you end up if you stop pushing the rock.

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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Vitalogy
PostPosted: Fri December 27, 2013 5:00 pm 
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McParadigm wrote:
hlniv wrote:
You've just proven to me that I will never reach your level of sophistication and intelligence. I can't possibly understand how stupid mop is an essential extension to one of my top 5 PJ songs. The only explanation is that I am not smart enough to appreciate the intricacies of the connection.


It's like trying to have a conversation with my wife when she's pregnant.

No, honey, I'm not talking about your intelligence. Yes, honey, of course I respect your opinion. I'm simply trying to explain how I feel, as well. Do you need me to hand you the remote, or are you enjoying this show?

Try not to perceive everything as a personal attack. Except for maybe this post.


I was not implying that you were commenting on my intelligence, nor making a personal attack. I was commenting on my intelligence, which obviously fails to reach the level necessary to properly appreciate Stupid Mop, as many here seem to be able to do.

I, too, have a pregnant wife, and sometimes she overreacts just like you have. I tend to just say, yes, honey, you are right.

So.... Yes, honey, you are right.


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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Vitalogy
PostPosted: Fri December 27, 2013 5:03 pm 
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stip wrote:
digster wrote:
stip wrote:
digster wrote:
I feel like Vitalogy may end in the bleakest spot of any of their records. I wouldn't deny there's a fighting spirit at the beginning, but by the time Stupid Mop sputters out, it seems like there's nothing left of it. It was kind of shocking when I listened to the album straight through most recently; in isolation the songs sound more hopeful then tracing it from start to end.


I'm not sure I agree. Betterman and satan's because have some fight in them, and immortality doesn't end with the desolate sound it starts with. I may be unfairly excluding stupid mop. On the other hand, maybe it is significant that it is the only song not in eddies voice


I think it's definitely a progression, although Better Man's up-tempo sound always struck me as mocking as opposed to a call to 'keep fighting' as it were (after all, the songs ends with the character repeating over and over, "can't find a better man," absolutely a sign that she's given up). However, by the time you get past to Immortality and Stupid Mop, things are pretty relentlessly bleak. I think that's why Ave Davanita, and it's placement, is no accident. It separates those last two songs into the final 'chapter' of the record.

I have no problem with that bleakness, by the way. They've ended some of their other records in similar spots and they've been great endings as well.



That's reasonable, bit I still hear Betterman as refusing to give up on the hope of something better even with no out in sight. And while immortality is a dark song it ends on that moment of indecision, and while stupid mop is hopelessly bleak with strong intimations of suicide it is still, I think, significant, that the song is not in eddies voice. Sort of a 'there but for the grace of god go I/road not taken outcome. A warning, not a prophecy. Where you end up if you stop pushing the rock.


I think Betterman may have had a similar thing as happened to Alive; it's a dark song on record, but live the anthemic quality of it shifted the perception of the song. Lyrically, it's hard for me to hear the ending of that song as anything other than a total defeat and surrender; "she feeds him, that's why she'll be back again...can't find a better man."

And I always heard Immortality as being pretty final when it's last lyrics hit. The truant comes up on a fork in the road in the last verse, but it ends with "truants move on, cannot stay long, some die just to live." The jam at the end feels like the decision's been made, and the character is just floating into the ether. To me, it's the darkest ending to a PJ record besides maybe All or None. And then Stupid Mop takes you out of the ether and puts you in hell. The length of the song, and the fact that there's little to grab onto, makes it feel evocative of eternity.

Or something like that.


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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Vitalogy
PostPosted: Fri December 27, 2013 5:04 pm 
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You guys are so cute.

Edit: damn it, not you guys, the other two arguing.

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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Vitalogy
PostPosted: Fri December 27, 2013 5:05 pm 
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I always knew I was your type, harm. :naughty:

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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Vitalogy
PostPosted: Fri December 27, 2013 5:08 pm 
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:peace:

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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Vitalogy
PostPosted: Fri December 27, 2013 5:11 pm 
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harmless wrote:
You guys are so cute.

Edit: damn it, not you guys, the other two arguing.


I wasn't aware we wee arguing until the last post.

The rest of McP's insightful review and commentary aside, I just couldn't let those holier than thou stupid mop circle jerk responses go un commented upon.


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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Vitalogy
PostPosted: Fri December 27, 2013 5:33 pm 
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stip wrote:
digster wrote:
stip wrote:
digster wrote:
I feel like Vitalogy may end in the bleakest spot of any of their records. I wouldn't deny there's a fighting spirit at the beginning, but by the time Stupid Mop sputters out, it seems like there's nothing left of it. It was kind of shocking when I listened to the album straight through most recently; in isolation the songs sound more hopeful then tracing it from start to end.


I'm not sure I agree. Betterman and satan's because have some fight in them, and immortality doesn't end with the desolate sound it starts with. I may be unfairly excluding stupid mop. On the other hand, maybe it is significant that it is the only song not in eddies voice


I think it's definitely a progression, although Better Man's up-tempo sound always struck me as mocking as opposed to a call to 'keep fighting' as it were (after all, the songs ends with the character repeating over and over, "can't find a better man," absolutely a sign that she's given up). However, by the time you get past to Immortality and Stupid Mop, things are pretty relentlessly bleak. I think that's why Ave Davanita, and it's placement, is no accident. It separates those last two songs into the final 'chapter' of the record.

I have no problem with that bleakness, by the way. They've ended some of their other records in similar spots and they've been great endings as well.



That's reasonable, bit I still hear Betterman as refusing to give up on the hope of something better even with no out in sight. And while immortality is a dark song it ends on that moment of indecision, and while stupid mop is hopelessly bleak with strong intimations of suicide it is still, I think, significant, that the song is not in eddies voice. Sort of a 'there but for the grace of god go I/road not taken outcome. A warning, not a prophecy. Where you end up if you stop pushing the rock.


would you feel the same way about Better Man if it were the organ/vocal version from the Vitalogy re-issue?


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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Vitalogy
PostPosted: Fri December 27, 2013 5:56 pm 
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hlniv wrote:
harmless wrote:
You guys are so cute.

Edit: damn it, not you guys, the other two arguing.


I wasn't aware we wee arguing until the last post.

The rest of McP's insightful review and commentary aside, I just couldn't let those holier than thou stupid mop circle jerk responses go un commented upon.


I don't even get why you're taking them personally. Some people think it's good, other people think it sucks. Who cares?

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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Vitalogy
PostPosted: Fri December 27, 2013 6:13 pm 
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McParadigm wrote:
I had the flu for Christmas. So I got to drive the family up to Nowhere, South Dakota in a wind chill advisory and slippery snowstorm, and then hide in a separate little basement living room from the festivities with no book, tv, computer, windows or anything. Just an old, uncomfortable recliner and an afghan.

But I had my phone and barely a signal, so I noticed that this was up here and figured "Shit, I've got dictation software and an old post I made about this record that I could add on to." Plus I had Vitalogy on my phone, and all of the above pretty much made it the perfect mood setting for the record.

It was that or Angry Birds.

Anyway, some of this is requisitioned from an earlier post.

-

So, first of all, I think some setting of historical context is super important but probably will get skipped by a lot of people, so I'll spoiler it:

Spoiler: show
The 28 months following the end of the band’s tour in support of Vs included two full Pearl Jam albums, a complete Neil Young album and tour set, the introduction of Jack Irons to the band, the Ticketmaster thing, the pirate radio thing, the Mike Watt thing, the Dead Man Walking thing, and a spattering of events I’m not going to mention. So the thing is, it was a period marked by lots and lots of music but relatively little Pearl Jam...certainly little of the collaborative Pearl Jam that was the norm prior to that point.

It’s hardly gone undiscussed how frustrating and occasionally unenjoyable the band found the act of being the band during this era. But I think it's easy to overly simplify and therefore misrepresent the band's position in 1994.

The music industry experienced a state of almost perpetual growth from the late 1950's to the late 1970's. There's a lot of reason for this...the introduction of the adolescent as a mass market, changes in buying power, etc....but this growth also coincided with a massive power transfer from industry to artist. Especially from the mid-60's to mid-70's, the ability of the musician to spend large amounts of time and money preparing and presenting exactly their most recent artistic vision flourished and expanded.


Image


Back in the 1950’s recording sessions were very tightly controlled events, and pop musicians expected (and generally received) short recording careers. By the 70’s, though, labels spoke in terms of “nurturing” niche singers, “embracing” legacy artists, and giving new figures the time to find their voice. Bruce Springsteen’s first two records had both cost the label substantial amounts of money when he set out to begin the month's long run of studio time that would produce just a single song (Born to Run), and yet the amount of pushback from the label during the majority of that work time was virtually nil. This was just "how it was done," by that point. Conversely, Neil Young’s label humored him through countless low-selling and sometimes extremely expensive projects during the tremendous span of time between his initial commercial success and his eventual successful return. And they did this fully realizing that he might never make such a return. It was fine, because the more the culture worshipped at the alter of pop music, the more those artist’s eventual successes resulted in big back catalog sales returns that more than made up for some short term losses.

Basically, at the same time labels had embraced the idea of ceding power to artists, returns had climbed ever upwards. This led to the existence of powerful figureheads who saw themselves as artist support champions as much as businessmen (Billy Graham, Ahmet Ertegan and David Geffen come to mind), and to artists who felt both justified and entitled to the amount of sway their sales afforded them. It also led to a situation where individuals could be seen by the general public as among the premiere artists of their moment, and yet also bask in the light of celebrity.





The 80’s represented a reversal of fortune. Sales dropped worldwide, and more specifically new product by established and highly paid artists was suddenly very hard to sell. This resulted in a lot of “shoring up” defense reactions by major record labels (David Geffen comes to mind again) and to new industry behaviors. The amount of influence and money demanded by established artists at this point far outstripped their returns. Even people like Elton John, who had multiple enormous hits during the 80's, was afforded such a tremendous amount of money and such a large recording and promotional budget that his "hit" records would cost the label a small fortune. Occasional exceptions existed, but this overall situation led to a renewed obsession with pursuing "trends," and to signing greater amounts of unknown talent. It would also eventually would kick-start the reissuing trend to acquire new cash from old stories and thus earn back the money that those big name artists were costing.

So we get to the 90's. The upward trend renews itself, taking on staggering levels of upward motion and the number of copies sold annually surpassing all previous figures by as early as 1994 (and continuing upwards right up until the turn of the century).


Image


Which means that 1994 represented a very, very strange mix of conditions.

Artistic expression had become a powerful factor in the expectations people had of more “serious” musical acts thanks to the efforts of those artists who thrived in the '65-'80 era (and who still make up the majority of acts considered "classics"), and yet the industry as a whole was moving more and more towards a professional, tightly controlled system (this, along with the changes in technology that made recording more accessible, also influenced the rise of indie labels in the 80’s and 90’s). Meanwhile, the still fairly uniform nature of media at the time (pre-mass internet, pre-200 channel digital cable packages, etc) meant that being the “biggest band in the world” gave you a much larger cultural footprint than it might today, and the post-80's trend-chasing nature of the industry meant that there was more of that unspoken assumption about shorter careers that had been so familiar in the 1950's. Basically, you had a little less power than those bands you grew up admiring, but you sold more records and were under a much hotter spotlight.

Retrospect is always easy, but looking back it's not hard to imagine why the industry eventually had to start reducing. The shift from artist support to business management, the centralization of the industry into a small group of very large companies, the changes resultant from renewed focus on immediate dollar return, an ever-increasing focus on charging the living shit out of older fans who will pay jackoff prices because they followed a band for 20 years, and especially the ever-growing size and scope of the industry all combined to set the scene for a massive implosion…all that was needed was a catalyst.

Like the ability to download.

But the point is, that kind of perspectivist awareness is a conceit given to history. The inside of a tornado pretty much all looks the same, right up until all of the sudden it doesn’t.



-=-

So, the album itself.


Recorded at the peak of Pearl Jam’s popularity, Vitalogy is both the start of what some might call their “wilderness” years and the most marked evidence available of the contradictory urges that define it.

Where Nirvana had produced In Utero, an artistic statement that was inward-looking and arguably purer, Pearl Jam’s reaction to existing pressure was as concerned with the fans and the world at large as it was with the turmoil within the band. It barely seems to distinguish between the experienced and the witnessed. On Bone Machine, Tom Waits disguised an intensely personal record with his usual collection of characters and abstraction. On Vitalogy the mirror opposite happens: an incredibly large-scoped subject is explored through the eyes of the very personal.

As a result of this, the record which best represents Pearl Jam’s anti-commercial leanings is also the one that is most protective of its fan base (and contains their biggest original hit). Meanwhile, songs that surge with outward-facing and unified aggression often break apart, explode cacaphonically, or crack open to reveal barely-whispered cores. Personal confessions are punctuated by empathic storytelling, political sermonizing, hazy confusion, and half-formed jams. It indulges in thoughts of defeat, but it’s not a record about self-pity or victimization. It can’t be. Unlike many of their peers, Pearl Jam always wanted to change the world. Vitalogy is a pure, primal aural document of that basic feeling…not the active response to it, or the rationale behind it…just the feeling itself.

This is a record about the need for change.

In a way, Vitalogy is the compassion and lack of complacency displayed by U2 or Bruce Springsteen delivered in its most empathic, least calculated form…an album that draws no distinction between suffering and savior, personal and public, narrator and story.

Lyrically, the record is both more personal and more intentionally vague than its predecessors. While some of Vs’s tendencies towards clipped, primal directness carry over, the writing during this period leans towards an abstraction that will eventually translate into the tone poem-like qualities of songs like Low Light and Nothing As it Seems. Metaphors, generally clear in the past, will occasionally become so thoroughly unanchored as to suggest intentional disclarity. As with Talking Heads’ Fear of Music, songs seem as though they want very strongly to express ideas and feelings they are uncertain they want understood by others…as though the feeling is pure but the expression is destined to fail.

The idea of honesty or genuineness, not just the importance of pursuing them but especially the impossibility of the goal, is a recurring theme during the era.







Conversely, there are instances where Ed seems to take delight in the idea of secret messages or unnoticed communications...or perhaps the ability to control who receives the expression:









Now, please don’t think that I’m dismissing the melodrama of the record. Even its most playful moments maintain an undercurrent of ragged distrust, bitterness, or twitchy paranoia. Spin the Black Circle would just be a brief aside, were it not for the fact that the song’s frantic and desperate nature transforms it into something else entirely.

The song is a snapshot of a person seeking much-needed perspective, the sound of a band that just sold a million units in a week reminding itself that a single record can be important…can even be life-changing. It also serves as the simplest, most effective rejection of the band’s fame. “I’d rather you than her,” it yelps, declaring allegiance to the one record that means everything over the million CDs that make you rich.

There are certainly "message" songs sent from the center of the tornado, here, but in general the record isn’t focused enough to be about the difficult life of a successful rock star. The need to escape a bad situation? Yes. The need for redemption, after finding out that you were someone else’s “bad situation?” It's in there. The want to save the world? To leave it behind you? To find your place in it, and live a good, simple life? Yeah.

The album’s title may be happenstance, but it is exceptionally appropriate.

The exact moment when the need for change becomes most defined and present is an anxiety-filled, tense one, and very rarely does a good thing stay good on this album. The ocean swell may wash away an unwanted past at one point, but it becomes mindlessly destructive just a few songs later. The angels triumphantly outpace the devil on side A, but side B suggests that the devil may have been an inevitability (or simply present) the entire time. The sun burns away your mask, sure...then it burns the rest of you up, and then it turns out to have been a con the entire time.

Privacy is priceless, but the need for others is so great that our narrative immediately admits that he was losing his mind just from waiting for your arrival (and uses the song about privacy to send a "secret" little thank you message to another human being).

The album begins to spiral out of control in the second half, as he reminisces on the infestation of thought that his isolation forced on him and the band becomes less and less capable of putting together a complete musical idea. Torture, on this record, always follows reward…until eventually it stops mattering which one is which. Like death follows life. It’s divine...aye davanita.

You know what it’s like?





In the end, the singer reaches out to the same mother he taunted almost playfully at the very start (“look, ma, watch me crash!” / "stripped and sold, mom,"), lamenting his treatment at the hands of others but never quite asking for her forgiveness or help. Instead, he simply acknowledges the need to move on, which is what he's been railing about all along, and does so.

This is why I say this is an album about the base need for change. Nothing is working here...not the individual, not the relationships, not the governing agencies or the world at large or even the hereafter...and there’s never a point where that isn’t realized and fretted over.

But the need for change, at its purest expression, is completely reactionary and directionless. There’s no guiding light out of the dark on Vitalogy. There’s no suggestion on the part of the album for what should come next. In fact, in some ways the next step is so scary that the album takes comfort in just continuing the cycle (my spanking…that’s the only thing I want so much. Torture follows reward.).

But life…really living…requires an escape. One half of the equation in Nothingman saw that. The characters in Tremor Christ and Not for You felt it on a purely emotional level. The status quo, simply put, is a willful denial of further experience. It is a purely habitual behavior trap…and its death can mean the birth of something better. A metaphorical suicide that promises metaphorical rebirth. Some die just to live.

Do you ever think that you actually would kill yourself? Well, if I thought about it real hard…yes, I believe I would.



this is a great post. it makes sense that a fever dream is the best way to capture the essence of vitalogy.


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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Vitalogy
PostPosted: Fri December 27, 2013 6:14 pm 
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Since we are all entitled to their opinions around here without judgment, I will expand on mine relative to the last track on this album.

Stupid Mop is a self absorbed piece of music from a group trying too damn hard to be different and respected by their peers. It's a 7 minute anomaly that clearly exists for the sole purpose to defy their mainstream success. It has almost zero discernible musical connection to the rest of the songs, and takes the listener somewhere far way from the record.

It's an interesting piece of musical art that has no place on an album by the members of Pearl Jam. When suffered through, it takes away from the lasting impression that the album would otherwise have created. It's a distraction that ultimately hurts the collection of songs that it appends.

Vitalogy may be their best album, it might be my favorite and choice for best of my generation, but for the inclusion of this art-house collage of sounds and desolate imagery invoking mush.


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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Vitalogy
PostPosted: Fri December 27, 2013 6:25 pm 
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what's the consensus on betterman's conceptual purpose within this album? is it just eddie tracing his adult problems back to a troubled youth?


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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Vitalogy
PostPosted: Fri December 27, 2013 6:31 pm 
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stip wrote:
Okay, this is both my favorite album of all time and, I think, the most compelling rock album of all time. I do think it's that good. the way it manages to take something so viscerally personal and invite the listener in, the way it takes something so narcissistic and melodramatic and cuts right to the human core of it. The songs are all pretty much amazing (how do you get last exit, not for you, tremor christ, nothingman, betterman, corduroy, and immortality on the same album), the guitar tones are fantastic, the rhythm section is totally locked in, and Eddie manages to simultaneously have a breakdown while maintaining iron clad control over himself, releasing just the right amount of pressure each time to push the explosion further down the line. In every single one of these songs every member of the band is doing something worth listening to. That you can have the same band putting spin the black circle, immortality, corduroy, and betterman on the same record is nuts.


This is as good as it gets. All other pearl jam albums have to answer to this standard. none have measured up.


I would tend to agree with you, and then they add all of that filler crap (Pry to, Bugs, Devanita, Foxy) that detracts from the strength of the album. I shouldn't be hitting the skip button that many times on "the gold standard".

Adding 1 song, is understandable, perhaps mandatory (pry to, bugs?), considering the theme of the album. 2 can reinforce the point, but also starts bleeding into filler. 3 makes me feel disillusioned and 4 is just ridiculous - we get it by this point and seems redundant and bloating.

I'd like this album more than Vs. if ALL of these weren't on there and I could just let it play out (though not 10, but that's another thread ;) )


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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Vitalogy
PostPosted: Fri December 27, 2013 6:31 pm 
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spike wrote:
what's the consensus on betterman's conceptual purpose within this album? is it just eddie tracing his adult problems back to a troubled youth?


pre-Riot Act moneygrab

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