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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Ten
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 1:53 pm 
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While Alive was the song that made me stop and want to pay attention to Pearl Jam, it didn't happen until later in 1993 for me, just a little time before Vs. was released. I had, of course, heard Jeremy and Even Flow, maybe Black as well. When I think of my initial exposure to TEN, it's almost always in tandem with Vs., and immediately, I much preferred Vs. This has evolved over time as live performances have muddied the differences, but Vs. Pearl Jam was my first Pearl Jam love.

To this day, any negative opinions I have of Ten are framed around how it compares to Vs. Both of these albums had massive widespread appeal, but there was something so much more refined with Vs. Ten has always felt simple to me, even though the songs are still today some of the best classic rock in a generation. They're mostly just '80's hard rock songs with a cool new voice laid over the top. The Seattle sound is there, but just barely. This is especially true with Stone's pre-Pearl Jam riffs, and most of the early b-sides and demos. Wash and Alone are exceptions to this, I guess.

Many of the TEN tracks are completely out of place when framed against the catalog, yet, these songs are probably more widely identified as Pearl Jam than any of the rest. Garden, Once, Why Go, Deep, Even Flow, Alive, all are really outliers for Pearl Jam, not representative. The songs written later in the Ten sessions, Jeremy, Black, Porch, Release, are a little closer to being indicative.

Similarly, TEN Eddie is really unlike any other version of him. It really is quite amazing the transformation he went through from the first style and demeanor that he carried, antics, anger, etc... to the introspective shell of late Vs through No Code. It's clear at this point that the early TEN Eddie, the crazy Eddie, the angry Eddie, was an act. It fit the times, but shy, inward Ed was the real him until he grew up around Yield and the '98 tour. The shyness that Cornell referred to in PJ20 when he first came up from San Diego is more real than climbing the lighting rigs and the angry screaming graawwlls. It's pretty impressive that he could both of these people then, yet somehow today, he is neither of these people.

Looking back 23 years later, Oceans stands out as the most interesting tune, as it clearly didn't fit with the rest of the style. It was a harbinger of things to come, certainly their first "experiment".

Major flaw on TEN... hmmm....

I don't think you can count the songwriting and style as a "flaw". It was who Stone and Jeff were at the time. I don't think Eddie's presence or behavior or demeanor can be counted as a flaw, either, it was this act that made Pearl Jam popular.

Song selection is a possible major flaw, leaving out Wash, Alone, SOLAT, Ledbetter, etc... but this could be said of almost every album through Riot Act or S/T. So, that doesn't really stand out for TEN.

So, for flaws with the album, I will go with over-vocalization and over-production. Pearl Jam should be served raw. We know this now, but it wasn't known at that point. And the style of the album production probably led directly to its popularity, so this is a tough "flaw" to be critical of. It was the perfect bridge between the '80s rock and the Seattle sound. Not quite either, but a little bit of both.

So, that leaves the one flaw that probably fits both my personal view, the long-term Pearl Jam career view, and any mainstream negative Pearl Jam opinion at that time - that would be Eddie's over-vocalization, the ooohs and aaaahs, the inaudible words, etc... The same thing that Adam Sandler poked fun at on SNL.

Over-vocalization is the major flaw for me. Just sing the damn song, young Eddie.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Ten
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 2:37 pm 
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The problem with this album is that it's way too overwrought in general. I paid little attention to it at the time. I still don't listen to it much. I could probably live without hearing the album version of Jeremy ever again.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Ten
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 4:37 pm 
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The flaws on the album are really only flaws based on what Pearl Jam became. They could have continued being this band and no one eally would have complained. The album is pure, unbridled passion. Songs overflow with ideas. Some songs still have a bit of MLB left in them. Black and Oceans would have fit in on any MLB album. Personally I enjoy all these excesses, the lack of nuance. It worked like few albums do. I think the only thing that could have made the album better would have been a little more nuamced production and Dave A. on drums.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Ten
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 6:11 pm 
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they blew their wad on this album. seems like every album since, there's been some sort of writer's block that's happened during the process


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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Ten
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 8:22 pm 
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surfndestroy wrote:
The flaws on the album are really only flaws based on what Pearl Jam became. They could have continued being this band and no one eally would have complained.


True, but I don't think they would have the longevity had they continued on this path. They would likely be somewhat forgettable. The growth of the band through the first six albums is one of the most interesting things about them. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a truly great band that doesn't do that. I guess maybe AC/DC is a band that basically stayed the same and made a lot of good material. The Ramones, too. But for the most part, the bands that stand up to an RM level of analysis have to keep changing things up. PJ had an awesome run of growth, change, and being interesting musicians. They've kind of stopped doing that in the last ten years, but this is also the case for most bands.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Ten
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 8:23 pm 
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Good insights, hlniv. Interesting read. :thumbsup:


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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Ten
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 9:31 pm 
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PryTo wrote:
Ten has no Abbruzzese, either. A drummer can truly make or break a band. Not always, but Stuart Copeland, John Bonham, Keith Moon, Jimmy Chamberlain, Travis Barker, and Dave Grohl come immediately to mind. Those guys are the keys to the whole sound, in some ways. Abbruzzese gave PJ something that no other drummer ever has or will. That’s why they call it chemistry. It just is. Guns N Roses are a great example of how a drummer can make or break the entire thing. Lose the drummer, lose the sound and the magic. PJ without Abbruzzese will never sound the same, and that also makes Ten lose some points. He would have added something to the album that no one else – however talented -- could replicate.


I agree. I recently picked up Green Romance Orchestra's album "Play Parts I and IV" just to get to know Dave A. a little better.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Ten
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 9:33 pm 
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Kaius wrote:
I would say Oceans, Release, and Even Flow in a 3-way tie.


Oceans, Release and Black for me. Black always nails me with the way the acoustic bass dives into the fray at the beginning.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Ten
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 10:26 pm 
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Ten is almost the perfect PJ album, except for Why Go and Deep. Those two tracks stick out not because they are bad, but because they are surrounded by songs which are so much better. The biggest flaw on Ten is that it had Black which set the bar just too damn high for the rest of their career. How do you beat something like that? You don't. No matter how many songs they made after that, they couldn't hope to better it. No one could.

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Ten
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 3:41 am 
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You mean, no one has ever written a song better than ''Black?'' Like, forever ever?


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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Ten
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 3:44 am 
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Kevin Davis wrote:
You mean, no one has ever written a song better than ''Black?'' Like, forever ever?

Yeah, and why the fuck didn't it win the song tournament? I'm so disillusioned. :|

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Ten
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 3:44 am 
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Sgt. Crackpot wrote:
Kevin Davis wrote:
You mean, no one has ever written a song better than ''Black?'' Like, forever ever?

Yeah, and why the fuck didn't it win the song tournament? I'm so disillusioned. :|

probably because of second accounts


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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Ten
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 3:45 am 
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cutuphalfdead wrote:
Sgt. Crackpot wrote:
Kevin Davis wrote:
You mean, no one has ever written a song better than ''Black?'' Like, forever ever?

Yeah, and why the fuck didn't it win the song tournament? I'm so disillusioned. :|

probably because of second accounts

Absolutely, probably!

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Ten
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 4:14 am 
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Ten's flaws are prominent, but forgivable. I feel like it's typically first album stuff; they're figuring out their style along the way, and Eddie tries way too hard. It's understandable; this was likely his first work in a major studio. That they got as good a record as they did considering the circumstances surrounding the record's creation, and the speed with which they got the songs together and recorded them, is pretty impressive to me.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Ten
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 4:55 am 
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digster wrote:
Ten's flaws are prominent, but forgivable. I feel like it's typically first album stuff; they're figuring out their style along the way, and Eddie tries way too hard. It's understandable; this was likely his first work in a major studio. That they got as good a record as they did considering the circumstances surrounding the record's creation, and the speed with which they got the songs together and recorded them, is pretty impressive to me.


Good points, although the cliche is that bands have ten years to write their first album. Ten suffers from the lack of exactly that -- it was written in ten days or whatever by a band that was still figuring out who they were, hadn't played many live shows, etc. What's surprising to me is how much the band seems to truly love it, right up to today. I don't think they play the hell out of it just because it's their most popular album (although that's probably part of it). They seem to have a specific affection for Ten that they don't have for any other album in their catalog.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Ten
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 9:13 am 
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Kevin Davis wrote:
You mean, no one has ever written a song better than ''Black?'' Like, forever ever?


Yes. It's the pinnacle of the music listening experience for me.

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Ten
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 9:25 am 
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PryTo wrote:
digster wrote:
Ten's flaws are prominent, but forgivable. I feel like it's typically first album stuff; they're figuring out their style along the way, and Eddie tries way too hard. It's understandable; this was likely his first work in a major studio. That they got as good a record as they did considering the circumstances surrounding the record's creation, and the speed with which they got the songs together and recorded them, is pretty impressive to me.


Good points, although the cliche is that bands have ten years to write their first album. Ten suffers from the lack of exactly that -- it was written in ten days or whatever by a band that was still figuring out who they were, hadn't played many live shows, etc. What's surprising to me is how much the band seems to truly love it, right up to today. I don't think they play the hell out of it just because it's their most popular album (although that's probably part of it). They seem to have a specific affection for Ten that they don't have for any other album in their catalog.

Ten "rose from the ashes" of what was to be MLB's 2nd album so no it's not that. What the band loves the most about it is that it will allow them to repackage and re-release it as much as they please.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Ten
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 9:57 am 
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Release_Me wrote:
Kevin Davis wrote:
You mean, no one has ever written a song better than ''Black?'' Like, forever ever?


Yes. It's the pinnacle of the music listening experience for me.


Black is not even close to my favorite pearl jam song, but if someone told me they wanted to make a case for Black being the best rock song ever I don't think I'd find it that crazy

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Ten
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 10:09 am 
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stip wrote:
Release_Me wrote:
Kevin Davis wrote:
You mean, no one has ever written a song better than ''Black?'' Like, forever ever?


Yes. It's the pinnacle of the music listening experience for me.


Black is not even close to my favorite pearl jam song, but if someone told me they wanted to make a case for Black being the best rock song ever I don't think I'd find it that crazy


What if they told you it was Smile?

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Ten
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 10:34 am 
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I'd punch them in the face, but it'd be a second account, so I'm not sure it would actually hurt them

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