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 Post subject: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: No Code
PostPosted: Fri December 28, 2012 4:14 pm 
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Buggy wrote:
This is a multi-part series for each album. We'll move on to the next album when it seems like it's been discussed enough. I'd like to reiterate that the aim of these discussions is to hear opinions on what you think is the single most significant flaw for the album being discussed. We're not looking for general album bashing, but rather a critical look at the single biggest weakness for each record.

Example of a poor post:
There are so many things that suck on this album. Track 4, 8 and 9 are terrible and the lyrics for such and such a song a really bad. Not only that, but the cover is stupid.

Like I said, we're not looking for general album bashing. What I suggest is to go give a listen to the album being discussed. For some of us, it's been a while listening to these older albums all the way through, and it helps you think and take that critical view before you post. Try and be insightful and give good reasons why you believe the flaw you're pointing out is the biggest flaw of the album.

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: No Code
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 12:56 pm 
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Any discussion of No Code (by me) needs to be understood in the context of No Code being the record where they fell to earth--the first album that let me down, that featured numerous songs I didn't really care for. I've made my peace with that a while ago. but it may still color how I hear the album in subtle ways. I do have a few serious issues with the album


1. No top tier tracks. Part of my issue with No Code is that while many of the songs on it are very good, none rank among my favorites. But since people do put songs like Hail Hail and In My Tree with their best, maybe that's just me.

2. Too many weak tracks. For an album that people swear is one of their best, there are too many moments like Habit, Lukin, Mankind, I'm Open, and Around the Bend (I won't include Off he Goes and Smile in there--one song I think is not good, the other okay, both very overrated). Too many minor songs on what people consider to be a major album

3. The pacing/tracking. I think the pacing on No Code is really weak. I hate the sometimes/hail hail transition not just because of how violently hail hail explodes the contemplative peace of Sometimes, but because I think they only did it as a 'hey, stay with us, we can still rock' kind of reminder. It's not like Hail Hail is a particularly violent song (it's not Habit). Part of its strength is precisely that it manages to rock by being thoughtful instead of loud--that hail hail has the illusion of a loud, angry, crunchy number while being anything but--which means that the sometimes transition is just odd. Plus they immediately move from Hail Hail back into a long string of fairly contemplative and thoughtful songs. Even Smile is oddly muted--another song that sounds louder than it is. Which means all hail hail does is force the album to start over again with Who You Are. Lukin into Present Tense is also a bit abrupt and Present Tense into Mankind into I'm Open is just a masterpiece of weak sequencing.

4. The lyrics. Although I think Red Mosquito is great, and Hail Hail is one of Eddie's very best lyrics (sometimes is okay--I don't think Eddie does a very good job talking to God in general, though), there is a real pivot in terms of how Eddie writes on this album, one that has largely been with him since (everywhere but Binaural and Riot Act, which, not surprisingly, have the strongest lyrics of post Vitalogy Pearl Jam). On pearl jam's early records Eddie is a seeker after truth, animated by an iron conviction that something is out there that can and will ground us in the world in a way that makes sense. There is a search for meaning. starting with No Code eddie tends to shift his focus away from searching for truth and trying to explain what he's learned. He becomes a teacher instead of a student, and this simply does not play to his strengths as a writer--the empathy, the determination, the humanity that shines through his writing when he doesn't know the answer (even when tarnished and muted by loneliness, fear, and doubt as it is on Binaural and Riot Act). His attempts to transmit wisdom far too often sound trite and platitudinous. That's not surprising. It's easier (at least for a writer with his strengths) to draw something particular out of a shared universal experience--to make a shared search for meaning into something that feels private and intimate (just you and me in this together) than it is to take your own answers and turn them into a lesson you expect everyone to be able to learn. Just like the universal experience of heartbreak and loss is easier to communicate than the particular experience of love and possession.

5. The singing. I'm not a big fan of eddie's vocals on this album (compared to other incarnations of Eddie). There is a slightly nasally quality to his voice, and a muted quality to the vocals--the start of eddie singing into his chest instead of singing out of it. I think he really loses something with this choice (obviously mine is a minority opinion here). Compare the vocals on the 'I miss you already' chorus in Smile to the bridge of Nothingman. Similar moments, but the former doesn't escape the gravitational pull of eddie--the sounds get sucked back into him. They punch through in Nothingman.

6. Trees. Trees are a shitty metaphor. I'm glad he abandons them for waves.

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: No Code
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 12:57 pm 
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this guys on drugs...

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: No Code
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 1:09 pm 
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We need a "things stip would say" thread. Like those Old Fashioned Guy skits on The State.

"As I Lay Dying is overrated. The pacing is weird, with too many asides and a few REALLY short chapters that are completely unnecessary, the characters aren't likable enough, and it's barely even written in English. Why it can't be more like those engaging Harry Potter books, I cannot begin to guess."

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: No Code
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 1:25 pm 
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"Jesus Christ. Another blue painting? I bet his fans were thrilled when he rediscovered the color red."

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: No Code
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 1:29 pm 
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"Why did they even bother recording music before 1991? Was it just a way to publicly shame all those talentless hacks?"

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: No Code
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 1:30 pm 
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i know that quote about the blue painting and cant place it...

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: No Code
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 1:32 pm 
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(Halfway into Lawrence of Arabia) "sigh..."

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: No Code
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 1:37 pm 
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No matter how hard you try, "things stip would say" will never be as hilarious/horrifying as "things stip has actually said".

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: No Code
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 1:43 pm 
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He's a charming down to earth and almost loveable and cuddly guy once you meet him!

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: No Code
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 1:44 pm 
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ugh

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: No Code
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 1:45 pm 
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seriously he is!

why didnt we get a pic together Stip?

we'll show these buggers

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: No Code
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 1:46 pm 
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Oh I don't doubt he is all these things and even worse.

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: No Code
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 1:47 pm 
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Heathen wrote:
No matter how hard you try, "things stip would say" will never be as hilarious/horrifying as "things stip has actually said".


It's sort of like the difference between laughing at a car crash in a movie and laughing at a car crash in real life.

dimejinky99 wrote:
He's a charming down to earth and almost loveable and cuddly guy once you meet him!


And they call me a sociopath. :shake:

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: No Code
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 1:54 pm 
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This is my favourite album of all time, but Habit takes a massive dump on my ears after a run of 6 utterly awesome tracks. I'm Open is also a weak, teenage-y lyric.

I think this was probably the first example of PJ creating a "weaker second half" album - something that's become more prevalent. Unlike the more recent albums, though, I've really come around to Mankind and Around the Bend.

I often agree with Stip, but goodness me, man. :shake:


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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: No Code
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 1:56 pm 
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McParadigm wrote:
"Why did they even bother recording music before 1991? Was it just a way to publicly shame all those talentless hacks?"

Image

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: No Code
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 1:56 pm 
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dimejinky99 wrote:
seriously he is!

why didnt we get a pic together Stip?

we'll show these buggers


I thought we did. Check your phone!

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: No Code
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 1:57 pm 
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Dime is a really good looking guy though. This picture surfacing may not be in my best interests.

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: No Code
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 1:57 pm 
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Also, Sometimes into Hail Hail is a thing of genius.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: No Code
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 1:58 pm 
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why?

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