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 Post subject: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Riot Act
PostPosted: Fri December 28, 2012 4:17 pm 
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old thread archived here


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?: Riot Act
PostPosted: Mon June 16, 2014 3:04 pm 
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The Binaural-Riot Act run is the low point in the catalog for me. Where they rank changes but always two of the bottom 3, despite really loving both albums when they first came out. A few major flaws.

1. Few high points. There are some moments on Riot Act I love (Save You, I Am Mine, and Can't Keep in particular) but there are no unconditional 5 star songs.

2. It's a LONG listen. Like Binaural, this is a long, exhausting listen. It's not particularly demanding or challenging (in a way that Binaural, in its best moments, can claim). It just feels like it goes on far longer than its running time, and like Binaural, it is a record that never really manages to pick up any momentum. The dreary nature of so many of the songs certainly adds to this. A shorter record (even by 2-3 songs) would have helped a lot.

3. Too many weak songs. I think the 3 I mentioned above are great. Ghost and Cropduster are also really good. I happen to like Get Right a lot, but it's easy to dismiss. 1/2 Full is a tired retread of Red Mosquito. All or None, rather than serving as an emotional powerhouse closer, just kinda meanders in a listless sort of way (despite sounding great). Thumbing My Way is another somewhat bland and lifeless song, despite strong lyrics. LBC is arguably the most aenimc anthem in the entire catalog, with that terrible title and 'all you need is love' tripe. You Are is a cool idea that goes nowhere. Green Disease feels like juvenille punk posturing. Bushleaguer took a really cool piece of music and ruinied it with a terrible spoken word (eddie doesn't do these well, IMO) and gave up the chance to say something interesting or important about Bush in exchange for name calling and musings abstract enough to be largely rendered pointless. And Help Help isn't that interesting, despite really wanting to be.

4. The best songs were kept off the record (again). No one complains about the all start list of songs left off Ten because what remained was so good. This was a record that REALLY could have used Undone (the best song from the sessions, probably) and Down (certainly better than much of what is on there)

5. Eddie's voice. Despite having great work from mike throughout (this was his last truly stellar album), an excellent sound, and some creative musical moments, one of the major factors that drag Riot Act down is Eddie's tired, seemingly disinterested performance. I've written at length about how it fits the artistic statement of the album, but certainly the songs suffer as a result. Eddie sounds too defeated on TMW or All or None to drag me in, and You Are, 1/2 Full, and LBC need a lot more soaring energy to work. There are times I think his vocals are quite appropriate for the songs at hand (I Am Mine--the way he seems to be struggling to pull himself out of the mud, Save You--a song about exhausting yourself on behalf of someone else, Ghost--a song about disappearing, Can't Keep--where he sounds less exhausted but in a contemplative way--the sound of someone taking a break from a struggle, rather than giving up on one), but too often they don't elevate a weaker selection of songs that require strong performances to lift.

6. It hurt S/T. S/T is such a conscious reaction to how muted Riot Act felt that what was (with some exceptions) a stronger set of songs got sandblasted by the desire to make everything sound as loud and in your face and un-Riot Acty as possible. And while there are a few songs where I maintain that it worked well (the first 3), the rest of the album really suffers for it, in particular Marker, Come Back, and Parachutes--three very strong songs done a tremendous disservice by the production. And I blame Riot Act for that.

Overall this is probably at the very bottom of the list for me.

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Riot Act
PostPosted: Mon June 16, 2014 3:38 pm 
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stip wrote:
6. It hurt S/T. S/T is such a conscious reaction to how muted Riot Act felt that what was (with some exceptions) a stronger set of songs got sandblasted by the desire to make everything sound as loud and in your face and un-Riot Acty as possible. And while there are a few songs where I maintain that it worked well (the first 3), the rest of the album really suffers for it, in particular Marker, Come Back, and Parachutes--three very strong songs done a tremendous disservice by the production. And I blame Riot Act for that.


big
fat
lol

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Riot Act
PostPosted: Mon June 16, 2014 3:41 pm 
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"I Am Mine" is arguably the beginning of Ed's cornball phase.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Riot Act
PostPosted: Mon June 16, 2014 3:41 pm 
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Heathen wrote:
stip wrote:
6. It hurt S/T. S/T is such a conscious reaction to how muted Riot Act felt that what was (with some exceptions) a stronger set of songs got sandblasted by the desire to make everything sound as loud and in your face and un-Riot Acty as possible. And while there are a few songs where I maintain that it worked well (the first 3), the rest of the album really suffers for it, in particular Marker, Come Back, and Parachutes--three very strong songs done a tremendous disservice by the production. And I blame Riot Act for that.


big
fat
lol

how
fat
exactly
?

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Riot Act
PostPosted: Mon June 16, 2014 3:44 pm 
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stip wrote:
Heathen wrote:
stip wrote:
6. It hurt S/T. S/T is such a conscious reaction to how muted Riot Act felt that what was (with some exceptions) a stronger set of songs got sandblasted by the desire to make everything sound as loud and in your face and un-Riot Acty as possible. And while there are a few songs where I maintain that it worked well (the first 3), the rest of the album really suffers for it, in particular Marker, Come Back, and Parachutes--three very strong songs done a tremendous disservice by the production. And I blame Riot Act for that.


big
fat
lol

how
fat
exactly
?


American

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Riot Act
PostPosted: Mon June 16, 2014 3:50 pm 
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Heathen wrote:
stip wrote:
Heathen wrote:
stip wrote:
6. It hurt S/T. S/T is such a conscious reaction to how muted Riot Act felt that what was (with some exceptions) a stronger set of songs got sandblasted by the desire to make everything sound as loud and in your face and un-Riot Acty as possible. And while there are a few songs where I maintain that it worked well (the first 3), the rest of the album really suffers for it, in particular Marker, Come Back, and Parachutes--three very strong songs done a tremendous disservice by the production. And I blame Riot Act for that.


big
fat
lol

how
fat
exactly
?


American


midwest
or
coastal?

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Riot Act
PostPosted: Mon June 16, 2014 3:52 pm 
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Eddie couldnt be Eddie though..vocally, or otherwise. It's their first album after Roskilde..it was hardly going to be a regular Pj record, never mind a huge performance for Eddie

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Riot Act
PostPosted: Mon June 16, 2014 3:56 pm 
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McParadigm wrote:
Heathen wrote:
stip wrote:
Heathen wrote:
stip wrote:
6. It hurt S/T. S/T is such a conscious reaction to how muted Riot Act felt that what was (with some exceptions) a stronger set of songs got sandblasted by the desire to make everything sound as loud and in your face and un-Riot Acty as possible. And while there are a few songs where I maintain that it worked well (the first 3), the rest of the album really suffers for it, in particular Marker, Come Back, and Parachutes--three very strong songs done a tremendous disservice by the production. And I blame Riot Act for that.


big
fat
lol

how
fat
exactly
?


American


midwest
or
coastal?


wherever
you're
most
likely
to
find
a
pj
fan

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so glad i don't see signatures


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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Riot Act
PostPosted: Mon June 16, 2014 3:59 pm 
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Heathen wrote:
McParadigm wrote:
Heathen wrote:
stip wrote:
Heathen wrote:
stip wrote:
6. It hurt S/T. S/T is such a conscious reaction to how muted Riot Act felt that what was (with some exceptions) a stronger set of songs got sandblasted by the desire to make everything sound as loud and in your face and un-Riot Acty as possible. And while there are a few songs where I maintain that it worked well (the first 3), the rest of the album really suffers for it, in particular Marker, Come Back, and Parachutes--three very strong songs done a tremendous disservice by the production. And I blame Riot Act for that.


big
fat
lol

how
fat
exactly
?


American


midwest
or
coastal?


wherever
you're
most
likely
to
find
a
pj
fan


Image

_________________
Cell Phone Songs



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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Riot Act
PostPosted: Mon June 16, 2014 4:47 pm 
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from left to right: harmless, doc, strat, stip, malice, McP

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Riot Act
PostPosted: Mon June 16, 2014 4:50 pm 
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can i be the kid?

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Riot Act
PostPosted: Mon June 16, 2014 4:50 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Riot Act
PostPosted: Mon June 16, 2014 4:51 pm 
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Stip, you owe me something.

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Riot Act
PostPosted: Mon June 16, 2014 4:53 pm 
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I really love the defeated vibe of the album. I was in a super rough spot in my life when this came out and it landed for me big time. I hvaen't listened to it much in the past few years but I may have to revisit it.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Riot Act
PostPosted: Mon June 16, 2014 4:54 pm 
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its probably as bad as ST except the bookend tracks save a bit of dignity....the rest is turgid.

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Riot Act
PostPosted: Mon June 16, 2014 5:02 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Riot Act
PostPosted: Mon June 16, 2014 5:10 pm 
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i wish.

its an understandably dark album...its just not very good.

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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Riot Act
PostPosted: Mon June 16, 2014 5:11 pm 
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This is the last Pearl Jam album that was everything I needed it to be. The last one that landed exactly where I was and forced me to listen and react. It was also the first Pearl Jam record since No Code to have that affect at the time of its release. Riot Act is a powerful album. It is flawed, but there are no major flaws. It's biggest flaw is probably the title and the unjustified expectations it raised before release.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Riot Act
PostPosted: Mon June 16, 2014 5:32 pm 
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well said DCT...

ed gave an interview for Binaural, all about the seattle riots...that album should have been called riot act...this...should have been called uneasy sleep or something similar

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