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Riot Act

4.2 out of 5 stars 337 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 12 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music
  • ASIN: B00006M183
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 337 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,776 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Can't Keep
2. Save You
3. Love Boat Captain
4. Cropduster
5. Ghost
6. I Am Mine
7. Thumbing My Way
8. You Are
9. Get Right
10. Green Disease
11. Help Help
12. Bushleaguer
13. 1/2 Full
14. Arc
15. All Or None

Product Description


It's strange to think Pearl Jam was once herded under the grunge umbrella alongside pathos-spewing acts like Nirvana and Alice in Chains. The Seattle group's eighth album (give or take the 72 bootleg-style double CDs they released in 2001) has more in common with classic rock institutions like Crazy Horse and the Band than the snarling forces that were trying to tear away at their legacies. Appropriately, Riot Act is built on thematic pillars--love, death, politics--and fueled by dense, uncompromising power chords. It takes yet another step away from the courteous tones of the band's cornerstone LPs, Ten and Vs, and proudly flaunts egotism ("I know I was born and I know that I'll die/ The in-between is mine," Eddie Vedder sings on "I Am Mine") and a dark underbelly ("Green Disease"). But it's far from insufferable: If any band can make self-obsession sound hospitable, it's Pearl Jam. And when Vedder sneaks in the line "All you need is love" on the rollicking "Love Boat Captain," he proves that despite his furrowed-brow demeanor, he's a born entertainer. --Aidin Vaziri

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
We always try and formulate rock and roll. We try to make it into something different, mixing styles, adding roots, etc. But, then there's the sub categories we try to continue onward. In the case of alternative, grunge if you will, many bands either died off or died trying. Pearl Jam was one of the bands that remained, still remains. In their recent and current album, Riot Act, they formulate alternative rock...
With the addition of an organ, we see a new style. Songs like 'Love Boat Captain' almost belong on Classic Rock stations rather than Rock. But then there's 'Save You', a classic rock vibe with that original Pearl Jam feel. It's all there, but something is...different. This is a different Pearl Jam.
The difference is age. Simple. These guys are a decade and more older, so therefore, their music is going to change. With venturing aspects of music, with the ecletic 'No Code', and the electric 'Binaural', this one takes a different turn...a more traditional approach.
What 'Riot Act' seems to be is this, a stance. It's political, it's low key, and it's very timid. There's only a few select songs that are in any way wild and crazy. Songs like 'I am Mine', 'Thumbing My Way', etc...are all lower, more central songs. I think Pearl Jam is starting a transition, or maybe an exit? I doubt this.
With the band changing, the music changes. Their grunge sound as they were called, is almost a classic rock jam. With this change in mind, you need to look at the record differently. This is not your standard Pearl Jam record.
'Bushleaguer' a song that caused such poltical whatever, is one of the sparks to the album, but even then...it never goes wild.
This is a mild album, but it's a good album. I enjoy listening to this occasionally. Is it one of their bests?
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Format: Audio CD
It seems Pearl Jam are desperate to become the new Neil Young these days, even though deep down we all know they'd be doing a lot better if they were to embrace thier inner Aerosmith and not consistently deny those anthemic qualties that made everything released by the band up to and including 1998's Yield so delightful.
Pearl Jam have always recieved mixed reviews, but since Binaural there has been cause for this beyond journalistic bias against the group, and I have to say that Ed and the boys keen-ness to go down a darker direction (musically, thier lyrics have always been cut from darker cloth) ill fits a band that can craft such effortlessly satisfying stadium rock when they allow themselves to trade in major key's and open mixes, as opposed to the thick classic rock sludge that songs like "Cropduster" and "1/2 full" wallow in here. The frustration here is that B-sides such as "down" and "otherside" showcase preciseley the hooks and power that is so dismally lacking on Riot Act.
As long as Pearl Jam try so persistantly to surpress thier own natural instincts they are setting themselves on a steady path toward mediocrity and irrelevance, shame.....
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Format: Audio CD
If you want anthemic, angry, youth-rock, you probably won't like Riot Act. If you want Pearl Jam to regress to the songs of college frat parties and white-hat-wearing Jeep-drivers, you probably won't like Riot Act. If you think "Alive" is a happy song about being alive, and all the joy that brings, you probably won't like Riot Act. That said, I think it is a brilliant album-full of melancholy and torment, pathos, political and social frustration... yet, somehow, it is ultimately hopeful. It's pleading and hoping that we'll all be okay; that there's always a beacon, even when things are at their worse. And, I love that, upon a few listens, the listener can hear all the influences the band has claimed: from MC5 to The Who, from Neil Young to Nusrat Ali Fateh Khan.
This album is multifaceted, and, through this, it highlights all the qualities about the band that make them great-the qualities that have helped Pearl Jam overcome and outlast the hype. You know, qualities like integrity and true musicianship. It has the rockin' guitar solos, but it also has glorious acoustic work. It has subtlety.
My personal favorite tracks are "Love Boat Captain," "I am Mine," "Green Disease" and "All or None." But that's this week. Last week I was nuts over something else. I find that each listen reveals a new gem. In fact, after a hiatus with my Pearl Jam listening (yeah, I shelved them for awhile) buying this album renewed my interest in the two albums I'd not yet owned: Yield and Binaural. Because of Riot Act, I came back to my obsession with Pearl Jam's music. The album does "read" like a bit of a returning. It is reflective, reflexive and unafraid.
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Format: Audio CD
I have been a fan of Pearl Jam since their very first album, "Ten", in 1991 and this is their most mature album to date. They started out as a typical grunge band - angry at the world and letting that anger show through in their music. They were never ones to repeat old gripes and riffs though, always emerging with a different sound and lyrical moral each album, while at their core remaining true to what they do best - solid guitar-orientated hard rock. No wandering off to experiment with synthesizers, tape loops, drum machines, and other useless c**p. (Radiohead and U2, take note!).
In Riot Act the feelings expressed are more diverse than previously - less anger-centric - and are expressed in a more subtle sort of way. The guitar solos are tighter, Eddie Vedder's vocals more measured and less of a scream. His vocals have always been a highlight of Pearl Jam's music and now he goes to the next level, swapping pitch for tone. His voice now more fully conveys the emotions and sentiments of the music, to the extent that one doesn't even have to understand the lyrics to grasp the emotions, a truly remarkable performance. A great example of this is on "I am mine", for me the best track on the album.
The more mature sound may be a conscious effort on Pearl Jam's part, or simply a natural progression, being more mature, worldy-wise individuals now and not the naively bitter and angry youngsters they used to be.
A great album, though there has never been a bad Pearl Jam album. "Binaural" is their worst offering, and that is a 3-star effort. All the rest are 4 or 5 star albums, "Yield" still being my overall favourite, though Riot Act runs it close.
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