Sunday, April 1, 2012

Underrated Classic - Pearl Jam "Vs"

When you are a new band that exploded with a brilliant and very successful debut record, you have the uncanny pressure to follow it up with a sound just as big, as successful and as champaign as your first album. This obligation is not just for your record company or for your fans, but really to prove to yourselves as a band that you can do it and are not a one trick pony. For Pearl Jam, their task was to follow-up their stunning debut, Ten, with something just as grand. As the press made rivals out of Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and Nirvana's Kurt Cobain and Seattle's grunge scene was growing at a rapid pace, with bands from all corners of the Earth trying to cash in on the scene, Pearl Jam had a heavy task. After two years non-stop on the road, the band went into a recording studio in early 1993 with producer Brendan O'Brien to create a record called Five Against One. Vs., is a much more raw, loose, fee-form, relaxed, yet still intense record from the Seattle band. Lyrically Vedder was not as introspective as he was on Ten, but more looking out into the world they were living in at the time and the world they had created for themselves as a successful band. Just before the records, arrival, the album title was changed from Five Against One to self-titled then eventually to Vs., which is how the band felt at the time, they were battling all the elements around themselves and within themselves. Though Vs., did not boast as many hits as Ten, it still gained massive critical and fan attention around the globe. In 2013, the album will celebrate it's twenty year anniversary and unlike it's predecessor, it seems to fall by the wayside over time, yet for its two decade celebration next year, here is to hoping it gets rediscovered.