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Pearl Jam

Yield

  • Epic

Packed with well-written and superbly played material, Yield merges roaring guitars, impassioned vocals and a perfectly articulated sense of dynamics. There's even welcome breathing room along the way. The sonic assault “Brain of J” kicks the album into immediate overdrive, but it's the fourth track, the remarkable lead single “Given to Fly,” that defines its depth. Borrowing a melody from Zeppelin's “Going to California,” the song's Christ-like imagery is made more poignant by what is one of Eddie Vedder's most powerful vocal performances yet. Other standouts like “Wishlist,” the multi-layered “MFC,” and bassist Jeff Ament's affecting “Low Light,” make this surprisingly straight-ahead song set Pearl Jam's best work since 1993's VS.

— Kevin O'Hare

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