Pearl Jam bold with “Riot Act”

By Gus Bode

With its seventh album, “Riot Act,” Pearl Jam shows its continuing metamorphosis from an angry grunge-rock band to the Mecca of what every band of twenty-something year olds aspires to be able to do after 10 years of existence – jam to what they want and not be forgotten by the general public.

“Riot Act” is an artistic achievement that concretes the fact that Pearl Jam is one of the only true alternative bands out there, not conforming to today’s cross-genre of rap/rock and pop/rock that has been making regular appearances on the Top 40 countdowns.

All the while, Mr. Eddie Vedder spills his heart and opinions with his deep baritone in what is Pearl Jam’s best album since “Versus.”


Many listeners will not have much trouble finding “I am Mine” an easy-listening tune, but whether or not they can fall in love with the rest of the album will decide if they are still Pearl Jam followers.

Although “I am Mine” is the headliner of the CD, Vedder places more heart and soul into “Loveboat Captain,” which refers to the nine fans who died during Pearl Jam’s set at the tragedy at Denmark’s Roskilde Festival, which occurred in June of 2000.

And where would Pearl Jam be without conjuring up an anti-Republican anthem in “Bushleaguer,” in which Eddie should have re-thought his voicing of “Vote Nader” during the November 2000 presidential election.

“Riot Act” is a bold album that should reclaim some meandering fans that turned a cold shoulder toward Pearl Jam after “Yield,” and the album reinforces Pearl Jam’s place as one of the world’s greatest living bands.

Reporter Zack Creglow can be reached at [email protected]