Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Pearl Jam hasn't sounded as alive or engaging as they do here since at least Vitalogy, if not longer.
  2. Strikes with a magnificent urgency.
  3. Pearl Jam is fully, comprehensively re-energized.
  4. Pearl Jam is another straight-up collection of raw, blistered rock and moody mid-tempo balladry. The difference here, and the reason for excitement, is that the self-titled record more consistently achieves the grandeur, rage, and beauty they’ve always pursued, throughout its entirety.
  5. The seriously hopped-up effort fans have been pining for since Vitalogy.
  6. The band gladly sacrifices fluidity for drama, and even catchy Pearl Jam tracks like "World Wide Suicide" (with its winding hook and acid lyrics) and "Parachutes" (with its charmingly odd acoustic bounce) periodically wander into the murk.
  7. Unfashionable as they probably are, Pearl Jam have gone some way to regaining both their fire and their relevance with this, a record that takes equally from classic Neil Young stylings as it does raging, polemic punk.
  8. And while it most certainly does fill this grunge kid with nostalgia for a simpler time, it’s the first latter day Pearl Jam album that is plenty good enough to stand on its own.
  9. As immediate and despairing as breaking news from Baghdad... Pearl Jam is also as big and brash in fuzz and backbone as Led Zeppelin's Presence. [4 May 2006, p.55]
  10. Concise, focused and even, it’s a great addition to the band’s increasingly rich catalog.
  11. The band socks away the adventurous experimentation that dogged some of its most recent records to investigate a post-September 11, war-ravaged world overflowing with urgency and significance.
  12. Now as ever, Pearl Jam takes itself seriously. But it delivers that seriousness not with the sodden self-importance of rock superstardom, but with the craft and hunger of a band still proving itself on the spot. [1 May 2006]
  13. It's a pleasant surprise for those who feared that the group's glory days were long gone.
  14. The music is leaner and more concise than we're used to from Pearl Jam, the performances brisk, frisky and light on their feet. [30 Apr 2006]
  15. Songs like "World Wide Suicide" and "Severed Head" even come close to recreating the hard rock thrills of the band's billion-selling debut, Ten.
  16. Song-for-song, they haven’t made an album this misstep-free since Vs.
  17. This is Pearl Jam, it's down to you whether that means anything or not.
  18. 70
    Pearl Jam sound reborn, vital. [Jul 2006, p.112]
  19. 70
    If their songs occasionally resemble the power ballads that grunge supposedly outmoded, that's the price of being a truly potent classic rock band. [Jun 2006, p.109]
  20. 70
    They seem to be having fun. [Jun 2006, p.79]
  21. It's got all the elements of a great album, but it doesn't evoke the feeling of listening to the band's first three seminal albums.
  22. The middle gets muddy, as they return to their weaker late-Nineties fare (read: "ballads"), but it's a strong album overall.
  23. 60
    Tighter and more energized than anything the band has done since Vitalogy. [Jun 2006, p.142]
  24. Though few of these 13 numbers have the drama of tracks by the Who or Led Zeppelin, from whom the band draw much of their style, Pearl Jam play like men on a mission.
  25. While it's hard to question their motives and integrity, Avocado fails to deliver the grand statement we might expect.
  26. Instead of trying to rage against the machine, they're appealing to its intellectual nature. Unfortunately, this nuance is steamrolled by the group's need for fan-friendly riffage.
  27. This is a further stumble away from the glory days of 'Ten'. [29 Apr 2006, p.39]
  28. [It] is a lusher and less challenging listen than recent efforts, but it's also curiously featureless, the sound of a group drained of passion and fresh ideas. [Jun 2006, p.118]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 304 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 192
  1. Nov 21, 2010
    Finally regaining some of their original inspiration, Pearl Jam surprises everyone with this innovative album, one that actually keeps getting better as it goes along. Nothing they've done since Vitalogy has been anywhere near this good. Full Review »
  2. JohnnyL.
    May 28, 2007
    This album really shows how Pearl Jam has grown up and advanced musically as well as lyrically. At the same time they brought back some of the old all-out-rock attitude on a majority of the songs. Genius, simply genius!! Full Review »
  3. Feb 19, 2012
    It returns to their routes in a way which, though not the same is commendable nonetheless. Vedder demonstrates his capability in writing some great hooks with 'World Wide Suicide', 'Comatose' and the very underrated 'Gone'. Full Review »