Pearl Jam

No Code Epic, 1996

Classic Rock - - The Hard Stuff Buyer's Guide -

Pearl Jam’s fas­ci­nat­ing, oc­ca­sion­ally bril­liant fourth al­bum sounds like noth­ing they made be­fore or since. Recorded against a back­drop of in­tra-band tur­moil – Ved­der had re­port­edly wrested artis­tic con­trol – its de­fault set­ting was low-key. But ‘quiet’ didn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean ‘bad’. Opener Some­times and the Afro-beat-tinged Who You Are ex­uded calm beauty, while the fu­ri­ous Hail, Hail proved they could still crank it up.

No Code baf­fled many who’d bought Ten and Vs., and the band’s sales took a down­turn. For Pearl Jam, though, that counted as a vic­tory.

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