Pearl Jam – Ten (Re-Issue)
Reviewed by: Chris Cactus
Pearl Jam’s Ten is among my favorite albums. I think it’s a combination of the music and the memories. It was transformational to me. I picked it up in high school, during my senior year, and it saw me through many changes. It also launched my entirely flannel and ripped jeans wardrobe.
The remastered Legacy edition of the album was recently released. Packed alongside the original remastered album are a few newly released tracks and a remix of the album helmed by long-time producer Brendan O’Brien.
First, the remaster is fantastic and the original mix of the album still holds up brilliantly. Ten is a near-perfect album that ranks among the greatest albums ever made, certainly of the 90s. Yet, there’s one thing that always kept Ten from being perfect. The mixing. The original album is too heavy on reverb. Too many elements are buried in the mix.
And the Ten Redux fixes all of this. And exposes things about Ten you never knew were there.
Eddie Vedder’s vocals are perfect as are the long-hidden backing vocal tracks that are unearthed in this new version. The rhythm section is solid, as usual. But it’s Mike McCready’s guitar work that really shines. It sounds rougher, less polished. McCready’s Pete Townshend and Jimi Hendrix influeces are obvious. They were buried there the entire time. Who knew?
Listening to Ten Redux is like having the sand blown off an island exposing buried treasure chests. It makes a near perfect album feel less dated and exposes the inner workings of a great album and great band in the making.