Vs. | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, June 17th, 2021  

Clint Brownlee


Published by Bloomsbury

May 23, 2021 Bookmark and Share

The 154th installment of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 paperback series takes on Pearl Jam’s sophomore album, Vs. Through his pocket sized examination, Brownlee situates Vs. firmly within the context of a band that had seen the first thrush of giganticized fame and was trying to come to terms. It places the band in a tenuous position, that of trying to follow up such a successful debut and doing so while knowing that the spotlight would be shining on them bright as the sun upon the new album’s release.

The album’s tracks are dissected. Brownlee takes information from various sources, including the Twenty book and documentary, and paints a full picture of the band at the time and the classic album it ended up creating. As with any musing on someone else’s art, there’s a certain degree of speculation on the author’s part regarding motivation and meaning, but this is to be expected. Thankfully, there is enough fact and research here to make the author’s insertion of speculative inference nothing egregious.

If Browlee’s Vs.does anything, it reminds the reader of the genius of the album. Those of a certain age will be taken back to their youth in its revisiting. And it brings to light some facts one might have missed or not been privy to at the time, creating a fuller, more perspective-full view of the album looking back.


Author rating: 7.5/10

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