Music

Pearl Jam, Riot Act

(Pearl Jam: Danny Clinch)

One title on Riot Act, ”Half Full,” sums it up: You can view the Jam jar as half empty, if you focus on how Eddie’s heartfelt lyrics rarely cohere, and how too few of the tense rhythmic setups build to the kind of ”Rearviewmirror”-style catharsis that would be something to ”Riot” home about. Or you can be thankful that, absence of classics aside, one band’s grooves still sound taut, emotive, and world-class, and not look a damn gift horse in the mouth.

Originally posted November 15 2002 — 12:00 AM EST

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