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No Code

315 customer reviews

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No Code
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Audio CD, August 27, 1996
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Editorial Reviews

Though it contains none of the band's radio staples, No Code may be the one Pearl Jam record that holds up start to finish. Partly this is because of the songs, which like the hypnotic "Who Are You" are unusually straightforward. But it's also because this is the most musically varied effort of the band's career: "Hail, Hail" is a full-tilt firestorm, but the quiet "Sometimes" is a hesitating, slow burn. And while "Smile" has a Crazy Horse roar, the unplugged setting of "Off He Goes" lets the song breathe and the emotions sink in. --David Cantwell

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 27, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000002BFZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (315 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,099 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Samhot on February 18, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I remember getting this disc as a birthday present the year it came out. Much like the cover artwork, at first it seemed weird and too jumpy, but after repeated listens, it all started to fall in place.
While I'm admittedly not the biggest Pearl Jam fan out there, my comments may seem a bit worthless to bigger fans, But...this album is a masterpiece. It's dark, moody, eerie, ambient, reflective, searching, brutal and peaceful all at the same time, which leads me to some degree to believe that this is Pearl Jams's biggest artistic statement. It starts with the quiet, dark and ambient Sometimes. Then it bursts into the explosive Hail, Hail, which is followed by the hypnotic, middle-eastern Who You Are, which features an elf-like choir sound brought on by the vocal overdubs. It's weird but excellent. In My Tree is hard to describe actually, but it's somewhat catchy and groovy. Smile is a mid-tempo rocker. Off He Goes is a slow, dark, quiet and reflective piece with some poignant lyrics. Habit is a brutal rocker about drug addiction, if I'm not mistaken. Red Mosquito has a Neil Young type feel to it, which is bluesy/country-esque and heavy. Lukin is a 1 minute rocker with Eddie Vedder growling at super speed, which makes it hard to understand what he is saying, check out some websites to get the lyrics. Present Tense starts out slow and absorbing, then turns into a musical assault. Mankind is another heavy rocker, this time out, it's sung by Stone Gossard, which I rather like. He sounds like Ed Roland of Collective Soul. I'm Open is like a poetic number. Musically it's dark, ambient and somewhat new age-esque. Love the chant "I'm Open, "I'm Open". Around The Bend is an acoustic, peaceful number to end out this spectacular disc. This is an excellent, musically transcendent disc. Highly recommended to music lovers with a sense of adventure, space, mood, reflection and introspection.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By sp3685 on August 8, 2004
Format: Audio CD
As if Vitalogy wasn't weird enough, Pearl Jam fade even more out of the limelight with the release of No Code - an extremely diverse collection of experimental songs. Every song is so different from each other that I won't be able to do it justice unless I do a track by track review (and even THAT won't do it justice; it needs to be heard to be understood). So here goes:

1. Sometimes - the quirkiest song they ever wrote (until Can't Keep from Riot Act came out). It's a very subtle, and honest song. A nice opener that definitely sets the tone for the rest of the album.

2. Hail, Hail - a typical Pearl Jam rocker. Great guitar riff and punishing vocals. They show their punk influences in this song.

3. Who You Are - the first single from the album. People didn't know what happened to the REAL Pearl Jam when this song came out. It's so different from anything they've ever done. Great tribal drumming and very melodic vocals provide for one of their most interesting songs ever. Great song.

4. In My Tree - similar drumming as the previous song, another tribal sound. One of my favorite songs from the album, and great live as well (afterall, they are the best live band around).

5. Smile - a very upbeat, happy sounding song. It contains excellent use of harmonica. The chorus is beautiful and melodic. Another great song.

6. Off He Goes - most beautiful song on the cd (and also the longest, clocking in at just over 6 minutes). This is basically a slow acoustic song with brilliant lyrics and beautiful vocals. Probably my favorite song from this album.

7. Habit - another punky song, don't really like this one. The vocals are annoying.

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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By E. Callaway on November 23, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I don't know why this record did not do as well as its predecessors. It is a great piece of rock music. Maybe it wasn't marketed as well or something? There is easily some of Pearl Jam's best work on this record. And, of course, there is some strange stuff. But hey, it wouldn't really be Pearl Jam without some mild craziness, now would it?
This album is a major step in the evolution of Pearl Jam. There is a feel to this record that was not in the previous works by Eddie Vedder and the boys. There is a calmness. Not to say that there it contains no rock, but not plagued with era-related, stereotypical rock anthems. There is a feel of classic rock and maybe even some blues.
The first single "Who You Are" is very cool. It has this rolling drum beat and an almost Arabic sounding guitar (Eddie denies completely that the song was influenced by the time he spent with, now sadly deceased, Pakistani singer Nusrat Fatah Ali Khan, while working on the soundtrack of "Dead Man Walking." Eddie says that the song was, in fact, built around an old Jack Irons drum beat)
There are no real radio gems on this record. "Who You Are" was on the radio for a little while. "Hail, Hail" also spent some time traveling the radio waves. I was rather surprised that "Off He Goes" did not find its way onto the radio some how. It was an absolutely beautiful song and probably in my top 5 of all Pearl Jam. I really like "Present Tense." The words are nothing but captivating. The song "I'm Open" is a little bit of beat poetry. It is rather good. Without naming everything on the record, I think it is all very well done.
This record gets better and better with age, as I have had it for just over 6 years. The album art is great, the CD comes with "Polaroids" with the lyrics on the back.
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