Often regarded, perhaps unfairly, as the "normal" album that followed "No Code", "Yield" is a beast all of its own. What it does display is a band that's really come into itself-- whereas it felt that "Ten" and "Vs." was Pearl Jam escaping their legacy and finding their own feet, "Vitalogy" was a search for a direction, and "No Code" was the push out, "Yield" is in many ways the beginning of the band's second phase-- they know who they are and what kind of music they want to play.
"Yield" has many of the elements of thre preivously albums finally coexisting-- the AOR/arena rock sound (leadoff single "Given to Fly"), the punk numbers in the vein of "Go", "Last Exit", and "Hail Hail" (powerful opener "Brain of J"), the ballads vocalist Ed Vedder can really get himself wrapped into ("Low Light"), but its got a lot more too.
Any belief that this is a straightahead rock record only, take a look at "No Way" or "Push Me, Pull Me", with its odd fills (from various instruments) and falsetto harmonies, or the churning, bubbling "Wishlist"-- a final realization of the sort of sounds "Who You Are" and "In My Tree" leaned towards, although with a self-assurance that allows it to speak on its own. And certainly little on this or any other record can compare to the ecstatic power of "Do the Evolution"-- lyrically and musically one of the most (if not THE most) satisfying songs in Pearl Jam's catalog. Straightahead rock? When all the instruments drop out but the drums and Vedder leads the choir singing "Alleluia"?
Still, if its straightahead rock you're after, look no further than "MFC"-- a great song about hitting the open road and a fantastic piece. The thing about this album is that its got something for anyone who's enjoyed any of Pearl Jam's earlier albums. Confidence, synthesis of sounds, and a settled direction all help to make this one an essential part of the band's catalog. Recommended.
on July 25, 2005
Yield (1998.), the Pearl Jam's fifth studio album
The Pearl Jam are without doubt, in my opinion, the greatest band of the 1990's. From their immortal debut album 'Ten', the greatest selling Seattle album ever, and onwards, the Pearl Jam have consitently produced awesome music very rarely dropping below the highest possible level of greatness. By the end of the 1990's, the Pearl Jam were practically the only band remaining from the grunge explosion nearly ten years earlier, in most part due to their own altering style and ability to 'break' from the grunge mold and diversify their sound. 'Yield', the Pearl Jam's fifth studio album, released in 1998 is the band's final outing for the 90's (NOT their final album!!!) and it is one hell of a good one!
When I listen to any of the Pearl Jam's releases after 'Ten', I have to be realistic. 'Ten' is just phenominal, a perfect flawless album which I believe is almost impossible to top, however, in my opinion, 'Yield' is not far away in greatness, and thats saying an awful lot! After a very masterful and experimental 'No Code', 'Yield' is a return by the band to a more hard rocking sound, with grungy hints of 'Ten' or 'Vs.'. The album was rightfully critically acclaimed at the time of its release by many critics BUT however, it has never sold as many as you would have expected it to (about 4-5 million worldwide, which is NOT many for an album is amazing as this!). However, you've gotta remember that this is the Pearl Jam, the band that withdrew from the spotlight in the mid-1990's and are an underground band at heart who focus on making great music, not the profits that come from it. As I've said above, 'Yield' is much more rock based than 'No Code' however, it doesn't stop any experimental moments from the band including a 1 minute untitled drum showcase and some unusual moments in the song 'Push Me, Pull Me'. Afterall, every Pearl Jam album has a little bit of wierdness and that's what in some ways makes their albums so unique. The 'Yield' album also marked the first time that the band had made music videos since the song 'Jeremy'. This was more part of a record contractual obligation than anything (remember the Pearl Jam just don't DO music videos, its not part of their style!) however, the anime-styled video of 'Do The Evolution' is a pretty interesting watch.
The album itself begins with the blistering 'Brain of J', a great hard rocking song. Vedder's howling vocals are back straight away with this song. The song has a deep thundercracking ending which is really cool, and it then runs perfectly into 'Faithful', a song with an awesome starting riff and some great bass playing from Jeff Ament. 'No Way' is a much more mellow sounding track and one of my personal favourites on the album, some of the guitar work is captivating in parts. 'Given To Fly' is one of the more well known tracks off the album, itself being a radio staple, Eddie Vedder sings this one with real emotion. Next up is 'Wishlist' were Eddie Vedder sings about wishing to be a weird variety of things from neutron bombs to Christmas trees! Its a great song, to be followed by 'Pilate', a thoughtful starting song which has a real rocking chorus. 'Do The Evolution' has to be the most powerful song on the album. Aside from being an aggressive, howling song, some of the words are almost prophetic with a number of the lines relating very much to the troubles in the world now (you'll see when you listen to it). Following this is a minute long untitled song which is kind of some experimental drum work from Jack Irons. Some people have criticised this song but I think it breaks the album up well. 'MFC' follows this which is another short and sweet hard rocker. 'Low Light' is a great slower song, with more passionate singing from Vedder and a killer guitar solo from Mike McCready towards the end of the track. Another slower track, 'In Hiding' is also excellent, featuring some catchy rhythms and more great lyrics. 'Push Me, Pull Me, is the most experimental track on the album. It has a weird start which sounds like a washing machine in operation! The song is kind of reminiscent to 'I'm Open' from 'No Code' with Vedder doing voice overs in parts, except this track is much more racier. If the album couln't get much better then we have the closing track, 'All Those Yesterdays'. A slow, almost lullaby-like song with an almost hypnotic nature to it (its another example of the Pearl Jam doing exceptional closing songs). Also there is a hidden track, which is an interesting Spanish/Latin American song with some clever guitar work and heavy drumming.
'Yield' is a masterpiece. The Pearl Jam have done some exceptional stuff during their time but this is up there near the top. Every song is great and it is almost impossible to pick a favourite because they're all so good! If there was any doubt as to the Pearl Jam's greatness, they dispelled it with this album and its has ultimately confirmed them with the greats. 'Yield' is a must buy ... next time your in the record shop, just look for the album with the road sign on the front and get it, you'll have no regrets obtaining this classic!
on March 8, 2000
Pearl Jam has put out consistantly great music while for the most part staying away from the billboard top 40 and off of the heavy radio rotation. Everyone seems to criticize everything the band has done after vs., which is just when they started getting interesting. Pearl Jam got sick of all of these so called "fans" who are always talking about the flavor-of-the-month and wanted to start doing things they're way. Sure they made a few mistakes along the way, like cancelling shows, fighting with ticketmaster, and firing drummer Dave A., but they are still here and are really the only Seattle band left from the "grunge" era. Yield really marked the return of Pearl Jam to the public, with a world tour (They were awesome in concert), a home video (not so great), a cool music video (Do the Evolution) and even a live album which really rocked. Yield may have revived a few old fans from the "Jeremy era" with 'Wishlist' and 'Given to Fly', but the powerful 'In Hiding' and 'Faithful' were my favorite tracks. I don't think this album was as good as "Vitalogy" or "No Code", but anything to get PJ touring again was good enough for me. If you are not a Pearl Jam fan quit criticizing the band for God's sake. I'm tired of hearing from band-wagon music fans.
on June 12, 2007
Conceived at a period of détente in the band's turbulent career, Pearl Jam's fifth album is one that definitively documents exactly where the band was at that particular time (1998). Whereas Yield's predecessor No Code (1996) had been fraught with upheaval and was conversely inconsistent and experimental, Yield itself is its very antithesis.
When No Code was released Pearl Jam were still the main players in the - admittedly failing - grunge scene, yet by the time they entered the studio to record Yield Soundgarden and Screaming Trees had disbanded, Alice in Chains were in an irreversible state of coma, and The Smashing Pumpkins' Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness had obliterated the last remnants of grunge.
Yield however, showcases the greatness of Pearl Jam. Closing ranks impressively - the war of egos between singer Eddie Vedder and guitarist Stone Gossard having reached armistice - the band took stock, returned to Seattle and recorded their most honest, instinctual and diplomatic work to date.
Vedder's enchantment by nature and wilderness is brought prominently to the fore, and his elegant vocals belie the oft-pious bellow of earlier works. Indeed, Vedder's piety forms the basis of Yield, with the songs 'Faithfull' (marriage), 'Given to Fly' (christianity and penance), and the tiresome 'Wishlist' (contentment) - supported by bassist Jeff Ament's 'Low Light' and Gossard's 'All Those Yesterdays' - bearing witness to a more mature take on life's spiritual and secular ambiguities.
Additionally, Gossard and lead guitarist Mike McCready have never combined better than on Yield, with the former's refound gift for compositionally strong riffs perfectly complemented by the latter's uncharacteristically discreet lead playing. Pearl Jam's secret weapon on Yield however, is drummer Jack Irons in what was to prove his final outing with the band. Aside from his generally calming persona (as seen on the documentary of the album's recording, Single Video Theory) his propulsive and often eclectic approach to the drumkit ('Red Dot') suits Pearl Jam's expansive sound far more than current incumbent (ex-Soundgarden-er) Matt Cameron's.
Relaxed, inventive and adventurous, and without the merest hint of grunge cliché, Yield is the sound of a band finally at ease with both its superstar status and its loss thereof.
on August 11, 2004
This is just an all around great album that shows the true colors of pearl jam.
1. Brain of J- kind of a strange way to start a cd, up beat, over all not bad 7/10
2. Faithful- just an amazing song, nothing really more to say about it. 10/10
3. No way- A more low slow pounding rock song, really grows on you, espically live. 8/10
4. Given to fly- Another simply amazing song that words cant really describe, makes the cd worth it 11/10
5. Wishlist- a slow song that is really down to earth, and easy to listen to. one line sums it up for me " i wish i was the verb to trust and never let you down" 10/10
6. Pilate- Another darker song, really gotta listen to the lyrics to get what is going on and what he is really saying, another one that has to grow on you 7.5/10
7. Do the evolution- Classic hard rocking pearl jam, nuff said 9/10
8. Red dot- strange, very strange. "we're all crazy, we're all crazy at war", i just sang the whole thing for you, not worht rating
9. MFC- an up tempo song that really gets you going, means mini fast car, 9/10
10. Low light- A beautifully written song that just gets better every time you listen to it. excellent live 10/10
11. In hiding- what i consider to be the most under rated songs on the entire cd, another beautiful song 11/10
12. Push me, Pull me- strange, mostly eddie talking 6/10
13. All those yesterdays- An absolutely great way to end an amazing cd, really makes you think, starts off slow n ends strong. 10/10
Only one thing left to say BUY IT one of their best full albums since "Ten"
on September 10, 2001
In retrospect, 1998's Yield seems like the completion of a very long thought. It started on the dark, chaotic Vitalogy, bending slightly the landscape of Pearl Jam's sound, and was in full force by the time the band recorded No Code. The result is that Yield has the ability to be as intense as anything Pearl Jam has made, but doesn't NEED to be the way Ten or Vs did. The band has discovered just how many other options are out there, and has grown adept at knowing just when to use them. Even the album's most powerful (and possibly best) track, Do the Evolution, relies on brilliantly sarcastic lyrics and vocals, almost danceable guitars, and an eerie choir break to drive home it's point. Had the band tried to create a song around the same subject matter in 1993, we would have been given classic rock riffs and pounding drums under a painful howl and lyrics that, while brilliant, didn't owe so much to creativity as they did to ragged fury. Angst incarnate. Those songs are long-gone and good riddance to them. The band is far too creative to fall back on them now, and Vedder's lyrical ability and state-of-mind have grown with them. What were once complaints are now merely observations.
It doesn't hurt the album that some of Pearl Jam's finest moments are here: Given to Fly (which has some of the finest lyrics I have ever heard), Wishlist, the aforementioned Do the Evolution, and Lowlight are almost unmatched even in this impressive bands catalogue. There aren't any weak moments on the record either (some may gripe about the red dot `song').
The album is excellently recorded. The textures of the gentle, brilliant (and for some dumb reason never played live) Lowlight are startling. Vedder's throaty chuckle in mid-lyric In Hiding is captured in all it's glory. The band helps the matter by meticulously finding the perfect guitar sound for every little riff or chord.
For the third time running the artwork is so on cue with the music and lyrical content that the album feels like a package, focused enough to evoke emotion from a single look in a fan of the band (a run that died when Binaural came out...not a bad album by any standards, the artwork just didn't fit). They don't get credit for it because they owe more to Neil Young, and that earthiness and well-planned sloppiness shines through, but Pearl Jam are capable of creating artwork on par with Pink Floyd. I'm talking quality, not feel.
Also nice is that this might be the first real Pearl Jam album. Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament both contribute lyrics to two songs for the first time (outside of Stone's exuberant Mankind on No Code), and Mike McCready provides aural backgrounds to the punkish Brain of J and the soaring Given to Fly. The musicians, who barely knew each other when they recorded their first album, were more a group of strangers in a room than a band. And by the second album Vedder's anti-social behavior was already beginning to dominate the band. That, of course, has changed (see In Hiding, a song about shutting yourself off from the world in search of enlightenment that is a bit of a continuation of the themes in No Code).
Creative, focused, and grounded, Yield is Ten or Vs made by a band that has lived through Vitalogy and experienced the enlightenment of No Code.
on September 21, 2009
It seems half the world has ADHD and can barely spend 45 minutes listening to one of the greatest singer songwriters of our time lay his soul and psyche bare album after album. What other band out there delivers this much diversity, raw energy, honesty and melody so consistently? Do the people rating this a 1 or a 2 even have their speakers plugged in correctly?
I know it is only fair to compare a band or even a human being to what they were the day before but the Ten and Vs. comparisons were tired in 1994 and they are even more tired 15 years later. Imagine a new band released Yield in 1998 or even today. Given to Fly Wishlist, Do the Evolution, In Hiding - all would be in nonstop rotation on rock radio and be considered classics if this was the band's first LP. Instead the only songs that linger on the radio from PJ are from Ten and Vs. with Betterman thrown in as the lone post mega-popularity concession. Without the name Pearl Jam and the heavy weight it carries this album would have sold way more copies. I guess this is true of a lot of bands after they have passed their peak in fame who are still producing quality work.
As with most Pearl Jam albums released after Vs. this one needs a couple listens for proper appreciation. Highly recommended!
on December 13, 1999
Yield is the best album that Pearl Jam has put out yet. When I first listened to this album I dismissed it, and I thought that the band of the century had finally exhausted their talent. The more I listened, however, the more the album grew on me. Tracks like MFC, Given to Fly, Do the Evolution and Faithfull rank among the bands best. Once again the band provides deep poetic lyrics with substance that go way beyond any other band out there today. Lyrics like, "I wish I was the full moon shinning off a camero's hood" from the song "Wishlist" shows how creative and preseptive Ed Vedder is. If you are sick of listening to hack lyrics about teenage love from teen idols, then I suggest you check out this album.
on October 25, 1999
First of all, I have to comment on the poster below who says that Pearl Jam sold out. He says there is always MetallicA, whos hasn't sold out. ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FREAKIN MIND!!! Metallica sold out 8 years ago with the release of the Black Album. Let's see, Ten sold about ten million copies. Every album since hasn't even come close to selling that many, with the exception of VS. I thought that selling out was when a band made music for the masses, not necessarily what they like. Let's see; Brain of J, has that heavy grunge-like riff to it, not unlike Porch. All Those Yesterdays is a beautiful masterpiece of a song, not unlike Black. And Do The Evolution is heavier than anything MetallicA has done since 1988. Also, Pearl Jam has been performing Last Kiss for quite a while live, and they even released a live version to their fan club members last year. They made a studio version of it for a benefit album. They liked the damn song so they played it. Is that selling out? I think not!!! MetallicA was the most influential band of the eighties, but now YIELD to Pearl Jam, the most influential band of the nineties. Put that whiskey in your jarro and chug it!!!
on April 1, 2002
I grew up listening to Pearl Jam and it wasnt until recently that i decided to buy some of their newer stuff. I cant describe how good this CD is. ive been going through some rough times in my life and this CD has been with me the whole time. i can relate to certain songs on the CD and because of that this CD will always mean something to me no matter when i hear it. Pearl Jam still rocks!! BUY IT!!