From the ashes of Mother Love Bone rises Pearl Jam. Shooting straight for the throat. Ten is a viscous blues-based, soul-searching kick in the teeth. Major-league anthem rock multiplied to arena-size proportions that boils with emotion and sublime intensity. Although songs are standard fare: bridge, chorus, solo, chorus, they are by no means boring. Especially concentrating on the lead guitar work of Mike McCready, whose guitar screams and dives with biting blues-influenced sorrow. The anthems “Once” and “Alive” mix together to complement the heavy-laden ballads like “Why Go” and “Oceans” that drip slowly and laboriously like honey. The best example is “Porch,” which mixes a slow, melancholy lead with an upbeat rhythm that reminisces back to the days of old Aerosmith while retaining its own mysterious and murky identity without sacrificing its punch.
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