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Riot Act
Artist: Pearl Jam
Format: CD
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''Riot Act'' is the seventh studio album by the American alternative rock band Pearl Jam, released on November 12, 2002 through Epic Records. Following a full-scale tour in support of its previous album, ''Binaural'' (2000), Pearl Jam took a year-long break. The band then reconvened in the beginning of 2002 and commenced work on a new album. The music on the record featured a diverse sound, including songs influenced by folk, art rock, and experimental music.

''Riot Act'' debuted at number five on the ''Billboard'' 200. The band supported the album with a politically-charged concert tour in 2003. ''Riot Act'' was the band's last album of all-new material for Epic. The album has been certified gold by the RIAA in the United States. - Wikipedia

Three songs into Pearl Jam's seventh studio album, frontman Eddie Vedderasserts that "It's an art to live with pain."

He should know, of course. Turning pain into art—specifically, music—Veddergave Pearl Jam an identity on its first two albums that worked to the tune ofmega sales but also unfairly shackled the Seattle quintet as rock's supremeangst rockers. That image has stuck; the masses that embraced Ten andVs. haven't been nearly as enthusiastic about Vedder and company'ssubsequent works, which have admirably sought to expand Pearl Jam's sonicand subjective terrains.

They better bring fresh ears to Riot Act, then. The 15-song set, producedby Adam Kasper, offers another broad-reaching collection of melodically strong,richly arranged and lyrically provocative songs, some brimming with optimism("Love Boat Captain"'s declaration that "Once you hold thehand of love… It's all surmountable"), others embracing the hurtVedder sings about as a means to an end; as he explains in "I Am Mine,""the sorry grows bigger when the sorrow's denied."

Mixing explosive rockers ("Save You," "Ghost," "Wantedto Get Right"), textured mid-tempo tracks ("Help Help," "IAm Mine," "Can't Keep") and touches of blues ("1/2Full"), psychedelia ("Crop Duster") and funk ("You Are"),Riot Act also sports some of Pearl Jam's most outwardly political themes—whichare, not surprisingly, critical of the Bush administration. In "Bush Leaguer,"Vedder slams the president for "drilling for fear/ makes the job simple,"while in "Green Disease" he pleas to "Tell the captain, ‘Thisboat's not safe and we're drowning'/ Turns out he's theone making waves."

Pearl Jam makes plenty of waves on Riot Act, too—but in the best possibleway. Vedder's pain is once again his listeners' gain.
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