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9 out of 10
Brendan O'Brien's experience producing for the likes of AC/DC, Stone Temple Pilots and Limp Bizkit has now been applied to what, for many, is not only a defining album from the Grunge era but any era. Ten is a rare gem, where not a single track remotely approaches the term 'filler'. Once and Even Flow are surely the finest opening one-two since Black Dog and Rock and Roll. Alive would have made the album a milestone on its own. An album which, even today, demands playing from beginning to end. So, has it been worth the effort? Can we avoid the phrase 'rip-off'?
Well, yes and no. The remix is certainly, to quote O'Brien, 'a more direct sound'. Everything has a metallic sheen but not in a gratuitously tinny way. Rather, the remix emphasises the more 'metal' aspects of the songs and really exorcises forever the description of this album (and therefore the band, since they've never topped this debut) as 'grunge' in any way. It's riffs and solos to the fore, folks, with the twin guitar barrels of Gossard and McCready blasting everything away. Vedder's voice, shorn of any extraneous echoes or unnecessary backing vocals, roars like some re-tuned Ferrari. Krusen and Ament sound absolutely thunderous. This is Classic Rock - capital 'C', capital 'R'.
With such perfection, any 'extras' would be hard-pushed not to disappoint and the demo-quality half-dozen on offer here will be of interest to true Jam-ophiles only, although it's interesting to see what didn't make the cut in 1991. If you pretend to care about rock music at all, you'll already own Ten. If you don't, well, where have you been for the past eighteen years?
2. Even Flow
4. Why Go
13. Just A Girl
14. Breath And A Scream
15. State Of Love and Trust
16. 2,000 Mile Blue
17. Evil Little Goat (Studio Out-Take)