November 20, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 46  

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Pearl Jam

Lost Dogs

With the opening rock anthem “All Night,” Pearl Jam sets high expectations for their Lost Dogs album — they sure don’t disappoint.
This album delivers hard riffs, beautiful melodies and strong lyrical composition in a way only Pearl Jam can. A superb collection of rarities and B-sides, this fascinating compilation manoeuvres its way through those sweet sounds that didn’t make their albums.

The overall mellow tone of the album showcases some of singer Eddie Vedder’s most introspectively poetic lyrics and captures more of the band’s poignant and soulful musical stylings. From the soothing sounds of such ballads as “Undone” and “Fatal,” to the quirky surfer-sound infused tunes of “Whale Song” Lost Dogs encompasses the emotional depth that Pearl Jam has perfected through their simple melodies and well-written lyrics. Also, fan favourites such as “Alone” and “Yellow Ledbetter” find a more fitting home on this collection.

—Kelly Marcella

Bruce Springsteen

The Essential Bruce Springsteen

You can truly introduce yourself to New Jersey’s favourite son with this collection, The Essential Bruce Springsteen, which blows his 1995 Greatest Hits away.

The compilation escapes the cookie-cutter model of one hit, chosen from every album, which is often demanded by the record company. But with Springsteen, it would be hard not to include something from every LP. Also, the bonus disc includes some unreleased material from Bruce and the E Street Band, some of which dates back to 1979.
This disc gratifies the casual Boss fan with radio-worn classics: “Born to Run,” “Hungry Heart” and “Dancing in the Dark” are all here. This is a great CD for the diehards, too: on top of the hits, the essence of Springsteen’s best work shines through on cult faves like “Rosalita,” and “Jungleland.”

The real test of the CD is in the bonus material; though it’s solid, a couple of songs betray why they went unreleased for so long.

—Dan Perry



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