Texacaliago Tuesday - Album of the Week - Pearl Jam - No Code



A set of Polaroid photos. On the upper side the title "Pearl Jam - No Code" is written in red letters.

Everybody knows Pearl Jam's epic debut album Ten, their slightly underrated follow-up Vs, and their critically acclaimed third album Vitalogy, but not many people realize that their 4th album No Code is just as good as any of those aforementioned classics.

In fact, a lot of people wrongly point to this album as the moment when Pearl Jam started to slide into their late 90s/early 2000s era of mediocrity, but I couldn't disagree more.  More-so than any other Pearl Jam album, No Code feels like the most unified and personal listening experience in their entire catalog for yours truly.  It's an introspective, meditative, and reflective album, and although it doesn't have any major "hits" on it, that's somewhat part of the appeal.  The lack of "hits" is also probably why this album gets significantly less attention/praise than their prior 3, but that just contributes to it sounding like something special for me personally.  It feels like "my" Pearl Jam album, since everyone and their mother loves their first 3, this one feels more personal and close to my heart.  It's just got a certain feel/vibe to it that is really perfect for chilly and dreary Spring (or perhaps more aptly Autumn) days, hiking alone in the woods, kind of getting lost within yourself and the music.

Objectively speaking, is this album better than their first 3?  Probably not, but subjectively speaking, it's no less their equal in my eyes.


Texacaliago Tuesday - Album of the Week - Nirvana - MTV Unplugged in New York




Spring has officially arrived (on paper anyway) which typically triggers a slight change in my listening habits as the painfully slow process of "warming" occurs over the next couple of months.  Spring in Chicago is kind of like a schizophrenic and harsh version of winter in San Francisco, but perhaps more aptly, Seattle.  While it's less freezing out, it's also usually no less gloomy and damp, which kind of makes it a grungy time of year (particularly in late March/early April).

Spring also marks a general transition from my predominately 70s-centric winter selections, to my more bread and butter 90s tastes, so for fans of that decade, suffice to say you will be getting a fairly heavy dose of 90s music for the next half-year or so generally speaking.  

So with that, I give you one of my personal favorite rainy day records of all-time, and probably my favorite Nirvana album of all-time.  Listening to this album feels so personal, so affecting, so earnest, etc.  It's a very pure, beautiful swan-song from the legendary Kurt Cobain.

R.I.P. Kurt and R.I.P. winter!


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