Over the years, I’ve come to understand Pearl Jam’s 1998 album Yield as perhaps the group’s finest recording. There’s not a single bad note on its entire length and it is one of but a handful of records in my library with nothing but 4- or 5-star ratings.
At the time of its release, rock music was steadily being displaced in my mind with college-era explorations of the electronic and the experimental. But Yield hung around, receiving occasional plays here and there, slowly but steadily drilling deep into my subconscious, earning its street cred in a way that no other Pearl Jam record has done, until one day I suddenly appreciated its brilliance.
To this day, I have to credit one song, Faithfull for triggering that appreciation. It’s not the group’s catchiest, or its most rocking or even especially popular, but it does have a certain spark of soul and genius that makes it one of my personal favorites from their entire catalog.[audio:061205Faithfull.mp3]