You'd think an instantly popular young band would fear a backlash when it came time to make its second album. Pearl Jam seemed to welcome one. With 1993's Vs., they pitted themselves against the grunge masses they helped create, crafting a dozen punked-out songs that left behind the Jumbotron ambition of their debut, Ten. Eddie Vedder, a dedicated surfer, jettisoned everything Zen in favor of a primal take on human disconnection. "Animal," "Blood" and "Leash" obliquely reference rape and drug addiction; "Rats" creams a surprisingly funky beat with pummeling guitar while comparing the title critters to people — favorably. But despite his rage, Vedder was also more willing than his peers to dip into folky beauty. Kurt Cobain never wrote a tune like the acoustic heartbreaker "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town," which, for all its gloominess about life's long ebb, loyally marks an unforgettable moment in an anonymous existence.'
- Rolling Stone
- Glorified G
- Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town