"Lightning Bolt," Pearl Jam's 10th album, out Oct. 15, 2013.

"Lightning Bolt," Pearl Jam's 10th album, out Oct. 15, 2013. Credit: AP

For its 10th album, "Lightning Bolt" (Monkeywrench/Republic), Pearl Jam revisits the themes of its debut "Ten" as older, wiser, craftier rockers. "You think we've been here before, you are

mistaken," Eddie Vedder sings in the darkly sarcastic "Infallible," which recognizes life's shades of gray, musically and lyrically, better than the guys who wrote "Black." With the help of producer Brendan O'Brien, Pearl Jam incorporates the sounds of idols and friends R.E.M. ("Swallowed Whole"), Dead Kennedys ("Mind Your Manners") and Neil Young ("Yellow Moon") into the band's style. The result is Pearl Jam's best, most-cohesive album since "Yield" and a fitting bookend with "Ten" for the band's first 20 years.


"Lightning Bolt"


BOTTOM LINE The '90s' sturdiest rockers find new fire.

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