Although he's known primarily for the raw rock of his full-time band, Pearl Jam, longtime fans know that guitarist Stone Gossard has a thing for funk -- as evidenced by his criminally underappreciated side project, Brad, and the groups (Weapon of Choice, Critters Buggin) he's signed to his record label, Loose Groove. Gossard's first true solo album, Bayleaf, was released in 2001 and, as expected, the CD contains tracks full of both up-tempo and laid-back grooves. While not as strong as his output with Brad, Bayleaf still has its moments and, although he's sung before on record (the Pearl Jam track "Mankind"), it's here that Gossard gets the chance to show off his vocal skills fully for the first time, singing lead on seven of the album's ten tracks (guest vocalists Ty Wilman and Pete Droge, who also produced the album, sing the rest). Individual standouts include the guitar-driven "Pigeon," the ballad "Anchors," the funky "Cadillac," and the sparse album closer (and first single), "Fend It Off."
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato