After Pearl Jam stumped the music world by choosing the left-field raga rocker "Who You Are" as the first single from 1996's No Code, the Seattle rockers returned to the familiarity of past anthems with "Given to Fly," the lead single from 1998's Yield. The track, penned by guitarist Mike McCready with clear melodic inspiration from Led Zeppelin's "Given to Fly," is a soaring epic that goes a long way in conveying Yield's majestic splendor. Frontman Eddie Vedder narrates the tale of a misunderstood, near-Messianic youth in front of hushed verses that explode into stratospheric choruses. The spiritual theme extends to "Pilate," where the regular Joe narrator finds common ground with Pontius Pilate over dog ownership. Non-album track "Leatherman," which became a concert favorite, indulges Vedder's Who fetish with a barreling major-key melody and the particulars of a hermit to whom he "might be related." Good stuff.
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AllMusic Review by Jonathan Cohen