7. Riot Act (2002): The final third of the Black Period trilogy, Riot Act was the sound of Pearl Jam at the tail end of a long morass but still firmly submerged. I think you could probably flip Riot Act and Yield here and I wouldn't complain much, but if I had to spend time with one of the two, today, it would be Riot Act. The album opens with what is truly probably the most off-putting and bland song ever recorded by Pearl Jam ("Can't Keep") but follows that with "Save You," one of their best. From there, the album veers pretty wildly -- not always a good look for Pearl Jam, but after the stolid murk of Yield and Binaural, seeing the band embrace some weirdness (a la Vitalogy and No Code) was a welcome sign. My greatest frustration with Riot Act is that the band's annoying tendency to bury great melodies is at its very worst here -- I shouldn't have to work so hard to find the hooks in "Cropduster." But they're in there.