By Jim Farber
Updated May 19, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

Weighty subjects don’t count for much in modern pop. And that gives Pearl Jam’s introspective lyrics and stone-faced rock a refreshing edge. Better yet, PJ’s sixth studio album Binaural features more vulnerability than anger in its probing words, easing the self-righteousness. It also features the most forceful riffs since their best work, Vs. If PJ long ago lost the zeitgeist, at least they’ve kept a hold on their hearts. B+