Cover art and liner notes included
Whilehad placed " on the "most promising artist" list for many, troubles were threatening to break the band apart. Singer/guitarist/leader was battling a severe case of writer's block and was in a deep state of depression brought on by a relationship in turmoil; drummer was addicted to hard drugs; and bassist and guitarist severed their romantic relationship. The sessions for their sophomore effort, " ", were wrought with friction -- eventually played almost all the instruments himself (except for percussion). Some say strife and tension produces the best music, and it certainly helped make " one of the finest alt-rock albums of all time. Instead of following 's punk rock route, " went in the opposite direction -- guitar solos galore, layered walls of sound courtesy of the album's producers ( and ), extended compositions that bordered on prog rock, plus often reflective and heartfelt lyrics. The four tracks that were selected as singles became alternative radio standards -- the anthems "Cherub Rock," "Today," and "Rocket," plus the symphonic ballad "Disarm" -- but as a whole, " proved to be an incredibly consistent album. Such compositions as the red-hot rockers "Quiet" and "Geek U.S.A." were standouts, as were the epics "Hummer," "Soma," and "Silverfuck," plus the soothing sounds of "Mayonaise," "Spaceboy," and "Luna." After the difficult recording sessions, stated publicly that if didn't achieve breakthrough success, he would end the band. He didn't have to worry for long -- the album debuted in the Billboard Top Ten and sold more than four million copies in three years. stands alongside " and as one of the decade's finest (and most influential) rock albums.