Monday, 28 September 2009

Pearl Jam - Backspacer Album Review

Man, I have been excited about this album. I've always loved Pearl Jam. Vedder's croon is vocal marmite, but I love it.

Being truthful, they are never going to produce anything quite as monumental as Ten or Vs again. No matter what anyone says, this album, or any of theirs for the past ten years just don't come close, but both those early albums were stone cold musical classics, so fall a few marks short of that still means a great album, and Backspacer is definitely such an album. As Yield and their last self titled effort showed, they have got past the awkward rambling phase of albums such as No Code and Binaural. Which is a good thing, and they now create albums of great rock songs, perhaps not quite as instantly engaging as you might hope, but achingly beautiful on repeat listens.

Opener "Gonna See My Friend" almost sounds like a cut from a Rocket From The Crypt album, rolling in on a rock and roll riff and with a punching chorus. Recent single "The Fixer" is even better, and easily the most instantly hummable song on the album. The truly great tracks on this album, however, lie in the quieter moments. Tracks such as "Just Breathe" and "Unthought Known" possess the lo fi sensitivity that made Eddie Vedder's solo effort for the soundtrack to "Into The Wild" so brilliant. Track six "Amongst The Waves" has more a bit more backbone, but is no less brilliant, with it's rousing chorus and driving solos.

One of the really nice things about Backspacer is that it doesn't overstay it's welcome. A comparatively short album, by the time the aptly titled "The End" gently brings the album to a close you will find yourself hitting the repeat button, and you should, as like all the recent Pearl Jam albums, repeat listens open you up to subtle moments that you missed before. It is these moments that set Backspacer out as a great album and solidify Pearl Jam's place as a truly classic band.

1 comment:

  1. I agree 100%, I love this album!
    It's my favorite since "Yield" which I believe deserves the kind of credit you give "Ten" and "Vs."