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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank god for that...
You know what? Ten was made a long time ago, these guys are fast approaching 50 and to expect them to make a shoegazing plaid clad 90s anthem album is a something of a joke.

Take this album for what it is. A collection of great, melodic, intelligent tracks. The thing that hooked all of us fans in the first place was the big melodies, the "singalongability",...
Published on 22 Sep 2009 by Lord Percival Lesmond Bovis III

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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pearl Jam + Optimism = Mediocre Music
Apparently this album was written and recorded in the afterglow of Barack Obama's election victory. As life-long liberals (in the US sense of the term), this seems to have had a big effect on the mood and tempo of Pearl Jam's music, which whistles along at under forty minutes.
Unfortunately, the upbeat sentiment and optimistic mood that pervades this album really...
Published on 27 Oct 2009 by J. Minton


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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank god for that..., 22 Sep 2009
This review is from: Backspacer (Audio CD)
You know what? Ten was made a long time ago, these guys are fast approaching 50 and to expect them to make a shoegazing plaid clad 90s anthem album is a something of a joke.

Take this album for what it is. A collection of great, melodic, intelligent tracks. The thing that hooked all of us fans in the first place was the big melodies, the "singalongability", for all their punk posturing, at heart PJ are a no nonsense melodic rock band, so why is everyone so upset when they release an album of great tunes?

For me "Amongst the Waves" is one of the best songs they've ever written, the Fixer gets better with every listen. Unknown Thought sounds incredible up loud on a decent system and The End is beautiful...yes, it's got strings on it...who cares it sounds fantastic. Just breathe is beautiful, in fact they're all good tracks, even the throwaway pop punky ones. They got my toes tapping anyway.

Look, I used to be an ardent PJ fan and lost interest in their angsty sound in recent years as I got older , but the positive vibe on this record is something that really suits them.

Huge Choruses, no widdly solos, just good old fashioned songwriting. They actually sound like they're having a great time recording this.

Love it. More Please guys....
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brief but I don't feel short changed!, 16 Sep 2009
Oh my god I could never have dreamed it would be this good, Just Breathe, Amongst The Waves & Unthought Known are just 3 of the best songs to follow each other on any album they've done before.

It's getting a bit of a cliché now with PJ fans but yes this is the most accessible album they've done in ages, as well as these 3 tracks the album kicks off with 4 great rockers, Gonna See my Friend, great opener followed by the brilliant Got Some, then the poptastic but fan based controversial The Fixer. Johnny Guitar sounds different to anything they've done before and gets a great funky Mike McCready guitar work out half way through

The 3 stand outs mentioned are stunning, Just Breathe evokes Vedder's work on the Into the Wild soundtrack and is just heart breaking. Amongst & Thought are like Given to Fly & In Hiding off Yield and just soar and soar like only Pearl Jam can.

It's also the most fun album they've done, they are in good spirits and Vedder laying off the politics for once has done the record the world of good, The optimism in the lyrics is also balanced with some dark stuff as well but unlike the angry young man flavour of their previous self titled 2006 album it doesn't seem heavy and flows so much better plus we don't get anything as dire as Come Back.

The just over 36 minutes is brief but you feel anything but short changed and just feel compelled to to stick right back on. I've only listened to it on MP3 so far but have my vinyl now an intend on savouring this afternoon.

A happier PJ is a nice change and where it doesn't quite touch the brilliance of Vs, Vitalogy and Yield it bests the last 3 studio albums without a doubt. The choice to enlist Brendan O'Brien cannot be underestimated his touch is essential to the overall feel of the album and decision to utilise strings for the first time adds an angle to their music never heard before, for a band who are approaching 20 years old it is an achievement they could release an album this good.

Some may tire at the optimism included in this record and the positive energy and hope Eddie returns to the darkness of Vitalogy but this is a great mix of the freshness that we heard back when Ten was first released alongside the consistency that hasn't been heard since 1998's Yield.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to Space, with Gems and Rhinestones., 25 Sep 2009
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This review is from: Backspacer (Audio CD)
After reconquer their fans and critics in 2006, with the straighforward hard-rock on "The Avocado Album", Pearl jam are back in 2009 with their 9th album, "Backspacer".
For a bunch of guys in their mid-forties, Backspacer is, quite frankly, a good record, mostly of the rock songs are up-beat with a positive vibe, and even the melodic and gentle tunes have a message of hope, hidden under sad instrumentation.

Gonna see my friend, Got some, The Fixer, Johnny Guitar and Supersonic are all short punk-rockers with some bits of pop. Got Some is particular interesting, from the new-wave intro, to the speedy chorus, the rhythm section is on fire here. Jeff Ament and Matt Cameron both shine on this one. Great song, a better choice for 1st single, in my opinion.

Amongst the Waves, Unthought Known and Force of Nature sound epic as uplifting mid-tempo songs, perfect for singalongs in concerts. Amongst the Waves is my favourite from the record, its sounds like the result of a crazy mix between "Given to fly" and "I am mine" trying to re-create "Alive"! Great chorus and guitar solo by Mccready. An instant classic.
Just a step below, are Unthought known and Force of Nature, both good tracks, with epic structures, amazing guitar work and vocals by Vedder.

Finally, the moody/laid-back moments of Backspacer appears on Just Breathe, Speed of Sound and The End. Just Breathe is one of the best love song ever written and sung by Eddie Vedder. Its very simple but beautiful. Another highlight.
Speed of Sound is a sad song about loneliness and aging. Good arrangements by the producer Brendan O'brien. The End is a very intimist, touching acoustic piece, with some shy orquestration on the background. Eddie really shines on this one.

The musicianship between band its right on top, but Eddie Vedder is particulary inspired, writing emotional lyrics, and singing like in 1993. But there's an evident lack of guitar solos by Mike Mccready, and clocking at 36minutes, there was enough space for one, or two, maybe three, others songs.

Overall, Backspacer is a good record, with cool packaging, full of catchy songs, and even if its shorter than others Pearl Jam albums, is definitely one of their most acessible, alongside "Ten" and "Vs".

My Backspacer Playlist:

1-Gonna See My Friend
2-Got Some
3-Force of Nature
4-Johhny guitar
5-Just Breathe
6-Amongst the Waves
7-Unthought Known
8-The Fixer
9-Speed of Sound
10-SuperSonic
11-The End

My Backspacer rating: 7/10
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pearl Jam deliver again on their 9th studio album, 13 Sep 2009
By 
Mr. N. J. Henderson (Bude, Cornwall) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Backspacer (Audio CD)
For the first time since 1998, Pearl Jam returned to producer Brendan O'Brien for their 9th album. "We wanted someone to cut the songs up a bit" said Vedder, and cut them up he certainly has.
For the most part, "Backspacer" is uptempo alternative rock, not the heaviest music Pearl Jam has ever made, but equally entertaining and musically very relevant.
Lead single "The Fixer" didn't have an instant appeal to me, but give it a few listens and you really start to appreciate what Pearl Jam have done here. One interesting point to note is the song's length, clocking in at just 2:57, theres no complicated drum of guitar solos, just pure rock fun, a classic example of how O'Brien's input has influnced this record.
Elsewhere, "Gonna See My Friend" and "Got Some" are similar to "The Fixer," the latter being the better song which I expect will make a single release later on.
It takes until "Just Breathe" for the album to slow down its tone, a beautiful melody accompanying some heartfelt lyrics from Vedder make this a standout track.
From here onwards the album takes a different tone again, uptempo rock numbers from the early tracks are replaced by a more mainstream rock songs, the best of which is "Amongst The Waves" which features probably the albums best guitar solo.
Worth mentioning also is the sublime album closer "The End," a song with sad, meaningful lyrics which is beautiful in its delivery and a excellent way to bring "Backspacer" to a close.
Overall, "Backspacer" is an immense album. I would expect top 10 debuts from this in both the US and UK, plus a world tour in support.
Interestingly enough though, Pearl Jam did not renew their contract in the US with J Records, instead deciding to self release it, although internationally it will be released via Universal.
Either way it doesn't really matter, "Backspacer" is a album Pearl Jam can be really proud of, it sits up there alongside the bands best work.
Best Tracks: "Got Some," "Amongst The Waves," "Just Breathe"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peal Jam - Backspacer, 5 Aug 2011
By 
Gentlegiantprog "Kingcrimsonprog" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Backspacer (Audio CD)
Pearl Jam's ninth studio album Backspacer has probably grown to become my favourite Pearl Jam album to date, I did like it initially, but even so it just grew on me more and more with every listen. The album was released in 2009 and saw the band strip back their sound to deliver a light a fun set of rock songs with a new wave influence alongside some wonderful ballads and quieter moments.

The album is fairly short and easy to digest, there isn't a great deal of complexity in the songwriting, no overly challenging artistic tracks can be found either. Rather than make for a dull and forgettable record, Backspacer is a revelation because of this; one of the tightest and most concise records in the Pearl Jam catalougue that delivers good time vibes and tear-to-the-eye moments in equal measure.

Standout songs include the fun `Johnny Guitar,' and `Got Some,' as well as the powerful `Force Of Nature,' and `Amongst The Waves,' but in fairness, every single track is good, this is a thoroughly consistent album, bordering on the flawless.

If you really liked the direction of the previous three Pearl Jam records, Backspacer may be something of a shock, but give it a fair chance and you'll be rewarded with one of the band's best works to date.

I highly recommend Backspacer. I haven't listened to a Pearl Jam album so frequently for so long after its initial release in years. Its not big and its not complicated, but it is pretty much a perfect album nonetheless.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a real grower, 9 Jun 2011
By 
Matthew Pretty "paddy-o-dors" (NORFOLK ,ENGLAND) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
had this for over a year now and initially couln't get into it, rediscovered it after listening to foo fighters "wasting light" now i just cannot stop playing it. this is in my opinion the best effort by PJ so far and shows they are as good as they ever were and better than most of the competition today. not a single bad track on this but remember to give it time!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Much Better Than I Thought I Would Be, 19 Feb 2010
Pearl Jam are one of the most talented rock bands ever, and also one of the most frustrating. After the first two landmarks, they descended into the mire of avant-guarde music. This chain of 4 albums was certainly not devoid of great material. in fact it yeilded (oh look a pun!) some of their best.

That said it's nice to hear them sound like they're doing what comes naturally to them again. Bacspacer Is by far their most accessible album to date. The eleven songs tend to fall into the catergory of either lilting ballad or guitar driven punk, both deeply rooted in the band's pop sensibilities. Fans will recognise these as the two main staple of Pearl Jam's output, but it is safe to say that neither syle has been done better or more consistenly on any pearl jam record, or indeed many other records period.

Opening with 4 of the big rockers, all of which last 3 minutes or under , you instantly hear that the band have loosened up considerably since their last realese. 'The Fixer' is a hugely catchy anthem. All the shoe gazing forlorn feeling is gone and the song is profoundly optimistic. 'Johnny Guitar' sees them looser still, With a blusey sound they havent attempted before.

From the pogotastic opening, Backspacer then shifts tone dramatically with the achingly beautiful 'Just Breathe', their best ballad since 'Better Man'. However once again the subject matter is a lot happier than usual. rather than lamenting what he doesn't have, Vedder Seems completely ay ease with what he does have.

I could go on as there are really no songs here that arn't utterly excellent. I've not been this impressed with Pearl Jam since I first had my mind blown out the back of my skull the first time I heard 'Ten'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 12 Dec 2009
By 
M. Ardron "ledzep4pm" (Midlands,UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The album is fantastic, great music from start to finish.

The album cover is a full gate fold sleeve with booklet and lots of artwork to look at.

My version entitled me to download to full concerts ( about 21 tracks each)

Great album and great extras.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Late to the party...., 20 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Backspacer (Audio CD)
I ignored them for years but tuned into 'Amongst The Waves' and now I think I understand what it's all about..
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5.0 out of 5 stars great music, 29 Jan 2014
By 
john owens (St.Helens,Merseyside) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
cheers guys for the brilliant music, oh yeh! keep making it. right off to buy another cd maybe another !
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Backspacer by Pearl Jam (Audio CD - 2009)
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