Customer Review

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
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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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Sep 2009 16:22:41 BDT
Last edited by the author on 18 Sep 2009 16:25:41 BDT
Dave says:
Good review. As a whole, I think of the album like you seem to think of ''the fixer''. As you say....''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''. That sums it up.

Bought it this morning. Having listened to the album in full, twice and mid way through for the third time, I have to say I think its Pearl Jam no more no less. Bottom line if you like the band you'll probably like this. It definately has all the signs of what makes a good album, and it has been worth the wait. Seems like it will take a few listens to get into it properly, which is a good thing. This one is will probably be a grower, but I doubt Pearl Jam are going to gain many new fans with this one. Now all they need is to go on a good long world tour to support the album, I'd love to see them again.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Sep 2009 00:21:03 BDT
Thanks for your comments Dave, I agree with what you say too.
It may not earn Pearl Jam a whole new generation of fans, but existing ones should be happy.
Keep on rocking!

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Sep 2009 10:23:34 BDT
I Clark says:
Good review, certainly got me anticipating my copy (should say 'copies' as one is from the Ten Club and one is from Townsend as they were offering some O2 tracks free!). I'd like to think they would attract some new fans with this one, but I'm not overly bothered...they're like a well kept secret.

As for a world tour, don't hold your breath. At the recent O2 gig Eddie said they wouldn't be back for a while so I expect them not to tour this album but the next (which follows their normal touring pattern - one album they tour Europe, next album they tour Oz/US and so on). Still, I was fortunate enough to see Supersonic debuted live and that was pretty awesome....bring on Backspacer!
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