- Audio CD (21 Sept. 2009)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Universal / Island
- ASIN: B002IVLH60
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,380 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
|Price:||£5.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details|
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Pearl Jam are a band reborn with their eagerly anticipated ninth studio album Backspacer, produced by Brendan O’Brien and including their highly charged new single "The Fixer". The band have reunited with producer O’Brien, who produced four of Pearl Jam’s earlier albums and the 2009 re-master of their seminal debut Ten.
Though you shouldn’t feel too sorry for a bunch of multimillionaires who’ve enjoyed a long career characterised by their doing more or less whatever they want, it should still be noted, by-the-by, that Pearl Jam are an absurdly misunderstood band. It’s true that mega-selling debut Ten was pomp-rock anthems agogo, but the fact that they were still pegged as classicist bores over a decade later flies directly in the face of such aggressively challenging outings as Vs, Vitalogy and Riot Act.
There’s no one obvious explanation for why Pearl Jam have finally achieved a measure of hipness as they arrive at ninth album Backspacer. Distance from the baggage of grunge, a dearth of quality peers, Eddie Vedder’s well-received Into the Wild soundtrack, a generation of rock critics that grew up with their 90s releases: these may or may not be factors. Whatever the case, the irony is that Pearl Jam find themselves in vogue just as they release their most musically conservative record since Ten.
Fortunately it’s also their most fun one. A usually confrontational, angst-ridden band, you’d be seriously pushing it to say Pearl Jam have ever really written an honest-to-God pop song before. Backspacer comfortably contains at least four killer examples, with the one-two-three of Got Some, The Fixer and Johnny Guitar easily the most nakedly exhilarating passage on any of their records. Fast, lean, melodic and hooky, they tread a nice line between new wave tautness (Joe Jackson and Buzzcocks would be solid reference points), the more flippant moments of their old idols The Who, and points that come surprisingly close to reprising the old fashioned teen pop they mined ten years ago with cover Last Kiss.
Backspacer is neither the perfect pop record, nor the perfect Pearl Jam album; its biggest problem is that, shorn of the intensity of yore, the slow songs tend not to hit home that hard. But for the most part pedal is put firmly and thrillingly to metal, and it’s truly great to hear these troubled souls finally having such a blast. --Andrzej Lukowski
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Top Customer Reviews
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....
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is definitely my favorite later Pearl Jam album, I play it on a regular basis, its a great hard rock album aswell having some great softer songs on their aswell, It really is... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mr. Joel S. Greenhalgh