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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 12 July 2016
Is good album but pearl jam have made better album than this one
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on 16 May 2000
The fact that Pearl Jam are practically the only remaining band from the early '90s North-West American music explosion speaks volumes. The fact that they've done it on their own terms further supports their cause. Now they've added another feather to their collective cap by recruiting Matt Cameron (formerly of Soundgarden) and releasing an album that combines the writing talents of the band more than on any of their previous albums. The single 'Nothing As It Seems' was met with mixed reception. It's melancholoy acoustic strumming overladden with echoeing, soaring lead licks was seen as a bad choice by some but that's just it - Pearl Jam have never wanted radio-friendly songs or unit shifters. They make music for themselves and their fans. Plain and simple. The album opens with three moderate/moderate-fast rockers, full of energy and intensity, written by Vedder (vocals), Ament (bass), and Cameron (drums) respectively. Cameron's contribution (Evacuation) sees PJ dabbling in new areas such as quirky time changes and sudden breakdowns that work magically, even suggesting hints at Cameron's former outfit in places. 'Light Years' takes things down a notch and is a beautiful song about loss and love, the infectious chorus will be coming from your shower before you know it. Other highlights include the Eastern-tinged 'Of The Girl', spacey, thought-provoking and crescending 'Sleight Of Hand', and album closer 'Parting Ways', featuring a small string section. Overall this album marks once again a band that aren't afraid to explore musical boundaries, who fully realise the benefits of teamwork and just get better with every album.
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on 31 July 2004
I don't understand this album, it'll always be something of an enigma to me. I can only assume the reason this gets slated so much by critics is because it was too commerical. Other than that it is track after track of modern, coherant, superior rock music. I love it.
Most Pearl Jam albums have a quirky, experimental side to them. This is perhaps the only one that doesn't. Even 'Yield' has "Push Me, Pull Me".
"Gods' Dice" is perhaps the finest fast-rocker since "Animal", "Light Years" is an excellent slow, almost ballady number followed by the single and perhaps strongest hit they've had since 'Ten'; "Nothing as it Seems", which I love. One of their strongest songs both lyrically and musically. This is in turn followed by another classic, beautiful song, "Thin Air", which is a Gossard number. Absolutely beautiful.
There are some other crackers here such as "Insignificance", "Rival" (love it) and of course the excellent "Parting Ways." The only song I'm not overly keen on is "Evacuation" but then again it is a Matt Cameron song, which isn't neccessarily a bad thing, just not classic Pearl Jam style. Finally we have "Of The Girl", probably the least accessible song on the entire album and yet one which I now love thanks to the acoustic rendition on the new acoustic double-CD, 'Live at Benaroya Hall'. If Pearl Jam can make an album as consistent, coherant and altogether brilliant as this again, then then will indeed be the greatest band of the 90's.
Beautiful, poignant and in some parts rockin'.
5 Stars.
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on 1 September 2000
Pearl Jam are one of the few bands who can 're-invent' themselves and do a good job of it! I have to admit that the first time I heard parts of Binaural on their web site I had doubts as to how good it was going to be. Having borrowed it from a friend (and subsequently bought it from Amazon) for a couple of days I was pleasantly suprised at the depth of the CD (like most PJ CDs they take a good listen to to love!). Full of familiar Pearl Jam riffs and lyrics. All hail Eddie Vedder for his excellent voice. There are some Great 'up' tracks like Gods' Dice and Evacuation and some haunting and frankly scary tracks like Light Years and Rival. Soon Forget despite being slightly odd (Eddie Vedder on the ukelele) is a brilliant track - listen to Eddies' voice and those lyrics! I hope the recent Roskilde tragedy hasn't dampened their love of music. In my opinion they are at their peak in their art.
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on 27 May 2000
Having bought all of Pearl Jam's last six albums, I know how much their music has varied from cover to cover, but BINURAL shows one of the largest changest in Pearl Jams' style since Vitalogy.
The overlapping lyrics on 'Breakerfall' and 'Gods Dice' are very eminent when listening for the first time, and 'sleight of hand' has strong Soundgarden influences.
This is most likely a result of Matt Cameron (formerly of Soundgarden) arriving on drums, who adds a completely new dimension to the beat in all the songs. You only have to listen to the opening of Greivance to realise his effect.
The changes have an overall fantastic effect and after only a few times of listening, you'll be guarenteed to be loving the new Pearl Jam sound. Especially 'Light Years', which is by far the best track on the album and one of the best songs Pearl Jam have ever produced.
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on 15 May 2000
After the stunning return to form that was Yield, PJ have delivered another 13 tracks of pure, heavenly quality. The maturing tone of Yield continues into Binaural, with the bonus return of their unmistakeable raw edge. Vedder sounds as fantastic/harrowed as ever, and contributes his staple rougher tracks to the album (the stunning opener Breakerfall and pounding Grievance) while Gossard's writing reaches new heights with Of The Girl - as good a song as you're likely to hear all summer. Nothing As It Seems sounds as good as it did on first listening and the remainder of the tracks hold their own without a weak link in sight...
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on 17 May 2000
Although not quite as instant as Ten or Vs (which will probably always be PJ's best albums), "Binaural" is very striking in it's own right. The choruses linger enough to bring you back, but the songs have an almost Tool-like tendency to keep themselves just unfamiliar enough to still surprise you on subsequent listens. A mesmerising and addictive album, which just gets better and better the more I hear it! Also, "Nothing as it seems" has a guitar solo very reminiscent of "The Thin Ice" by Pink Floyd, so anyone in love with Dave Gilmour's guitar work (like myself) should check that out sometime.
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on 23 May 2000
For someone like me who is pretty much a die-hard Pearl Jam fan, I was perhaps a little disappointed with Binaural the first time I heard it. But in true PJ tradition, their wirey riffs, understated growling guitar distortion and airy vocal lines just, well, hook into you somehow and don't let go. The brilliant GOD'S DICE uses seemingly random overdriven chord sequences in really fruity progressions and has a very catchy chorusline. LIGHT YEARS is probably the best track here though, whilst NOTHING AS IT SEEMS and INSIGNIFICANCE are true PJ classics too. Evolving and cutting edge. Another new PJ sound has arrived!
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on 14 June 2000
Once again, Pearl Jam manage to take their influences and produce another great sound. They seem a bit more mellow these days, that's not to say they can't still rock, tracks like 'God's Dice' and 'Breakerfall' certainly prove that, but in general I found the album more relaxed.
Matt Cameron has added an extra dimension to the band with his awesome drumming. Eddie Vedder's lyrical content remains strong, the McCready, Gossard guitar combo remains super productive, especially on tracks such as 'Sleight of Hand' and 'Nothing As it Seems'. THIS ALBUM IS VERY GOOD! GO PURCHASE!
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on 6 January 2002
this is the amazing stuff Eddie and the guys keep coming back with time and again. Could everyone stop comparing it to Ten, es Ten was good, great, even fantastic bit for those of you who jumped on the Pearl Jam bandwagon because of Ten get over it - they are so much more than that. Listen to this CD and others and you will notice the same magic Pearl Jam creates running through all of the them. For those too young to have been with Pearl Jam since the beginning you can't go wrong starting with Binaural but do not overlook No Code et al - masterpieces one and all
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