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Pearl Jam, with such classics as their earlier albums, do moderately well here.
on 2 October 2007
One thing that is good about Pearl Jam is they are not afraid to grow. They do not stand and milk a formula, but move on, growing as musicans. NO CODE is their best example of this. That album recieved the coolest reception of any of them, although personally I like the album. After going to more upbeat rock `n roll with YIELD, they continue this trend into BINAURAL.
There is only one other album that I know of that does what Binaural does: all the songs sort of blend into one with the others. EXILE ON MAIN STREET, the Stones' record, does likewise. There is no Jeremy, Daughter, Better Man, Hail Hail, or Given to Fly. The tracks that stand out most is the single Nothing as It Seems, Thin Air, Insignificae, and Sleight of the Hand. But these are still not anthemic tracks. Instead, they contribute to the entire feel of the album. The first three songs all sound similar to me. YIELD was likewise, save Given to Fly. However, I'm not sure if this is better than YIELD or not. Soon Forget is a delightful little experiment that is 1:45 long. Another good thing about this one is this much more of a band effort than their previous albums - there are several tracks that Eddie didn't write any of it. Indeed, Nothing as it Seems was written solely by Ament.
There is a new drummer onboard. Pearl Jam changes drummers like Van Halen changes singers. (Did you hear? Gary Cherone is out - reportedly, Warner Brothers told the Van Halen brothers get Dave back or they dropped, because of the dismal reaction to the eqaully dismal album VAN HALEN III). I do not know if this is permanent (in the Pearl Jam drummer sense of the word). As I understood it, Jack Irons (their drummer for five years) was sick during a recent tour, and they took Mike Cameron in his place - not because of conflicts within the band, but because of Jack Iron's health. [This portion of the review written May 22, 2000]
As time has passed, I've grown to really like this album. I think Pearl Jam has done a very fine job on this release. There are few albums that the lyrics just truly stand out - this is one of them (another is Dylan's BLONDE ON BLONDE. Such surrealistic stuff there it puts Morrison to shame). Indeed, this is one of my favorite things about this album: the lyrics are outstanding stuff, with pearl jam (reverting back to the vs. days) truly stand out in their written verse. All in all, excellent record, guys.
They are one of the few bands I respect. In times of all these damned bubble gum teen bands (Backstreet Boys, Christine Aguilerra, N'SYNC, etc) we have a true band, Pearl Jam, continuing on the 70s rock tradition. And I say "Rock on" guys! If they'd just come to Christ, then we could really have a party! That is what I am truly praying for.
[This portion of the review written 6-8-2000]