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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 28 September 2014
I have been a Pearl Jam fan since the release of Ten. I have followed their music closely since. I would say this is an average album with some good tracks, like Sirens and Getaway. If you're expecting their music of old, i.e. Ten or Vitalogy, then this ain't it. Their music has kept evolving, though some won't necessarily like it. I do and I think PJ are a class act but personally I prefer Backspacer to this (released in 2009), which has some excellent tunes.
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on 14 September 2017
A great album and one of their best. I've been disappointed with their more recent albums and this definitely a big improvement.
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on 18 July 2017
Really impressed and the packaging is beautiful. I've recently reconnected with Pearl Jam and this was no disappointment.
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on 5 June 2014
Greatest rock band of the last 20 plus years ... They may have lost a little of their unique style but still amazing musicians and what a voice... Eddie Vedder is the man with a head full of mind blowing lyrics
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on 7 September 2017
It was alright
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on 26 January 2016
Amazing album
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on 17 October 2013
If I had reviewed this album last week when it was streaming on i-tunes I would have given it 2 stars. A few days later 3. A day later 4. And today 5. And in a year or 5 or 10 or more, I know this album will be one I revisit. Its Pearl Jam. I should have known not to trust my first listens. For me, the best Pearl Jam albums have been the ones I have grown into, No Code, Binaural and now Lighting Bolt. This is a band of unrivaled musicians. They are capable of crafting deep, multi faceted rock songs that don't just invade your head they invade your very soul, the very essence of who you are. Vedders vocal melodies are at times so odd you don't know how in the world it could ever be a singalong song, but there you are, belting it out at the top of your lungs. Pendulum is a stunning masterpiece, a new career high, it parts the album like Moses and the red sea. The first half is biting, fierce and infectious. The second half, deeper, more introspective, a little more soulful, and equally as brilliant as the first half. What an album. What a band. Listen and learn.
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on 4 November 2013
As others have said, this album deserves a few listens and a little time to sink in before you make up your mind - if you're a Pearl Jam fan already, that probably isn't a surprise (No Code, Binaural, Riot Act - I'm looking at you). My opinion has changed dramatically since I first heard it. On first listen, I wasn't sure I liked it at all, beyond the singles Mind Your Manners and Sirens. Now, I'm sold and I finally get that this is meant to be an album of two halves. I just needed to go with the change in mood and tempo - you can't 'make' the second half keep up its momentum of punchy, punky, attitude, you just have to give in to the introspective, haunting, melancholic and atmospheric as soon as Pendulum hits. Interestingly, we seem to have two distinct moments in the two halves where a track stands out for being a little different. During the first half, it's Sirens, with its song of uncertainty and the fragility of life and love sandwiched between the biting, satirical notes of My Father's Son and the indomitable force at the heart of Lightning Bolt (whoever the female subject is, she kicks quite some arse). Despite the deep, dark theme, Sirens soars, lifts and ultimately gives us the possibility of hope and holding on to love, if only for the present. After Pendulum hits, we don't really get back up to the hard-hitting heights of Getaway and Mind Your Manners, we have to give in to introspection, a crepuscular atmosphere and the kinds of things that prey on our minds in the dark. Yet, among these songs of fear, longing and reminiscence, Let the Records Play bounces in with the feel of a 'last hurrah' (or 'Dad dancing at the disco', if we're going to be mean - tee hee), in all its glam-rocky pants-swinging glory. The second half of Lightning Bolt seems complicated, slightly hard work and initially less satisfying than the first but if you give it a chance to creep in, there is beauty and delicate, dark poetry to be had here - Yellow Moon is a sultry, Mark Lanegan-worthy example. The only part that jars with me is the version of Sleeping By Myself, which seems a facile, jaunty revamp compared to Eddie Vedder's sublime offering on Ukelele Songs. On that album, the simplicity of one tremulous voice and a ukelele deftly and subtly reveals the raw vulnerability which I feel is totally missing here - I feel incredulous and that's not something I thought I'd ever write about a song by a man who pretty much bleeds emotions into his music. Oh well, one dud on an otherwise sterling job of an album. I think, in time, I will grow to love Lightning Bolt even more.
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on 18 October 2013
There's something very different about Pearl Jam on Lightning Bolt. Even though the opening three songs remind the listener of their hard rock roots, they retain much of the power we associate with them but there are a few unusual diversions along the way. Some of these work after repeated listening but others do not.

The opening track "Getaway" starts with an unusual groove before launching into a familiar emotive chorus. "Mind Your Manners" marries a punk ethos with Vedder's diatribe. The first of four songs that Jeff Ament is involved in writing, "My Father's Son", features some quirky but powerful lyrics. "Sirens" and the title track ease off the tempo. The former is unusual at first but it is a beautiful ballad that eases itself into your mind with each listen. The title track builds strongly but is let down by a slightly formulaic chorus.

With the strongest lyrics and melodies on Lightning Bolt, "Infallible" is one of the best things Jeff Ament has written. Another of his songs, "Pendulum", follows. It's dark and intense, with shades of "Nothing Is As It Seems'. With it's eerie sound effects, along with the other instruments that introduce themselves to accompany Vedder's quivering vocals, it is another highlight. Vedder's "Swallowed Whole" completes this middle section with another quality tune.

After a strong start Lightning Bolt gets bogged down with a few ballads. The best of those, "Sleeping By Myself", gets a different treatment compared to the version on Eddie Vedder's Ukelele Songs. Here it is upbeat and comes with a catchy, toe-tapping groove. "Yellow Moon's" refrain and lyric brings to mind CCR's "Bad Moon Rising" but sounds weak by comparison to his earlier contributions. "Future Days" starts like a pop ballad before a fiddle turns it into a dreamy ballad but it sounds unsure of itself.

While their self-titled album and Backspacer, they sounded reinvigorated as a band. With Lightning Bolter they sound settled into a groove and comfortable in their own skins whether they are playing hard rock, rockin' out or playing ballads.
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on 24 December 2013
Pearl jam never disappoint - another great albumn by the lads loved every track. Just love the lyrics and eddie vedder's vocals
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