Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam

Written by: PP on 26/04/2006 13:54:07

It's been way too long since we've last heard any new songs from the legendary Seattle 'riot act' Pearl Jam. Many of us were thinking how relevant the band could still be in 2006, but now they are back with their eighth studio album 'Pearl Jam' and (again) give us a reminder of how much we all loved this band among others during the 90s.

"Comatose" is classic Pearl Jam at their best. The song rocks hard with fast, dirty-distorted guitar riffs and Eddie's strong, soaring vocals leading the song forward. It's one of those instant classics that'll be retrospected as one of the best songs Pearl Jam wrote during their career. "World Wide Suicide" and "Life Wasted" aren't quite up to the par of being instant classics, but they're still damn good and damn exciting to listen to. The prior's big choruses are preceded by bridges with playful vocal experimentalism, where Eddie uses his voice to go up and down scales to add depth and class to his singing. Nevertheless, both songs are 'up there' with the rest of the great songs Pearl Jam has made in the past.

"Marker In The Stand" is another climax. Its guitar riff hops back and forth swiftly and the chorus hovers high up in the sky. It's one of those where Eddie takes advantage of his ability to soften his voice and extend the lyrics to reach far towards the clouds, somewhat a direct antonym of "Severed Hand", where the bands sound is much more earthly and riff oriented, and consequently Eddie's vocals are much harsher.

The first half of the album is almost nostalgic. It reminds the listener how f*cking great real grunge rock actually is, which is a much needed reminder in the midst of the horrible post-grunge bands like Nickelback and Seether. Already the first half of the album is better than anything the band has created since their 1998 effort "Yield", so we're heading towards a skyhigh grade here. The second half, on the other hand, is much slower, more acoustic, and perhaps more epic in one way or another. Eddie's touching, quiet voice on the beautiful semi-acoustic ballad "Gone" is the perfect example how varied Pearl Jam can be, how they are able to produce equally good acoustic and hard rock tracks and place them on the same album without breaking the flow. "Parachutes" and "Come Back" are the other two gems to keep, if you're into the acoustic-side of the band.

The way the band closes the album with the seven minute progressive epic "Inside Job" should close the mouths of any critics of this and/or any of the earlier Pearl Jam material. It's obvious that the creative stream from the band is still flowing strong, since they still are able to create as great songs as "Alive" and "Nothingman", even after 16 years together. Get this album, because it has 'that feel' to it on several songs, that will make you look musically wise in 15 years, when you can tell the young kids 'I was there when they were touring that album'.


Download: Comatose, Life Wasted, Gone
For the fans of: Bush, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains
Listen: Myspace

Release date 02.05.2006

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