Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam

4.1 9
by Pearl Jam
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Pearl Jam are at their best when they're angry, and on this eponymous disc, the guys are mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore. This long-in-the-works return features some of Eddie Vedder's most pointed writing and impassioned performances in ages -- his rage is compressed into blindingly bright, harder-than-hard nuggets, much like coal gets squeezed into diamonds… See more details below

Overview

Pearl Jam are at their best when they're angry, and on this eponymous disc, the guys are mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore. This long-in-the-works return features some of Eddie Vedder's most pointed writing and impassioned performances in ages -- his rage is compressed into blindingly bright, harder-than-hard nuggets, much like coal gets squeezed into diamonds. That raw, force-of-nature vibe is clear from the first moments of "Life Wasted," on which Vedder's bark veers into drill-sergeant territory, all the better to bring out the artillery assault arrayed by Mike McCready and Stone Gossard. The guitarists really flex their collective muscle here, harkening to the razor's-edge sharpness of Vitalogy, which reared its head a dozen years back. Occasionally, that means reaching into the big bag of classic-rock tricks (the origin of the wah-wah riffs that ripple through "Big Wave"), but more often, it's a purely visceral trip, as on the electrifying "Parachutes." For all the instrumental brawn, however, the biggest wallop comes from Vedder, whose impassioned takes on life during wartime -- "World Wide Suicide" hits fever pitch when he bawls "Now you got both sides claiming killing in God's name/ But God is nowhere to be found, conveniently" -- are alternately stark and poetic. And while Vedder spends plenty of time poking around in the dark, he allows the light to shine in just often enough to offer some hope -- particularly on he disc's closing track, "Inside Job," on which he swears "I will not lose my faith." The decisiveness with which he delivers that message shows that he means it, and the passion with which his bandmates underscore it makes it thrilling to share in that optimism.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Nearly 15 years after Ten, Pearl Jam finally returned to the strengths of their debut with 2006's Pearl Jam, a sharply focused set of impassioned hard rock. Gone are the arty detours (some call them affectations) that alternately cluttered and enhanced their albums from 1993's sophomore effort, Vs., all the way to 2002's Riot Act, and what's left behind is nothing but the basics: muscular, mildly meandering rock & roll, enlivened by Eddie Vedder's bracing sincerity. Pearl Jam has never sounded as hard or direct as they do here -- even on Ten there was an elasticity to the music, due in large part to Jeff Ament's winding fretless bass, that kept the record from sounding like a direct hit to the gut, which Pearl Jam certainly does. Nowhere does it sound more forceful than it does in its first half, when the tightly controlled rockers "Life Wasted," "World Wide Suicide," "Comatose," "Severed Hand," and "Marker in the Sand" pile up on top of each other, giving the record a genuine feeling of urgency. That insistent quality and sense of purpose doesn't let up even as they slide into the quite beautiful, lightly psychedelic acoustic pop of "Parachutes," which is when the album begins to open up slightly. If the second half of the record does have a greater variety of tempos than the first, it's still heavy on rockers, ranging from the ironic easy swagger of "Unemployable" to the furious "Big Wave," which helps set the stage for the twin closers of "Come Back" and "Inside Job." The former is a slow-burning cousin to "Black" that finds Pearl Jam seamlessly incorporating soul into their sound, while the latter is a deliberately escalating epic that gracefully closes the album on a hopeful note -- and coming after an album filled with righteous anger and frustration, it is indeed welcome. But Pearl Jam's anger on this eponymous album is not only largely invigorating, it is the opposite of the tortured introspection of their first records. Here, Vedder turns his attention to the world at large, and while he certainly rages against the state of W's union in 2006, he's hardly myopic or strident; he's alternately evocative and specific, giving this album a resonance that has been lacking in most protest rock of the 2000s. But what makes Pearl Jam such an effective record is that it can be easily enjoyed as sheer music without ever digging into Vedder's lyrics. Song for song, this is their best set since Vitalogy, and the band has never sounded so purposeful on record as they do here, nor have they ever delivered a record as consistent as this. And the thing that makes the record work exceptionally well is that Pearl Jam has embraced everything they do well, whether it's their classicist hard rock or heart-on-sleeve humanitarianism. In doing so, they seem kind of old fashioned, reaffirming that they are now thoroughly outside of the mainstream -- spending well over a decade galloping away from any trace of popularity will inevitably make you an outsider -- but on their own terms, Pearl Jam hasn't sounded as alive or engaging as they do here since at least Vitalogy, if not longer.
Rolling Stone - David Fricke
Wartime, for everything else that's wrong with it, brings out the best in Pearl Jam: the power-chord brawn, contrary righteousness and metallic-KO songwriting sense.... This album, Pearl Jam's first studio release in four years and their best in ten, is more of that top electric combat.

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
05/02/2006
Label:
Imports
UPC:
0828767146720
catalogNumber:
1209348
Rank:
119069

Related Subjects

Tracks

Read More

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Pearl Jam   Primary Artist
Jeff Ament   Bass,Bass Guitar
Matt Cameron   Percussion,Drums
Stone Gossard   Guitar
Mike McCready   Guitar
Eddie Vedder   Guitar,Vocals
Gary Westlake   Optigan
Boom Gaspar   Piano,Pump Organ,Hammond B3

Technical Credits

Pearl Jam   Audio Production
John Burton   Engineer
Jeff Ament   Composer
Matt Cameron   Composer
Stone Gossard   Composer
Adam Kasper   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Mike McCready   Composer
Steve Rinkoff   Drum Technician
Eddie Vedder   Composer
George Webb   Guitar Techician
Sam Hofstedt   Engineer
Greg Keplinger   Drum Technician
Jerome Turner   Concept
Aaron Mlasko   Drum Technician
Brad Klausen   Cover Photo
Fernande Apodaca   Artwork,Sculpture
Damien Echols   Composer

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >