Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam


2.5
average

Review

by Elliott S. Edwards STAFF
April 30th, 2014 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Control Myself, CHAPTER 8: "I Ain't Ever Going Back Again..."

Pearl Jam do openers in style, and Pearl Jam is no exception; you're thrown into the mix as soon as you hit play, overcome by Mike McCready's massive riff and a grooving rhythm. Needless to say, Eddie is no slouch as he delivers hook after hook, delivering an insatiably done chorus that's worth it's later reprise. Even without mentioning substance, "Life Wasted" is so good because it's perfect on the surface. It's what every Pearl Jam opener should be and it's fantastic to hear. Late album upstart "Inside Job" matches it equally, rearing 7 minutes of jagged guitar glory from McCready and a simply epic vocal performance by Vedder that prove Pearl Jam to be preeminent and vital. Were the bands 2006 comeback to be judged solely on these 2 excellent pieces, it's likely that Pearl Jam could have had one of the best albums of their career on their hands.

The problem, then? Everything sandwiched between the two is totally forgettable, banal and lacking in provocative. It does what every Pearl Jam album shouldn't; fall into complacency.

None of the singles other than the afor-mentioned "Life Wasted" captivate or burn and, uncharacteristically, are rather non-anthemic in nature. "World Wide Suicide" is likely the worst offender, with a sound that led itself to the bands anti-Western infatuation that riddled No Code with inconsistencies. Lapse of experimentation then leads to some downright foolish numbers that become wholly unnecessary, with the turgid Hall & Oates aping "Parachutes" an embarrassing cousin to string perverted "Sirens". Pearl Jam's inconsistencies come from it's desire to simplify things stifled by it's inherent need to break norms, which isn't usually a problem for Pearl Jam. Why it is here is anybody's guess. Momentary reprise comes in "Markers on the Sand"; if you still bothered to pay attention I'd be surprised.

Post 'comeback' excitement has not seen this age too well but it's besides the point. Pearl Jam managed to near completely trip up on the formula that they had perfected for so long and it's eerily forgettable. Most will know though that they managed to hit back with excellence on Backspacer and Lightning Bolt; in the meantime though, there was this.

NEXT: "Something's Broke...? I'm Gonna Put a Bit of Fixin' On It..."



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Arcade
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2014


8439 Comments


We neg not because we can, but because we are angry! Angry at the abuse of his thesaurus! Angry at his very nerve to criticize my favourite song and have an opinion! Angry at his 5's! Mark my words, we will not stop until all his reviews are without a 100% approval rating!

Feedback appreciated

Digging: Future and Young Thug - Super Slimey

dannyboy89
April 29th 2014


13339 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Solid review. This is my 3rd fave PJ.

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2014


8439 Comments


I use to love it but it's really meh now. just don't think it's aged particularly well

dannyboy89
April 29th 2014


13339 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Do you plan on reviewing Backspacer and Lightning Bolt?

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2014


8439 Comments


Yeah man full discography series

dannyboy89
April 29th 2014


13339 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I still haven't heard Lightning Bolt, and I'm kinda scared to do it. I'm scared that it might suck.



I liked the single though.

pacedown
April 30th 2014


185 Comments


i really love pearl jam but a fairly long break for would be good idea for the band.. they ve constantly been producing same avarage records and its getting boring

JohnXDoesn't
May 14th 2014


1354 Comments


i like avocados =]

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
May 14th 2014


14853 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

me 2!

JohnXDoesn't
May 14th 2014


1354 Comments


it looks quite tempting. just need some sour cream and chips

/yum

jtswope
February 6th 2016


5609 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Unemployable is one of their best songs that isn't from their early stuff. So good.



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