Pearl Jam
Lightning Bolt


3.5
great

Review

by Jordan CONTRIBUTOR (106 Reviews)
May 25th, 2014 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Control Myself, CHAPTER 10: "Everyone's a Critic Lookin' Back Up the River..."

Pearl Jam have long since established a sense of formula with their music; underneath the bevy of tender radio ballads and songs raised on razor-sharp riffing, Pearl Jam are no longer the experimental band they had once claimed to be in hopes of relevance. Instead- at least since Backspacer- the band have become clever enough to accept their spot on FM radio. It's fitting then that instead of further identity crisis, they released the consistent yet unsurprising Lightning Bolt.

'Unsurprising' remains a difficult adjective to apply to Lightning Bolt, however it seems the most fitting. Chaotic, guitar-centric opener that feeds off an infectious vocal hook ("Getaway")? Check. Throwbacks to former glories in terms of both folk and punk music ("Future Days" and "Mind Your Manners" respectively)? Check. Without a facet of experimentation, the likes of "Let the Records Play", "My Father's Son" and the sorrowful power ballad "Sirens" remain exciting but all-together tepid outings; if this is what we get instead of bad experiments in the vein of "Bugs", then I'm happy. The matter of the fact is that Pearl Jam have learnt to grow with their audience, even if it comes at questioning relevance from their critics.

And in the end, that's what Pearl Jam's career has more or less been. While proving their power early on only to face dissent from 'trendy' artists such as PJ Harvey and Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder's wild crew of Seattle survivors have done themselves a favour by settling into their groove of a formula. They may no longer be the word that's on the tip of everyone's tongue and they may pale in comparison commercially to many others, the utterly resilient 5-piece can never be faulted. As the only true survivors of the Seattle scene, they deserve every piece of hyperbole written about them and are more than deserving of their current status as rock legends.

...to be continued...



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user ratings (424)
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3.4
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
May 25th 2014


7724 Comments


Finally it's fucking done. whatever happened to my Metallica series, anyway?

feedback appreciated.

Digging: Frank Ocean - Blonde

BMDrummer
May 25th 2014


13706 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Congrats on finishing

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
May 25th 2014


14645 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

bugs rules



neg

Tunaboy45
May 25th 2014


12639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, excellent album in my opinion. Some of Eddie's best lyrics in a long time.

Digging: Pixies - Surfer Rosa

dannyboy89
May 25th 2014


13340 Comments


As the only true survivors of the Seattle scene, they deserve every piece of hyperbole written about them and are more than deserving of their current status as rock legends.


You rule for this sentence. Best closing sentence to a discog ever.

Digging: Nine Inch Nails - The Fragile

JWT155
March 25th 2015


12487 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Love me some Pearl Jam, but I cannot get into this.

danielcardoso
August 29th 2015


8188 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

New album may be coming in 2016, hope it happens. Getaway is incredible, Pearl Jam's openers in genearl rule.

Titan
January 22nd 2016


12802 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sirens is still so good

danielcardoso
January 23rd 2016


8188 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agreed hard, the first half of this is gold. Sirens, Getaway, Mind Your Manners and the title track are superb.

Davil667
January 23rd 2016


1607 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Song 1 to 4 all rule pretty much. Getaway's so damn catchy, great songwriting.

Tunaboy45
January 23rd 2016


12639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Getaway and Mind Your Manners are so energetic it's infectious.

danielcardoso
January 23rd 2016


8188 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Right on, Getaway is one of my top 20 faves from PJ probably. The title track though, great memories of it :]



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