Pearl Jam - Binaural (Released 5/16/00 on Epic Records)
Pearl Jam is:
Eddie Vedder - Vocals
Stone Gossard - Guitar
Mike McCready - Guitar
Jeff Ament - Bass
Matt Cameron - Drums
The bio will be a continuation of the one I wrote for my Vs. review, so look there for the first half of this bio.
Only a year after releasing Vs., Pearl Jam put out the album Vitalogy. By selling more then 877,000 copies, Pearl Jam also holds the #2 best-selling album spot, while their own Vs. holds #1. Vitalogy went on to debut on the Billboard at #1 and continue to hold that spot for five consecutive weeks. After hosting radio shows and playing shows of their own, Pearl Jam released the album No Code in the summer of '96, which also made a Billboard debut of #1. The band releases their sixth fan club-only Christmas vinyl, and promptly launches another tour. Then again in '98, the band releases the album Yield. Yield debuted on the Billboard at #2, simply because the Titanic soundtrack held the #1 spot (someone kill me please). Despite this, Yield goes on to achieve double-platinum status. After the usual touring, Christmas vinyl, and the debut of the official Pearl Jam fan club website, Pearl Jam celebrates their 10-year annversary by throwing a celecratory concert complete with Eddie telling the story of the bands beginning. But months before that, Binaural was finally released. Don't forget that this album feature's former Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron (obviously on drums). This is good news for me, because now I can stop typing.
Get ready, because it's music time.
Breakerfall - 8.5/10
A very nice album starter. Breakerfall is fast-paced, and pretty heavy as far as Pearl Jam is concerned. It has a great feel, and there just seems to be something about the song that would suggest something classic rock. The speed combined with a great Stone gossard shred makes for a very promising way to start a much anticipated album.
God's Dice - 8/10
A nice, cool song. It's still pretty fast moving, but has a much more relaxed feel then Breakerfall. Eddie's singing sounds really nice here. There's really not much I can say here, it's a unique song you'de have to listen to to understand. It's a pretty good song, though.
Evacuation - 6/10
Starts out pretty promising. The music is good, unique, and heavy. The singing in the chorus sounds great with the instruments. But then the dreaded chorus. The chorus has hands down the
singing ever created by mankind. Try not to listen during that part. The rest of the song is pretty good aside from that. Unfortunately, the vocals stand out too much to get past, ultimately dragging it down...
Light Years - 7.5/10
Very light. Very nice. This is the quietest song on the album so far. The lack of heaviness does not affect the music, though. It's good, and sounds almost sad in parts. The clean guitar parts really stand out. The song as a whole is good compared to Evacuation, which you'll probably end up skipping over. Luckily it skips to Light Years.
Nothing As It Seems - 8/10
Starts out with a nice combination of acoustic and distorted electric guitars. When the singing starts, we find that it's even lighter then Light Years. The verses sound great with Eddie's voice and Matt's drumming. It's got an eerie, yet beautiful feel to. Those of you who skipped over Light Years will not
skip over this.
Thin Air - 7/10
Another acoustic/electric combination. This has an entirely different feel to it the NAIS. Definitely not as good either (though it does really pick up in parts). Not a big skip-worthy track in my opinion. But if you're looking for the heavier Pearl Jam sound, then continue on, because this and a few before will disappoint you.
Insignificance - 7.5/10
Sounds out deceptively slow and disappointing. Give it time. A minute or two in, it picks up with the same speed and heaviness we saw in Breakerfall. Although I was immediately turned off by the intro, just keep at it and you won't be disappointed (completely).
Of The Girl - 5/10
Again with the lighness and the acoustic. I'm starting to get bored with the softer songs. This song has nothing special except for maybe some catchy acoustic riffs. In comperison with past tracks this song is bland, bland, bland. A definite weak point and track skipper.
Grievance - 7/10
A "saving" song. A breath od fresh air as far as Of The Girl is concerned. This song seems half angry half emotional. It's a unique comination, but the make it work. Pretty good overall, but it would seem as though the first half of the album is much better than the second.
Rival - 6.5
Very interesting and experimental. It starts out with 30 seconds of sounds of snarling dogs. I couldn't make out what they were hoping to accomplish untill the music came in. It seems to be a half rock half blues song, complete with piano backing. Not to great, but stands out for odd reasons.
Sleight Of Hand - 6.5/10
Another strange one. This one didn't have so many strange noises, just odd combinations of instruments. It revolves around the drums to lead, bass for rhythm, and clean guitar for atmosphere. I'm not partial to it, but that's just me.
Soon Forget - 5/10
This song is all Eddie. It's nothing but him sining and playing what sounds like a ukulele. It's a pretty goofy track, and just confused my when I first heard it. It's special in it's own little way. Back away slowly and poke it with a sharp stick.
Parting Ways - 6.5/10
Sounds like something I heard as background music for a video game. And once again, with the lightness. All clean with simple drums. There's nothing heavy about, and is really long. After the music stops there's about four minutes of silence untill what sounds like someone typing on a typewriter. Not the greatest song ever, but it's the last so it doesn't matter.
Okay, so it's not Pearl Jam's best. Beut it's not the worst album better, and is essential for a complete Pearl Jam collection. I'de much prefer albums like Ten, Vs., and Vitalogy, but what are you gonna do. The beginning of the album for some reasong seems to be the nucleas of the whole thing. It just seems to me that the band went too light for their own good here.
Overall Rating - 6.5/10
not bad, but disappointing as far as Pearl Jam goes. Enjoy.