Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam
Universal, 2009

I'll preface this by saying that I've always loved Pearl Jam. If you don't like Pearl Jam, there's nothing on this record that will make you change your mind. And if you do like Pearl Jam, well, there's nothing on this record that will make you change your mind.
I've been a Pearl Jam fan ever since I spent my weekly allowance to buy Ten on cassette. I remember being absolutely fascinated and horrified by the "Jeremy" video. For a ten-year-old growing up in the rural suburbs of North Carolina, that was some heavy s**t.

I'll be the first to admit I listen to them to this day largely for sentimental reasons and for a certain sense of nostalgia. They, along with Soundgarden and Melvins, remind me of being a kid and discovering music. Listening to them evokes very pleasant memories of a wonderful time I would never, ever want to live through again. But I also listen to them because I enjoy their music and I think they're one of the most prolific American bands of all time.
I will always remember the 90's as the best decade for music because that's when I grew up. It's like how baby boomers glorify the 60's. I myself would promptly close the garage door and crank up the Chevy if my musical options were either reckless, hedonistic jam bands or self-important, hedonistic jam bands. But it's all relative.
Backspacer gives the impression that these guys are happy with where they're at. It's reflected in the abnormally positive lyrics and the overall tempo of the album. There is no attempt to push the boundaries or explore new sounds. They've done that, sometimes with success and other times with total failure. Now they just want to play rock songs and they're very good at doing so. As with most of their records there are the anthems that will become classics, the acoustic songs, the "yeah, I guess" songs and the throw-aways.

Like I said above, this is not groundbreaking stuff. It's a record for people that liked them to begin with. They aren't reinventing the wheel or anything, and Pearl Jam is perfectly comfortable with that.

E says: I can't not like these guys. It's my pleasure and my burden...

L says: Oh, you have to respect Pearl Jam. I don't wish to get more involved than that.