Album Review: Pearl Jam – Backspacer

September 11, 2009


Concept: Brendan O’Brien gives grunge godfather Vedder a pop makeover.

Sound: If nobody else is going to say it, I will — Pearl Jam is getting old in every conceivable way. The only thing fresh about this album is the energy in Vedder’s voice, and that is forced to carry every. Single. Song. The “rock” songwriting is like something out of a Dropkick Murphy’s scrapbook. O’Brien’s glossing of strings and Springsteen piano staccatos do absolutely no favors. Beneath the drum mixing, you can hear the band beating its head against a brick wall.

Lyrics: Eddie was a very good lyricist in his prime. Whatever happened? This stuff provides rhythm to the tunes, but it’s poorly executed themes are 1) ‘I’m not cut out for this stuff anymore’ and 2) ‘Yeah! Alright! Woah!’ It’s Jimmy Buffet meets The Hives!

Quick And Dirty: One of the most forgettable albums I’ve listened to this whole year. Sorry, guys. (♦♦)


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