Pearl Jam | A Review of Backspacer

As Pearl Jam’s ninth studio album Backspacer, it’s not like you say the band members are new to the music game. They are in fact one of the most influential artists of a certain musical era which changed many lives and formed many musical tastes. The era of course is Grunge, a musical style that overflowed with dark introspective lyrics accompanied by harrowing guitar riffs. It was the theme of a generation desperately trying to escape the overwhelmingly vapid 80’s culture. And Pearl Jam was right in the center of it along with Alice In Chains and of course Nirvana. But out of these three only one really remains and that is Pearl Jam. The other lead singers are now long dead and only Vedder remains. Layne Staley (Alice In Chains), Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) and Eddie Vedder all had and have very distinct voices, and collectively they became the golden standard for Alt-Rock vocals. Emulators abound but few have come close. That brings us to Backspacer.

It’s hard to think some of the songs off of Backspacer would work without the unmistakable deep quaking voice of Vedder. His execution and lyrical influence still holds strong, in this the first Pearl Jam album to have Vedder as the sole lyric writer since 1994 with Vitalogy. To say that every song off of this album is good would be a step too far. Though, the misses heard on the album are easily forgivable. The subtle brilliance of other, more formidable tracks make up for the slack. You see, Pearl Jam has lost the wonderfully raw and dark feeling in their songs of years gone by, and that once strong sense of existential doom has been replaced with a more lyrically sunny overtone. After listening to Backspacer you will realize one thing about today’s Pearl Jam. What they have lost in edge, they gained back in wisdom. They may not be as dark as they once were but songs like Unthought Known and The End affirm that they can still make music with heart that is exceptionally put together and also uplifting. Key tracks off of Backspacer, The Fixer, Unthought Known and The End.

Backspacer comes out on September 20th

Track List:
1. Gonna See My Friend
2. Got Some
3. The Fixer
4. Johnny Guitar
5. Just Breath
6. Amongst The Waves
7. Unthought Known
8. Supersonic
9. Speed Of Sound
10. Force Of Nature
11. The End

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