Backspacer By Pearl Jam
If one band deserves a global high five for bringing out such an excellent record this year it’s Pearl Jam for “Backspacer.” It’s been three years since we heard from the grunge kings of the modern era, and they sound like they’re coming back with a renewed energy for heated rock and roll and fervent guitar riffs.
“Gonna See My Friend” sets the record alight immediately with a fast pace and loud, impassioned vocals from Eddie Vedder. This track is an example of the best of what Pearl Jam can do - it’s powerful rock and roll that unlike some of their older songs doesn’t leave your ears and your happiness in its wake as it drags gloomily along.
This energy segues into the next two tracks “Got Some” and “The Fixer.” “Got Some” features strong punk influences in the simple song setup, driven largely by Matt Cameron’s pounding drums. “The Fixer” is more modern rock than punk, but carries on a similar vibe.
The pace of the album changes completely on “Just Breathe, ”which is an intense ballad about losing loved ones but one that, in spite of its subject matter, has a soft, acoustic sound and is lovely to listen to over and over again.
Vedder also tones down the growl you hear at the beginning of the record for “Amongst The Waves,” a track that has a lilting rhythm carrying the music that suits the title of the song well. Luckily the electricity of the album lights up again on both “Supersonic” and “Force Of Nature” as we move towards the end of the record.
The biggest problem with “Backspacer” is that it’s all over in less than forty minutes. That means you’ll probably have to wait another three years for the band to complete an hour of rock music. So it’s a good thing that this record is so damn cool that it’ll carry you right the way through to that time.
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