Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam Album Review

Review of Pearl Jam Album by Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam Pearl Jam Album

Pearl Jam

Sony BMG

Album Review

It was in the early Nineties when Pearl Jam unleashed themselves on the world, finding success on both sides of the Atlantic. This, their first release in four years, is their eighth studio album and sees them currently on the American leg of a world tour. They've also been given a prestigious headlining role at the Carling Festival, a slot that in previous years has been occupied by Metallica and Guns N' Roses.

With heavy riffs and at high octane pace, Pearl Jam announce their return with "Life Wasted". Eddie Vedder's vocals are nearly indistinguishable, which they remain throughout the eponymous record, but for all its energy the track remain solid rather than becoming spectacular. The intense "World Wide Suicide" contains on the same vibe, while the sinister "Comatose" will keep inhabitants of moshpits more than happy – but already it seems that the band struggle to get beyond mediocre grunge-rock. Only a catchy riff elevates "Severed Hand" from other tracks such as "Marker In The Sand", which is barely note-worthy.

From out of nowhere, "Parachutes" drops in (sorry, couldn't resist) with a mellower sound often found accompanying campfires in the summer. Vedder does his best Jack Johnson impression, and the unpredictable key changes keep the song interesting, but the former professional surfer need not worry about a rivalry for his crown of acoustic genius. "Big Wave" sees the band in aggressive mode again, but thereafter the album dissipates, with a lack of ideas being their downfall. The short gospel "Wasted Reprise" is completely out of place, and the climax of the blues-flavoured "Come Back" is a pale imitation of Prince's "Purple Rain". Pearl Jam may be back, but they'll still be living on past glories.

Alex Lai

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nikita_02445's picture


Wow, talk about sour grapes now that PJ is no longer under the Sony/Epic label..."Eddie Vedder’s vocals are nearly indistinguishable, which they remain throughout the eponymous record" Sony never cared before when they were making them millions...and their fans all know the words because we're all singing along at all the shows. It's high praise to be compared to Prince's Purple Rain, as far as I'm concerned, but at this late date you had to work pretty hard to come up with a unique comparison, and it just doesn't hit the mark (or marker, should I say?) You should step down off your porch, Mr. Lai.

8 years 5 months ago
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Mooks's picture


What a pathetic review. The arrival of the Internet is what we can thank for enabling thousands of reviewers the chance to review when they otherwise would not have been employed to do so.What drivel.

8 years 5 months ago
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pearl,tallica,system's picture


It took me two listens of the album to realise that it was a pretty good album,and after a few more for it to leave its mark on me and say its actually an excellent album.Its alwasy been like that for me when it comes to a P.J album. But the review must have been made after only one listen. Obviously not a fan so id advise that no notice should be taken of by this unfair review.And by the way the album doesn't run out of ideas towards the end. It takes you on a journey and leaves you at a gentle stop, and you just want to play it again and go on that journey again.

8 years 5 months ago
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