Pearl Jam – Backspacer

September 26, 2009

backspacerI never thought I’d ever describe a Pearl Jam record as being fun, as I’ve variously found their albums to be serious, earnest, weighty, political or sometimes downright gloomy, but that’s just what their latest record, Backspacer is, a lot of fun. They’re back working with Brendan O’Brien, who produced their now classic debut, Ten, and the result is a straight ahead album rock album with acknowledged pop and New Wave influences. That said, their version of pop influenced rock is as distant from Nickelback or the like as you can imagine. Most of the eleven tracks rock pretty hard, keeping it short and sweet, with most of the songs clocking in around the three minute mark. Notable exceptions to this can be found at the middle and end of the album, “Just Breathe” and “The End,” respectively. “Just Breathe” is a gorgeous track that already ranks among my favorite tracks of the year, and certainly amongst the Pearl Jam songbook, and “The End” is nearly as good, and a perfect closer. Pearl Jam in a good mood, rockin’ it hard? What’s not for a Pearl Jam fan to like? Definitely recommended. Standout cuts: “Gonna See My Friend,” “The Fixer,” “Just Breathe” and “The End.”

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