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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pearl Jam - Backspacer: Album Review

Here is my short review of Pearl Jam's latest album, Backspacer. I'm reposting this from my forum entry at

So after weeks of waiting, I finally got the CD. The lyrics are included (typewriter font) with surreal artworks.

"Gonna See My Friend" is a scorching intro that sets the pace of the first three songs. Classic rock inspired with hints of punkish elements (a la Ramones). The rolling drums and guitar intro of "Got Some" have that old school rock and roll feel. Going to a happy feel then exits to a guitar solo on the background. The third song, "The Fixer" is similar to the feel of the first two songs; Catchy and optimistic.

"Johnny Guitar" is not as catchy as the first 3 songs but with a very nice guitar works. "Just Breathe" is a love tinged folksy song. Reminiscent of Eddie Vedder's solo album (Into The Wild soundtrack). "Amongst The Waves" is an ode to surfing. A ballad with an anthemic guitar solo. In "Unthought Known", the inclusion of keyboards bring some fresh notes. The song starts slowly then segueing into mid-paced instrument interplay and exits slowly.

Another classic rock-like song is "Supersonic". A short and fast-paced song with a brief slow interlude and lots of wah. The next song, "Speed Of Sound", is slow song with introspective lyrics. And like "Unthought Known", the keyboards add some nice flavor. "Force Of Nature" makes me want to just sit back and relax. The last song is aptly titled, "The End". The song is about a dying man saying his goodbyes to his family. And yet he doesn't want to go yet. The simple guitars and hint of string section give a very somber feel.

This album is a fun album in general. No powerful tracks like "Black" and catchy anthem like "Daughter". Traces of Vitalogy and Yield experimentation can be heard. The lyrics are more personal and less political. My rating (if I have to give one) is 4 out of 5 stars.


Track list:

1. Gonna See My Friend 2:48
2. Got Some 3:02
3. The Fixer 2:57
4. Johnny Guitar 2:50
5. Just Breathe 3:35
6. Amongst The Waves 3:58
7. Unthought Known 4:08
8. Supersonic 2:40
9. Speed Of Sound 3:34
10. Force Of Nature 4:04
11. The End 2:57

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