Sunday, September 20, 2009

Backspacer Review: New Pearl Jam!

It's here!

Actually, we got two -- yes, we pre-ordered TWO of the new Pearl Jam album.
Frankie came home this weekend, especially because he knew it would be arriving in the mail. (AND because he wanted to watch the Giants/Dallas game with Brianne, of course.) But Pearl Jam had a lot to do with it.

Because we pre-ordered, it came in early. The album actually goes on sale today at Target. You should definitely go get some!

We've been listening to it obsessively for the last two days already. (We have to get ready for the concert, after all!) I have some definite favorites, and some I really don't like too much. But Thor says I'm gonna change my mind about those songs, and love them too. We'll see; I do tend to like songs more over time.

SPOILER ALERT: I'm gonna tell ya all about my opinion about every song. If you don't care, here is a good place to stop reading! :) ('Bye, Mom. I'll call ya later.) It's my early opinions; I probably will change them as I listen to it more. And keep in mind, I'm no Pearl Jam expert. That would be my son and my husband. But I know what I like. And I'll probably like this album more and more, as I listen to it more and more.

The album itself has some feelings of a spiritual progression, I think. Listening to it now, it makes me think of the spiritual growth and life cycle of the main character, who I guess is Eddie... or maybe anyone. (This is all just my own opinion, of course. But this is what I'm getting out of it...)

The first two songs are "Gonna See My Friends" and "Got Some." Fast paced, and they blend together in my head. He's talking about being a victim of desire, about being sick of everything and depending on something outside of himself (other substances, other people, rock songs, whatever) to take away the pain and agitation. I really don't like these songs; but then, I think I'm trying to be passed this point on my own spiritual evolution, so they don't really say anything I want to hear about.

The third one, "The Fixer," is the song they've been playing on the radio. It's fast, it's catchy, but I don't like it much. Something about it doesn't hit me right. Maybe because it's too catchy. Maybe it will grow on me; it definitely stays in your head. It will probably be one of the big hits off the album. Thor says I'm a "b-side chick", which is probably true. I don't usually like the hit singles as much anyway. But in this song, the character seems to be more positive, and working to fix what's wrong, not just avoiding the problems. He says, "I'll say your prayers, I'll take your side, I'll find us a way to make light, I'll dig your grave, We'll sing and dance, what say, could be our last lifetime!"

Track four is pretty cool; some how, I hear something of Kings of Leon in that song. Something about the way Eddie sings it. I'm not going to figure out why, but I do like it. It's called "Johnny Guitar" but it seems to be more about the girl in the song, and I'm not sure who she is really, but he does say that "the type of girl responsible for original sin... can't help but wonder where and who she is..."

After that, if you skip right to track 5, you've gotten to the section of the album I like best, a run of a few PERFECT songs. Track 5, "Just Breathe," is one of the greatest songs on the album. "Just Breathe" is slow, but upbeat, and it's a lot like one of the songs on the "Into the Wild" album. ..."I'm a lucky man to count on both hands the ones I love... some folks just have one, others they got none, aw huh.... Stay with me... Let's just breathe..." I love that song. We can listen to that one over and over, for sure.

Track 6 is "Amongst The Waves". Love that song too! "Love ain't love until you give it up... Riding High amongst the waves... I can feel like I, have a soul that has been saved... I can see the light, coming through the clouds in rays, gotta say it now, better loud, than too late..." There is a lot of great lyrics in this album.

Track 7 is absolutely amazing. "Unthought Known" is the name. It's my favorite track on the album. I've put it on auto repeat over and over already. It's upbeat, not really slow, but not over the top... and then it swells and builds. It's gonna be GREAT in concert. The lyrics are wonderful, and the whole song is very meaningful. My favorite lyrics are "Feel the sky blanket you, with gems and rhinestones... see the path cut by the moon, for you to walk on... for you to walk on..." I think it's got a beautiful message. You've GOTTA HEAR IT!!!!

Supersonic, Track 8, is the song that Frankie seems to dislike the most, for some reason; it's got a superfast, punky feel. I like it well enough, but it hasn't grown on me yet. I'll probably like it more over time.

Speed of Sound and Force of Nature are songs I think I'm going to like more after I've gotten over my obsession with Track 7.

And then, the final track, named "The End" -- is where the main character, whoever he is -- is looking back and ready to go, and he's passing away. It's slow and haunting. He says, "slide on next to me, I'm just a human being... I will take the blame, but just the same, this is not me... you see... believe... I'm better than this." And it ends, abruptly, like a life; but it goes on in your mind, leaving you wanting more, like the spirit never ending

and that's the album. I really love it.


Anonymous said...

Its a crappy album for soccer moms to listen to. Seriously, who else would shop at Target? Radio friendly, happy, poppy junk. People have said their worst albums after Dave Abbruzzese left were produced by Brendan O'Brien. Well here they are: No Code, Yield, and this one. Pearl jam, the most corporate anti-corporate band in america!

Sue said...

Well, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but you've made a few comments that I disagree with.

For one thing, I qualify as a soccer mom -- of course, my kids don't play soccer, and I don't own a minivan - but I can surely be categorized that way; and not all soccer moms are still stuck in the 80's, no matter what that song says.

And yes, I did dislike the first few songs on the album, especially that first single. But I don't think you should disregard the whole album because of it.

Songs like Hail, Hail or Lukin aren't songs you like? Or Faithful or Given to Fly? Those are serious Pearl Jam songs, and if you don't like THEM, I don't think you like Pearl Jam much at all. And that's fine, because everyone is entitled to their own opinions, like I said.

As for the corporate sell out issue. I have to admit this is difficult to deal with; I don't love the association with Target. But better it isn't Walmart; and the faithful are getting the albums off the website, pre-ordered. Or at least they forced the option for allowing the independent record stores to carry it, it isn't JUST at Target.

And if it isn't distributed widely, no one will be listening to it but my family and I, and the other Ten-club members; and that wouldn't be good, because we'd be lonely....

Seriously, what is YOUR favorite PJ song ever? I'm curious. Write back!

Rob said...

Soccer Dad here, great review, GREAT record :-). I can't get through "The End" without crying. I like your description of the record as moving through this person's life, never thought of that. My favorite so far is "Force of Nature" and of course "The End" Thanks!

Oh as far as Anonymous' (says alot when someone won't put their name with their comment)commments, he/she must not be a PJ fan, MOST people think the BoB produced records were their best. :-)

Sue said...

Thanks, Rob! I'm glad you liked the review, and of course the album... :D
I was surprised by the first comment, but I didn't want to discount it, and when I showed it to my son, he asked if I wanted to show the 10 club people my review and see how other opinions compared to Anonymous... so there ya go. So far, I haven't had any other negative remarks!
Thanks for commenting... stop by anytime...

karim said...

Very thoughtfull post on creative visualization.It should be very much helpfull

Karim -
Positive thinking

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.