Pearl Jam’s new album considered ‘gem’

Pearl Jams new album considered gem

Pearl Jam’s new album considered ‘gem’

Nathan Mills

At just a shade over a half hour, Pearl Jam’s latest album, “Backspacer,” accomplishes more in its short playtime than most albums could do in twice the time.

After three years since their last release, the band has put out an album that carries astounding “pop” value whilst also showing the members’ maturity and musical prowess, something almost unheard of in today’s music. Eddie Vedder once again spins a web of words that could draw in any listener.

The album kicks off with three nearly white-knuckle tracks, “Gonna See My Friend,” “Got Some,” and “The Fixer,” that almost, on their own, seem to tell a tale worthy of a single album. That tale is of those who need help, want to help, and help himself, told all in the same breath.

Vedder’s recent venture into the world of acoustics makes its way onto the album along with a couple of heartfelt tracks.

“Just Breathe” contemplates love lost and the crimes against said love. As only few can, Vedder is able to transfer the fret from the lyrics directly into one’s heart using the stereo speakers as a medium This particular beauty has become a bit of an anthem for yours truly.

The last song on the album, “The End,” brings up the rear of a parade of good tunes sandwiched between it and “Just Breathe.”

Again, Vedder and the boys show that love and vulnerability that makes this album shine with this ballad. The words cry out for forgiveness for thoughtlessness and oblivion. In fact, this track is almost haunting as it ends with the music building to a climax as Vedder calls out “I’m here,” only to have the music suddenly die as he explains, “But not much longer.”

All in all, this album is the type of gem we’ve come to expect from Pearl Jam over the years, only maybe more refined. The band seems refueled after making politically charged anthems like “World Wide Suicide,” and is ready to show that renewed vigor.