Pearl Jam – Last Kiss

Another day, another Pearl Jam single delivering example what fans have come to expect: two non-album old-timey rock and roll covers.

Yep. “Last Kiss” was originally a Christmas Club single, but when their record company implored them to release it they quasi-relented and, being good guys, released it as a single only with 100% of the royalties going to rebuilding Kosovo. Aww! The single ended up being their highest charting ever, hitting, I believe, #2. So they had as solid a pop success as CCR. Wacky! It helps that this is a bloody great single. The title track is as straight a pop song as PJ could possibly release – but a Beach Boys style pop song – one with a sad tale of teen lovers rend apart by fate. Or, in this case, a car accident, with the memorable chorus of “Oh where oh where can my baby / The lord took her away from me / She’s gone to heaven so I’ve got to good / So I can see my baby when I leave this world.” Re-aww! I’ll even forgive it a boring last minute or so.

The second song is almost as good: a perfectly performed cover of “Soldier Of Love” that gets to be all whimsical and have a cute catchy bassline and implore a lass to surrender at the war of love. And it ends with a fun little “cha cha cha!” It’s nice to hear Pearl Jam actually having fun out there. Humanizing and all that.

Now look, I hear ya if you aren’t into “biotruths” and all that, but the fact of human evolution (and you aren’t disputing that, right?) means that everything we do – everything – has its solid causes that evolutionary psychology can find. Whether it will or not it more debatable, but come on here. Yes, something like possessiveness is partly attributable to societal pressures, but then where did society come from? It didn’t spring into existence randomly; it’s a cobbled together collection of practices encouraged by and only by our evolution and our cognitive biases, which were also evolved. Call it reductio ad evolution if you wanna be bitter, but it works. Love is a neurochemical con job, but it’s a GREAT neurochemical con job. Take it as what it is and make it the best you can, and leave them better than you found them.

Points deducted for only being six minutes long, though. Surely you could’ve thrown in something else, Pearly O’Jammington.

8 / 10

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