Pearl Jam – Backspacer

Oh lordy lordy have you heard “The Fixer”? More pop-punk or even pop-emo than grunge, it’s like the best song Taking Back Sunday wished they wrote, all whiny lead guitar and solid rhythm guitar and insanely catchy. Fuck sakes, the verses are populated with hand claps and the chorus is mostly “yeah yeah yeah” and yet it’s genuinely inspiring – a monument of the power of music to make us feel like acting. The non-proverbial song that makes us glad to be wherever we are with whoever we’re there with, and with this ridiculously great syncopated gap between guitar trill and drum beat to keep the whole thing going. Forget the boring bridge and the abrupt fadeout, this is amazing. What the fuck is this? A bunch of 40-something reaching some kind of artistic apex a million years past when they should, a lesson to young bands on how to rock, a chapter and a verse from an ancient bible, unexpected as a kicker passing to the holder for a game winning touchdown, Bates to Gant style. What the fuck, guys? This shit is insane. It’s good like a crazy person nailing existence while rambling on the street corner. It’s what we would like Richey to be saying when he hit 40, and yet they’re older than that, and with a better, more practiced rhythmic sense. What the fuck is this, old guys’ hour? Did all that hanging out with Neil Young pay off some weird ageist karma? No matter, it’s fantastic. God, fuck my natural tits until they’re blue. Fuck I want it again and again. Fight to get it back again! Yeah yeah yeah, fight to get it back again! Yeah yeah yeah! Fuck, fuck, I love it too much.

Okay, aside from that. “Amongst the Waves” is a pretty great slow burning rock number with multiple decent hooks. Ain’t it nice, Eddie Vedder thinks he’s a soul that has been saved! But it’s a solid song.

AND THAT’S IT. The rest of the album is a few mediocre rockers and a bunch of slow nothings and it ALL is about how Eddie Vedder is self-actualized and likes helping people and likes love. Really, that’s all. Ever. Forever. Nothing other than positivity for eleven motherfucking songs. In single form it’s pretty great, but this is a bunch of dumdum meh whogives blah one after another after another. The rest don’t have any godfucking hooks for god’s fuckin skaes sakes. It’s okay, Eddie, nobody thinks you’re Gandhi. Well, whatever. One fuckingaamazinsong and other moderately transcendent song – I think that’s about all we can ask from our musicians these days. I don’t know. I could reflect, but alright, the two songs themselves raise this album above average.

Now I have drinking to do. It’s Saturday and I’m feeling antisocial.



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