Tuesday, September 22, 2009

PEARL JAM: Backspacer Review

New Pearl Jam, much like new LOST, Indy, Batman, or Steeler football, is an event for this site. To commemorate the especially awesome Backspacer, I'm going in-depth to break down this album, song by song.

- the darkhorse. a formidable lead-off song that starts with a kick to the face. It grows on me every time I listen to it. Even though you think it's about a drug fix, supposedly it's about wanting some drugs, but instead you want to see your friend to keep you from doing drugs. Does that make a difference? Hell no. I hate finding out meanings to songs.

Rating: A-
My favorite part: The vocal melody of the hook, the harmonies in the chorus
Makes me want to... Play Twisted Metal 2.

GOT SOME - the heavyweight. See, now this one IS about scoring some drugs, except the drug is a kickass rock n roll song. I promise I'll stop ruining these songs with what they're about. When I heard it live on Conan, I thought "this is how it's supposed to sound; playing it in studio would only kill the momentum." I was definitely wrong.

Rating: A+
My favorite part: Uh, everything? But especially the furious drumming. I kinda figured that Matt Cameron got sick of being apart of underachieving albums and decided to carry them on his back this time around.
Makes me want to... Throw stuff at police cars.

- The flagship. Yeah, it may sound like pop rock, but it's a toe tapper. It loses points only because its blatant optimism and feel-goodness is a direct result of Obamanation.

Rating: A
My favorite part: "I'll dig your grave/We'll dance and sing" What does that even mean? Who cares, cause I'm in. I love the sunny, cheery bridge that transitions back into the intro.
Makes me want to... dance in my jams, then vote Democrat.

JOHNNY GUITAR - the embarassment. Retarded title + weird pacing + lame story = shitty song.

Rating: F
My favorite part: It all sucks. I'm betting EV insists on playing this stinker live...
Makes me want to... beat up some greasers.

JUST BREATHE - the snoozer. This overrated softie is such a phony. It thinks it deserves to be a great love song with its overdone arrangement. This could've been a good song if they didn't reach for the fences...

Rating: C-
My favorite part: The easy-goin finger-pickin.
Makes me want to... have some sort of introspective montage where I regret getting dumped by a high school sweetie.

AMONGST THE WAVES - the typical water song. It seems like every water song they write is more literal than the last. Nonetheless, I'm diggin this song. Ed dominates with his pipes even if some of his lyrics are pretty laughable.

Rating: B
My favorite part: the swell before the chorus. And I think we can all get behind "BETTER LOUD....THAN TOOOOOOO LATE"
Makes me want to... captain a sailboat. if you don't want to do something water-related after listening to this, you're trying too hard.

UNTHOUGHT KNOWN - the surprise. This one came out of nowhere. When ranking the songs, I was a little nervous having it as my number 2 because I figured I would get laughed at. But nope, it's unanimous. This positive gem just keeps building and building until you can't help but feel uplifted.

Rating: A
My favorite part: When Ed kicks the pipes into high gear.
Makes me want to... profess love in the rain.

SUPERSONIC - the face melter. This is another sneaky song that has grown on me. I have no idea what it's about, but I sure like drumming on the steering wheel with it.

Rating: B-
My favorite part: Definitely when it slows down for the badass bridge/solo combo. Then it slams back into the thrashing.
Makes me want to... play pranks on seniors.

SPEED OF SOUND - the creepy snoozer. I'm not sure what mood this song is trying to achieve, but I'm left feeling depressed and irritated.

Rating: D
My favorite part: the end... no, really.
Makes me want to... walk home alone after seeing a shitty movie.

FORCE OF NATURE - the feminist. They can't help but write songs centralized around a vulnerable female character that they empower (most recently Army Reserve, most notably Better Man). This is their latest effort, and all the pieces of this song are strong enough that I can't not like it, cause that would be degrading women... which I hate...

Rating: C+
My favorite part:
the cool intro
Makes me want to... walk in to a bar in s l o w m o t i o n

THE END - the heartbreaker. This is what Just Breathe should've been. The End is a beautiful little song that stays simple all the way through, emphasizing the lonliness and the long goodbye.

My favorite part: the bittersweet lyrics
Makes me want to... slip out in the middle of my birthday party and head off on an adventure like Bilbo.

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