Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

198

Pearl Jam: Binaural

By

Sign in to view read count
Is Pearl Jam a Jamband? They always have been. They were mis-labeled grunge because they were, in some ways, in the right place at the right AND wrong time, which put the band on a oft-times deserving course of superstardom but which they have consciously steered away from.

And exactly what happens to the voice of a generation when the generation ages? If you’re one eternally brooding rock star named Eddie, you step back and do the only thing you can...you please yourself, you let your band jam, let your lyrical conviction pour through you and last but not least...you seem as if you’re having fun again.

Now that the Seattle volcano of hype has laid dormant for what seems like a millennium, it’s easy to listen to old PJam records and realize that they were just 5 guys from Seattle full of purpose and ambition and an invincible desire to command an audience and jam as if their very life depended on it.

It’s been almost ten years since the release of Ten and Pearl Jam continues to evolve with each of the band members; vocalist Vedder, guitarists, Stone Gossard and Mike McCready, bassist Jeff Ament and new drummer Matt Cameron (ex-Soundgarden) contributing to the writing process. Binaural launches with “breakerfall” which blazes out of the gate with an indelible stamp of The Who and re-establishes the fact the band has appropriately monickered itself by the inclusion of the word Jam. Followed in succession by “god’s dice” and “evacuation”, one wonders...What took these guys so long to remember what they do best? The first three tracks of Binaural rip right through the air like a projectile missile in pursuit of a glider plane.

The album’s centerpiece is most definitely the leadoff single “nothing as it seems” which leads the listener down a dark sinewy tunnel of feedback-laden guitar before transposing into a recurrence of atmospheric gesturing. Senor Vedder lets the word “methadone” seep out of his soul to rhyme with “ baritone” and you are overwhelmed with a sense of urgency that a journey to the depths of emotion has begun.

Unlike Ten which is a classic rock record (when the needle hit, minus the obligatory flip it was nearly impossible to do anything but listen to the entire album), Binaural is mostly consistent, though the song sequence doesn’t reward the listener with the desire to listen all the way through...I got about half way and the momentum dissipated.

And what of the Jammers in the ever changing landscape of pop music. Pearl Jam’s respectable debut of 200,000+ copies sold landed Binaural at #2 on the album chart but was dwarfed by Britney Spears sophomore opus, which registered 1.3 million in its first week. But then again, it seems like a lifetime ago that PJ’s sophomore offering set a, then unprecedented, first week mark of 950,000 copies sold. The lasting musical impact of Pearl Jam vs. Britney Spears may not be decided in my lifetime, but as I’ve come to learn...the impactful validity of any passing fad is nothing as it seems.

Pearl Jam fans: 5 out of 5 stars, All the others: 4 out of 5 stars

Tracks: breakerfall/ god’s dice/ evacuation/ light years/ nothing as it seems/ thin air/ insignificance/ of the girl/ grievance/ rival/ sleight of hand/ soon forget/ parting ways


Personnel:

Eddie Vedder (vocals, guitar)/ Stone Gossard (guitar)/ Jeff Ament (bass)/ Mike McCready (guitar)/ Matt Cameron (drums)

Title: Binaural | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Epic Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Warning: include(/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php5:/data/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html:/usr/share/php') in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

More Articles

Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Vertical CD/LP/Track Review Vertical
by Don Phipps
Published: January 16, 2018
Read In Stride CD/LP/Track Review In Stride
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Solid Gold CD/LP/Track Review Solid Gold
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Ts'iibil Chaaltun CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "The Wild" CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture" CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 13, 2017
Read "Aerial" CD/LP/Track Review Aerial
by Pascal-Denis Lussier
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "Petite Afrique" CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "Evolution" CD/LP/Track Review Evolution
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 23, 2017