Sunday, May 28, 2006

THEIR BEST IN A LONG TIME

With their last few CDs, Pearl Jam had settled into a comfortable groove, churning out nicely-done controlled-chaos CDs such as "Yield" (1998), "Binaural" (2000) and "Riot Act" (2002). 2004's "Rearviewmirror" was a nice 2-CD collection of highlights from 1991 thhrough 2003.
It was beginning to seem to me that their material from the last 6-8 years, while enjoyable, was beginning to sound a lot alike.

Their debut album "Ten" was a fierce mix of epic classic rock stylings with an aura of freshness about it. "Vs." was a little cloudier, more of a mix of styles, kind of inconsistent. From there they progressed into what seemed to me like an organic, cohesive unit which gradually became limited by its own overreaches, making experiments which failed as often as they worked. When drummer Matt Cameron joined the band, their product became more energized and more consistent, as demonstrated in their works from 1998 until now.

This time out, with their self-titled "Pearl Jam", the lyrics are more coherent and urgent than they have been in a long time. The musical arrangements sound cleaner, and in some cases, less like a thick wall of sound and more like carefully-constructed pieces. If you like high energy, loads of spirit, rough, sinewy guitars and bass, high-powered drumming, and honest vocals... all with more than a tinge of leftist ideals... you will like this CD.

Here are a couple of highlights for me, re. the lyrics:

WORLD WIDE SUICIDE

I felt the earth on Monday
It moved beneath my feet
In the form of a morning paper
Laid out for me to see
Saw his face in a color picture
I recognized the name
Could not stop staring at the
Face I'd never see again

It's a shame to awake in a world of pain
What does it mean whenthe war is taking over?
It's the same every dayI heard my name
Why can't they say that
The world be left to hold her

The whole world
World over
It's World Wide Suicide
The whole world
World over
It's World Wide Suicide

Medals on a wooden mantle
Next to a handsome face
That the President took for granted
Writing checks that others pay
And in all the madness
Thought becomes numb and naive
So much to talk about
And nothing for us to say
It's the same every day
And the wave won't break
Tell you to pray while the devil's on his shoulder
Laying claims to the tainted soldier said
I'm not a quitting
The truth's already out there

The whole world
World over
It's World Wide Suicide
The whole world
World over
It's World Wide Suicide

Looking in the eyes of the fallen
You've got to know there's another
Another
Another
Another
Another
waaaaayyyyyyyyyyy

It's a shame to awake in a world of pain
What does it mean whenthe war is taking overI
t's the same every day
And the wave won't break
Tell you to pray whilethe devil's on his shoulder

The whole world
World over
It's World Wide Suicide
The whole world
World over
It's World Wide Suicide
The whole world
World over
It's World Wide Suicide
The whole world
World over
It's World Wide Suiciiiiiiiiiide

LIFE WASTED

You're always saying that there's something wrong,
I'm starting to believe it's your plan all along,
Death came around, forced to hear its song,
And know tomorrow can't be depended on.
I seen the home inside your head,
All locked doors and unmade beds.
Open sores unattended
Let me say just once thatI have faced it,
A life wasted,
I'm never going back again.
I escaped it,
A life wasted,
I'm never going back again.
Having tasted,
A life wasted,
I'm never going back again

The world awaits just up the stairs
Leave the pain for someone else.
Nothing back there for you to find,
Or was it you, you left behind?
You're always saying you're too weak to be strong,
You're harder on yourself than just about anyone
Why swim the channel just to get this far?
Halfway there, why would you turn around?
Darkness comes in waves,
tell me, why invite it to stay?
You're warm with negativity,
Yes, comfort is an energy,
But why let the sad song play?

I have faced it, A life wasted, I'm never going back again.
Oh I escaped it, A life wasted, I'm never going back again.
Having tasted, A life wasted, I'm never going back again.
Oh I erased it, A life wasted, I'm never going back again.

3 Comments:

Blogger J. Marquis said...

What do you think the cover represents? Maybe intestinal fortitude?

2:25 PM  
Blogger GTX said...

I always like PEARL JAM (but I don't have any album of them, as for many other bands I like).
I can burn a single CD with music from copyrights 'cause I love those bands a lot to do it (only have "OK Computer-RADIO HEAD" and a CD of Yngwie J.Malmsteen that were offered by a friend and a cousin respectively).
I like TRUST (french band) RUSH and STRANGLERS (Black and White album cover) CRASH TEST DUMMIES and BJORK's Sugar Cubes (Motorcycle Man)
I've read the posted lyrics and they gave me that sensation of those universal trues that never tired us and are always fresh.

7:21 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

I like their version of Dylan's "Masters of War." (I think it's from this new album.)

1:02 PM  

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