Thursday, June 15, 2006

Malaysian "Pearl Jam" review



Broken engrish is funny.

Read this review by IZZY SHAH:
PEARL JAM have stopped bothering to promote their records for a long time now, so why then is the new self-titled eighth album by Seattle’s grunge uncles their highest charter in years?

What’s for sure is that it’s a significant lowering of fences on the band’s part, with singles, videos, magazine cover interviews and photo ops being granted in what seems like an eternity (it’s been 12 years since all of the above happened ... an ice age in music industry time).

Some major music rags are even saying it’s their best in 10 years. I’m not sure about that, but this new Pearl Jam does sound spunkier, younger and more purposeful. The graceful transition to its current affirmative-action-rock phase sees the band rediscover the fire that once set it apart.

Short punk-like bursts and two-minute rock blasts are Vedder’s modus operandi this time. He emphatically spews out raging keynote addresses on class hierarchy, race and the minority welfare struggle (Unemployable), corruption and surveillance paranoia (Inside Job) and US soldier-drafting policy (Army Reserve). The blond-streaked singer even manages a moment of tribute to his favourite pastime, whistling the wonders of surfing as meditation (Big Wave).

And these three-minute songs are short for a reason ... cutting in sharply, making their point and moving on, rather than chewing forever on hollow hooks and compromised radio-friendliness.

Elsewhere, songwriting contributions by the band’s two guitarists are both weird and wistful ... from McCready’s piquant Marker in the Sand to Gossard’s contemplative campfire tune Wasted Reprise.

Vedder, still an alpha after two decades of betas, imitators and washouts, sounds as true as ever, barking leftist sentiments like a hungry wolverine throughout Pearl Jam. With Vedder, a hardened liberal, it’s not so much checking and balancing as it is an all-out aural war on the Bush administration, as the snarling guitars of Life Wasted attest.

Dense, always grasping at truth, and bordering on anarchy, Pearl Jam’s current repertoire should have been the score for the recent V for Vendetta.

But what this album (like all others before it) showcases most is that they are a band of songwriters, their own little democracy.

Even at its most adventurous (as on mid-1990s releases Vitalogy and No Code) Pearl Jam’s AOR has always been commoner fare in the feudal hierarchy of listener appreciation, but if there is anything to be admired about this angriest of outings, it’s the sheer lionhearted, warrior-like will that they’ve always had in abundance.


"Seattle’s grunge uncles"... "Short punk-like bursts and two-minute rock blasts are Vedder’s modus operandi this time"... "Vedder, still an alpha after two decades of betas, imitators and washouts, sounds as true as ever, barking leftist sentiments like a hungry wolverine throughout Pearl Jam." (my favorite).

I wish I could write this good... and engrish is my native tongue.

1 Comments:

Blogger Claudia fernandes said...

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11:28 AM  

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