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1. Gonna See My Friend
2. Got Some
3. Fixer, The
4. Johnny Guitar
5. Just Breathe
6. Amongst the Waves
7. Unthought Known
9. Speed of Sound
10. Force of Nature
11. End, The
12. [CD-ROM Track]
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): R9724
Tom Tapley; Nick DiDia; Billy Bowers
Personnel: Eddie Vedder (vocals, guitar); George Webb, Mike McCready, Stone Gossard (guitar); Christopher Pulgram (violin); Cathy Lynn (viola); Brice C. Andrus (horns); Matt Cameron (drums, percussion); Neil Hundt (drums).
Audio Mixer: Brendan O'Brien .
Recording information: 02/16/2009-04/30/2009.
Of all the bands to emerge from the early `90s grunge explosion, Pearl Jam was both the longest-lived and most consistently interesting. After several albums that found the group taking an increasingly experimental direction, the Seattle quintet returned to its straight-ahead hard rock roots with 2006's self-titled effort. In 2009 however, Pearl Jam surprised fans again with an album containing some of the unit's catchiest, poppiest songs ever. According to lead vocalist Eddie Vedder, most of the new material was written prior to recording, which was a significant departure from the group's usual in-studio jamming method of composition. The result is one of the unit's most focused and accessible works since the debut album TEN. The first single "The Fixer" (written my drummer Matt Cameron) is a Kiss-like bit of straight-up pop masquerading as hard rock, while "Just Breathe" is melancholy acoustic singer-songwriter music so sharply crafted it would fit well on an Jack Johnson album. Throughout, Pearl Jam performs with its trademark directness, mustering the kind of earthy, cohesive sound that only veteran bands can deliver.
Rolling Stone (pp.73-74) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[W]ith the shortest, tightest, punkiest tunes they've ever banged out....Eddie Vedder's heart-on-fire vocals are the main attraction, as always."
Spin (p.76) - "The band hasn't put together a trifecta this energized and from-the-gut in a decade..."
Billboard (p.52) - "The whole album has a pleasurable mix of lean, mean rock'n'roll and pensive ballads that reflect both the state of the world and the band's place in it."
Q (Magazine) (p.119) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's largely characterised by joyous new wave-influenced rock'n'roll, and for the first time in their 19-year career, Pearl Jam actually sound -- whisper it -- fun."
Paste (magazine) (p.50) - "Most of their new album's first half alternates between gritty guitar-led jams and able pop-rock..."
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Universal Int'l R9724
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