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Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam
Thursday, the 1st of June, 18:25, and the sun is still wandering whether she will shine chronically these days. I’m just about to get in the train and head for a gig by one of the most well-known black metal bands of all time, but to be honest; my mind is not even close of thinking of tonight’s event. Actually I’ve been thinking about just one thing this week. Studying, playing poker, exercising; I was terrible at all of it. Pearl Jam has made another record.
Robert Haagsma said in the Aardschok magazine that he wondered if there would be anyone who’s got all the live albums by this band that have been released this millennium. It is a statement, so many live releases. A lot of people were thinking that this was the last struggle before the band would vanish in silence, but the contrary has happened now.
Pearl Jam has released their self-titled album and what a record it is. The grunge era seemed like it had never disappeared because of thirteen songs. The album is so smoothly everything it should be, it is almost frightening. The start may seem a little bit dull, an up-tempo rock song like we’ve heard before but after a few rehearsals, I’m considering it as a perfect opening. What follows is two songs that start to indicate a new way of songwriting, combining some weird guitar riffs with the typical Pearl Jam sound and an experimental way of singing. It feels like the first three songs should make the listener feel comfortable, like the band wanted to say: ‘Relax, we’re still the same band. Now enjoy’.
And then the alternative band starts to play. Not alternative like those quasi-British bands we have dozens of these days, but the comeback of a classic one. The duality in vocals in ‘Severed Hand’ is a must hear for anyone who is into experimental music. ‘Parachutes’ even looks like a country song with its slow rhythm and typical drum sound. And fortunately, there are enough songs that are sure to do an incredible job when performed live, like the beautiful and intense ‘Come Back’ and the faster, up-tempo ‘Big Wave’. My god, how I’m cursing the Dutch ticket service for selling the tickets for the gig in Holland while I was in Helsinki.
And then comes, the most important thing my friends. Eddie Vedder sounds like an angel again. There are these very few musicians who make you silent when singing a song, and when I listen to ‘Marker in The Sand’ (maybe the best Pearl Jam song ever) I feel like I’m being told it’s going to be all right. He really knows how to accentuate his voice in so many incredible ways that it is almost a privilege to listen to this disk. Then softly, then a little forced in his own characteristic way, but always so intense. This is the way music has to be written and recorded.
Every music lover knows this feeling: The struggle to look further for more and better songs. There seems to be no stop to it. Some people see this resulting in buying way too many disks or starting a band of your own. I’ve done both in a little way and I’ve played a lot of Peral Jam cover songs with a group of friends that I still deeply cherish. Right now, we haven’t come together for a while but I think I’ll give them all a call and propose to play some songs from the Pearl Jam album. Maybe we’ll not be able to rehearse that soon, but I’m sure that as soon as the word about this album has been spread we will. Simply because they’re too bright to ignore. Nostalgia in its absolute purest form. I cherish that.  
Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam
93/1001Details Sony BMG
Released on Friday Jun 2nd, 2006

Writer @CarpeSiem on Friday Jun 2nd, 2006

Tags: #Pearl Jam
Tracklisting 1. Life Wasted
2. World Wide Suicide
3. Comatose
4. Severed Hand
5. Marker In The Sand
6. Parachutes
7. Unemployable
8. Big Wave
9. Gone
10. Wasted Reprise
11. Army Reserve
12. Come Back
13. Inside Job
Line up Jeff Ament: bass
Stone Gossard: guitar
Mike McCready: guitar
Eddie Vedder: guitar, vocals
Matt Cameron: drums, percussion