Pearl Jam: Lightning Bolt

This. Sucks. Worse than Riot Act. May even be worse than the avocado album, but making a definitive call on that would require me listening to that album again, and I remember that album as only having one good song on it. Which is basically what we’ve got here. The first three songs get us off to a pretty good start, and then it completely falls apart.

Okay, I just went back and re-read the avocado review, and it was better than I remember it. (six(!) keepers.) And there’s a good paragraph back there about how I’d counted the band out before and they’d bounced back, which you can kind of copy and paste here because they followed up Pearl Jam with Backspacer, which I remember really liking, but I can’t find that review anywhere,  so …

Eddie, nobody wants to hear your opinion on anything anymore. We know where you stand. And please, for the love of all that is holy, stop with lyrics like this:

sometimes you find yourself
having to put all your faith
In no faith
Mine is mine
and yours
wont take its place

So not deep, man, so not deep.

The drumming…oy, the drumming. Just blichem, blichem, blichem on the moderate to slow tempo songs. So stomach-turning.

But my biggest problem with album is that there’s nothing we haven’t heard before. I mean, I know that Pearl Jam isn’t going to be breaking any new ground for us any time ever. They’ve got their sound, their formula, their template. But this is just stale s**t that could just be the castoffs from the last few albums. Much of this sounds like they really are just reheated stuff that actually was on those albums.

And it ends so so so poorly. They end with three s**tty last-song songs at the end of the album. There’s the requisite Vedder-on-uke song about loneliness (a whole album of this wasn’t enough?), then two more and I’m not even going to describe them because I don’t even want to think about them. But “Future Days” is of such a tepid, retread form that it should be abolished or maybe we should even make people who write those songs subject to criminal penalty.

Awful. And the worst part is, because they sound so similar to what was on Riot Act, and that was the album they were touring where I have the whole damned tour, I can hear these songs being histrionically melodramatized by Vedder, I can hear the regurgitated banter in between songs, I can hear the reverb of the arenas in which they’re being played. It’s a horrible re-visitation, and I’m sure that accounts for at least one less half-clown here.

Finally, if I’m being honest with myself, I don’t think I’ve ever really gotten over all that banter from the Riot Act tour. It makes me angry every time I hear Vedder’s voice. So self-righteous. And the coup de grace, of course, was when he tried to prove himself sensitive to women’s issues by…making fun of a fan’s breast size. It’s my problem at this point, but I still don’t think I’ve ever forgiven him for that.

Also keyboards are more prominent than on any other album except maybe Riot Act. And they’re usually used really well.

Rating:
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– “Mind Your Manners”
– “Getaway,” “My Father’s Son,” “Swallowed Whole”
– “Sirens,” “Lightning Bolt,” “Infallible,” “Pendulum,” “Let The Records Play,” “Sleeping By Myself,” “Yellow Moon,” “Future Days”
Song Notes: After the jump

  1. Getaway –
  2. Mind Your Manners –
  3. My Father’s Son –
  4. Sirens – What cheesy ass shit does this remind me of?
  5. Lightning Bolt – Has some merit, spesh the keys, but on balance it annoys me. Almost an open heart.
  6. Infallible – Eddie, I don’t want to know about your opinions anymore. You’ve made them abundantly clear and you are not able to state them in an interesting way anymore. I love the opening verse.
  7. Pendulum –
  8. Swallowed Whole –
  9. Let The Records Play –
  10. Sleeping By Myself – Eddie’s damn requisite ukelele song. Isn’t this just “No Regrets” hor whatever?
  11. Yellow Moon –
  12. Future Days –
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2 thoughts on “Pearl Jam: Lightning Bolt

  1. Pingback: Playlist Review: Xbox Music’s Best Of 2013 | fatclown

  2. Pingback: Fat Clown’s Best Albums Of 2013 | fatclown

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