by Pearl Jam


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Pearl Jam made peace with their hard rock past on their eponymous eighth album, but its 2009 sequel, Backspacer, is where the group really gets back to basics, bringing in old cohort Brendan O'Brien to produce for the first time since 1998's Yield. To a certain extent, the band has reached the point in its career where every move, every cranked amp, every short tough song is heralded as a return to form -- call it the Stones syndrome -- and so it is with Backspacer, whose meaty riffs have no less vigor than those of Pearl Jam; they're just channeled into a brighter, cheerier package. Despite this lighter spirit, Pearl Jam remain the antithesis of lighthearted good-time rock & roll -- they're convinced rock & roll is a calling, not a diversion -- but there's a tonal shift from the clenched anger that's marked their music of the new millennium, a transition from the global toward the personal. Ironically, by looking within the music opens up, as the group isn't fighting against the dying light but embracing how this most classicist of alt-rock bands is an anachronism in 2009. Of course, Pearl Jam were an anachronism even back in 1992, worshiping the Who instead of the Stooges, but this odd out-of-phase devotion to the ideals of post-hippie, pre-punk rock is better suited to bandmembers in their forties than in their twenties; fashion has passed them by several times over, leaving Pearl Jam just to be who they are, comfortable in their weathering skin. Pearl Jam battled their success for so long, intent on whittling their audience down to the devout, that it often felt like a chore to keep pace with the band because no matter the merit of the records, they always felt like heavy lifting, but that's no longer the case: here, as on the self-titled 2006 album, it sounds as if they enjoy being in a band, intoxicated by the noise they make. This means, all things considered, Backspacer is a party record for Pearl Jam -- a party that might consist of nothing but philosophical debates till the wee hours, but a party nonetheless -- and if 18 years is a long, long wait for a band to finally throw a party, it's also true that, prior to Backspacer, Pearl Jam wouldn't or couldn't have made music this unfettered, unapologetically assured, casual, and, yes, fun.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/22/2009
Label: Universal Int'l
UPC: 0602527163178
catalogNumber: 2716317

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Pearl Jam   Primary Artist
Jeff Ament   Bass
Matt Cameron   Percussion,Drums
Stone Gossard   Guitar
Mike McCready   Guitar
Eddie Vedder   Guitar,Vocals
George Webb   Guitar
Cathy Lynn   Viola
Daniel Laufer   Cello
Christopher Pulgram   Violin
Neil Hundt   Drums
Brice C. Andrus   Horn
Brice Andrus   Horn
Justin Bruns   Violin
Susan Welty   Horn

Technical Credits

Jeff Ament   Composer
Matt Cameron   Composer
Nick DiDia   Engineer
Stone Gossard   Composer
Mike McCready   Composer
Brendan O'Brien   Producer
Eddie Vedder   Composer,Lyricist
Billy Bowers   Engineer
Jerome Turner   Concept
Eddie Horst   String Arrangements
Tom Tapley   Engineer
Tommy Tomorrow   Artwork,Concept

Customer Reviews

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Backspacer 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
ljdt3232 More than 1 year ago
Hi..Here's My Review of the "package" you sent me and asked me to write a review on. I STILL HAVEN"T GOTTEN IT YET. I ordered Backspacer on December 24. I got an e-mail saying it would be delayed to mid-January and then they told me it would be shipped on February 8. Guess what....It's February 14th and I still haven't received my package. I spoke to a women stating that "she didn't know why it was delayed because they have them at the warehouse. What is this CD, a vintage cut from the Beatles? Its Pearl Jam, the CD came out months ago. Anyway, the nice Barnes and Noble rep told me it would be shipped MARCH 1. Is Pearl Jam making each CD individually from the studio? This is ridiculous. So, my review is that this whole process has been a nightmare, I don't even want the thing anymore. It's not even for me, but for my wife. Thanks Barnes and Noble for your prompt attention to customer satisfaction. This has been a great experience.
laura_b52 More than 1 year ago
I was relieved to hear, in this album, that Eddie Veddar decided to sing again. When I heard The Fixer for the first time, it brought a tear to my eye. He was really singing again and trying to sing, which was nice. He actually sounds like he cares and that is what the band lost along the way. They had abandoned the quality for so long and now it's back and better than ever. I am pleased to have purchased this album. It has been many, many years since they have had an album worth me buying it. Thank you.
hermitage383 More than 1 year ago
Is there some reason I can't buy the CD of this album from B&N? Maybe there are people who would like the LP, maybe, but CD has become pretty popular since say '94....
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