Saturday, September 26, 2009

Eddie Vedder Smiles

37 minutes. Isn't that all the Pearl Jam we need? That's what their latest album clocks in at. And it's a perfect length. A good album, too. This is like that last R.E.M. album. Short and to the point. But I think this one is better. I've had a love/hate relationship with Eddie Vedder. His solumn, dour, foggy, no-time-for-a-smile early years still get on my nerves. But as he got older, and the band sold less records, he lightened up. I think it was the cover of "Last Kiss" that made me think that Vedder had more in him than mumbling about how bad the world is.
Backspacer sounds like a tribute to an old classic rock album from the 70's. It's brevity is a welcome sign that Vedder realizes he doesn't need to fill a CD to get his points across. But this album is very political, but it does address mature themes.
Eddie Vedder smiles more these days. His interviews aren't the solumn musings that they were when he was in his 20's. Now self-deprecation seeps in. In his 40's, and no longer part of the biggest band in the U.S., he's realized that although the world he used to rail against hasn't gotten any better, at least he has things to be optimistic about.
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