In this, the year of music, I am not that surprised to see a new album from Pearl Jam, but I am however feeling a bit nostalgic since this has been released the same year as a new Trent Reznor/Nine Inch Nails album. It’s definitely taking me back to sometime in the 1990’s.
When Pearl Jam first burst onto the scene with grunge, I was a teenager myself. They made some of the most influential music of my lifetime and I do feel like “Backspacer” is one of their best albums to date.
This is the tenth studio album from Pearl Jam and a song like “Let the Records Play” channels ZZ Top, in terms of guitar play, but for the most part this is just the older, more experienced sounding Pearl Jam that we’ve grown used to over the years.
I don’t want to say anything to the effect that Pearl Jam has slowed down or gone soft because if anything they still light a fire in me. But they’re not that same rebellious band they once were. Perhaps with their age has come a certain level of wisdom as well.
Basically, I feel like this album is ideal for the thirtysomething who grew up listening to Pearl Jam in their youth as opposed to the tween who might be discovering the band for the first time. I hardly want to speculate on what could have been, based on this, for albums at this point in time from Nirvana, Blind Melon and Alice in Chains had their respective front men stuck around.