As promised earlier this morning, I am ready to declare Pearl Jam as the greatest rock n’ roll album since Zeppelin IV. But I’m shocked by how quickly I came around. It only took me to full listens to change my tune; now, during the third full-length run-through of the day, I’m actually stunned by how good of a record this is. Biased? Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a valid opinion.
I would never, under any circumstances, condone downloading my favourite band’s music–especially since Pearl Jam is a band which has a, constantly spurned financial gain, and b, donated more money to more causes than practically any band you can think of. But if you absolutely cannot resist the urge, then check out one of these five songs:
- “Comatose”, a.k.a. “Crapshoot Rapture”, debuted at a benefit show in Seattle last year. Clocks in at under two-and-a-half minute, and hits like a nuclear warhead.
- “Severed Hand” was debuted on Saturday Night Live. Brilliant tune.
- “Unemployable” will either become my favourite Pearl Jam song ever written, or cause me to throw Pearl Jam out my bedroom window while screaming Ed’s “oh-oha-oh!” line at the top of my lungs. Really, this could go either way.
- “Gone” channels the ghosts of Born to Run era Bruce Springsteen…which is appropriate, since Ed premiered it at one of Pearl Jam’s infamous gigs at the Borgata in Atlantic City. Beautiful song about escape from a small town.
- “Inside Job” starts softly, then explodes into a glorious finale; notable as Mike McCready’s first lyrical contribution to the Pearl Jam commune.
Clearly, I’m not capable of rational thought where Pearl Jam is concerned–and I can’t promise I will be for at least the next little while. But therein lies one of the pleasures of having a favourite band: being convinced that everything they do is a masterwork. In this case, I’m clearly subscribing to that notion already.