Backspacer Review

 Pearl Jam has hit a little bit of a dry spell. Oh, let’s face it: they will never be as strong-willed and empowered as when they were the gods of grunge in Seattle. Eddie Vedder is still doing his thing with side projects, but after World Wide Suicide, nothing really happened. Backspacer, the band’s ninth studio release, is the end to a drought that we never thought we’d pull out of, but it’s not a resolution in the way we’d have hoped. Pearl Jam has reinvented as a softer version of itself 18 years ago, but they still hold the qualities (and Eddie Vedder’s signature sound) to be an alternative super-power.
 Backspacer is a feel good album in its early stages, with a strange happy undertone that drives songs like the popular single The Fixer, Gonna See My Friend, and Supersonic. The album’s peppy drumbeat and bass tones are a change from the powerful ballads we’re used to from Ten. That is the sound the band is going to rely on from this point. There’s energy in the music, but the anger and anguish in the vocals and driving guitar is replaced with a more joyfully driven style.
 The album shows the dexterity that the band keeps. They are like Led Zeppelin in the way that they are able to switch from a peppy electric song, to a somber acoustic ballad, to a slow thinker. It is unbelievable how they are able to master each of the endeavors that they take, and have been able to collect such an eclectic following over the years.