Pearl Jam Get Even Pearl Jammier on Dark Matter

The SPIN Interview: Pearl Jam <i>Dark Matter</i> Producer Andrew Watt
The SPIN Interview: Pearl Jam Dark Matter Producer Andrew Watt

Pearl Jam – Dark Matter
Monkeywrench Information/Republic Information

The ninth observe on Pearl Jam’s twelfth studio album, Dark Matter, is named “One thing Particular,” and it’s by far probably the most controversial—so far as Subreddits and message boards are involved.

“And additional proof / That you simply’re phenomenal / You higher consider it that / You’re one thing particular,” Eddie Vedder earnestly pronounces throughout this ballad, in his serene and characteristically masculine burr. Engulfed within the Sturm und Drang of the remainder of Dark Matter, this barely ungainly quasi-lullaby might probably come off as corny and off-script.

However the Haterade-guzzlers and false heads are useless improper on this: “One thing Particular” might be the very best observe on Dark Matter. If you happen to love swarming and sprawling ‘90s onerous rock jams, Pearl Jam is—naturally—for you. However in the event you’re raring to be aurally bearhugged—beset by a hard-won assault of sentimentality—Pearl Jam is commensurately for you.

When Pearl Jam broke out, clobbering emotional depth was their inventory in commerce. That continues to be so. Throughout the many years, has that skill inclined or declined? Supplier’s selection. Enter the younger and perpetually enthusiastic superproducer Andrew Watt, who labored on the Stones’ snappy comeback Hackney Diamonds, in addition to equally reenergizing albums by Iggy Pop and Ozzy Osbourne. He coaxed out their wildest aspect—the Pearl Jam that may let their hair down, and sprawl out on “Alive” or “Animal”—in probably the most apeshit sense doable.

How so? Behold the climax of the high-flying title observe, the place guitarists Stone Gossard and Mike McCready, bassist Jeff Ament, and drummer Matt Cameron comprise a runaway practice, with Vedder because the hair-on-fire conductor. The crescendo of “Operating,” in the meantime, is much more hair-raising. An ocean of ink is at present being spilled about Watt’s powers of galvanization—however relaxation assured, the hype is warranted. 

If you happen to’re Pearl Jam impartial or averse, that is merely a extra intense and targeted model of the band we’ve identified for three-plus many years. However in the event you’re already bought, there’s one thing right here for each pressure of Pearl Jam fan—whether or not their high-flying area rock (“Frightened of Concern,” “Dark Matter”) or tough, strummy energy ballads (“Wreckage,” “Higher Hand”) are your bag. And the moody, interstitial ambient moments recall each agreed-upon classics like Ten and darkish horses like No Code.

Is Dark Matter that completely different from rapid predecessors Backspacer, Lightning Bolt, and Gigaton? Probably not. However is it in some way Pearl Jammier, in an ineffable sense? Yep—in reality, it’s one thing particular. – GRADE: A-

You possibly can try Dark Matter on Bandcamp and elsewhere.

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