The Charred Remains of Pearl Jam

Growing up, there were few moments where I remember thinking “This could be the soundtrack to my life”: at the ripe age of roughly 10, I heard Jeremy by Pearl Jam.  So began the soundtrack.

I was in love.

Then I heard the entire album called Ten, Pearl Jam‘s phenomenal debut.  There are not many, if any, debut albums that I know of that are as solid, impressive, powerful and popular as Pearl Jam‘s Ten was, and still is.  I can’t remember how many times I listened to this album at my neighbour’s house when I was growing up.  I think it started driving him a little mental.

I don’t know what it was about the album, I just couldn’t get enough.  And this is why I’m writing this post today.  I was listening to the radio (again) while driving and heard Glorified G by Pearl Jam.  Definitely not their most popular song, and a long-shot from being their best, but still a good song.  As the song played and built in intensity and musical dexterity (wicked guitar solo), I realized I was quite enjoying the song and found myself rocking out a little bit.

It made me wonder: what happened to Pearl Jam?

When did it all go wrong, or at least not-so-right?

It’s not that their music now is the worst stuff around, not by far, but it’s such a far cry from their first three, even five albums, I almost feel as if they should have changed their name to respect what they had previously accomplished.  Pearl Jam used to be my favourite band, but it’s funny how things can change.  I’m not a hater of the band now, I just don’t find myself clamoring for the new Pearl Jam album like I did back in the day.  I don’t think I’m alone in that one, either.

To me, Pearl Jam is Yellow Ledbetter, Jeremy, Corduroy, Rearviewmirror, Elderly Woman Behind A… you get the point.  These are all very different but very fantastic songs that each bring something unique and honest to the table.  I don’t feel that Just Breathe or The Fixer does anything like that.  In fact, I don’t feel they have had a song since I Am Mine that has really brought something new and exciting to the table (and I didn’t even really like that song when it came out!)

Pearl Jam will always remain a favourite of mine, not for what they continue to do, but for what they have done.  I only wish there was a little bit of magic left in the tank.

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~ by whet_hopped on August 18, 2010.

5 Responses to “The Charred Remains of Pearl Jam”

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more, I was just going to recommend you check out a pearl jam song I have recently discovered on one of our playlists at work, but it seems you are aware of “Just Breathe”, so nevermind!

  2. I remember listening to Jeremy with you in your dad’s truck when we were late for a canucks game!

    • Haha, that’s crazy! Quite the memory you’ve got Mr. Lane. I don’t remember hearing that song in the truck that night, but I DO remember missing the first 2 periods and just getting there in time for the second intermission. That was a fun night!

  3. it seems most bands at some point change for the worse unfortunately.Led Zeppelin and Tragically hip come to mind to name a couple. It is too bad because the Pearl Jam concerts were some of the best.

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