PEARL JAM

(UNITED STATES)

BINAURAL

(2000)
LABEL:

EPIC

GENRE:

ROCK

TAGS:
"Like its two previous efforts, Pearl Jam has real qualities and obvious charm, but it struggles to maintain the magic throughout the whole of 'Binaural'."
NESTOR (16.03.2010)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s) (1) Biography + (6)
The title 'Binaural' refers to a recording technique that uses binaural beat, an artificial auditory effect based on the frequencies of sounds and similar to stereo. And it was this system that was used to record six of the tracks on Pearl Jam's sixth album. After 'Yield', which showed the band to be more cohesive and coherent than in the past but still unable to reproduce the flawlessness of their early work, Eddie Vedder's band returned in 2000 with 'Binaural'.

Right from 'Breakerfall', with its intro strongly reminiscent of The Who's 'I Can See For Miles', the tone is set. The track is catchy, well-constructed and effective, but it gives the impression of having already been heard. This feeling is reinforced by 'Gods' Dice', followed by an unremarkable 'Evacuation'. You have to wait for 'Light Years' and especially 'Nothing As It Seems' to discover a much more inspired and, above all, captivating band. With this last track, Pearl Jam becomes bewitching, notably through a superb aerial intro and the use of a soaring bass.

The pleasant surprises continue with the magnificent ballad 'Thin Air' and the faster, darker 'Insignificance', a track which, beyond its steady rhythm, is poignant and features a very inspired Eddie Vedder. 'Of The Girl', with its clean guitars, and 'Grievance' are also successes. However, this positive impression is marred by a rather unconvincing end to the album, with some very dispensable tracks such as 'Sleight Of Hand', 'Soon Forget' and 'Parting Ways', which ends on a totally pointless and ridiculous ghost track.

Like its two previous efforts, Pearl Jam shows real quality and obvious charm, but it struggles to maintain the magic over time. What's worse, at times it's self-aggrandising, a band which until now had always shone for its ability to innovate. In this sense, the arrival of Matt Cameron (ex-Soundgarden) on the sticks and the fact that the band didn't call on producer Brendan O'Brien for the first time in its career are hardly sensible. And this is starting to become worrying, leading us to doubt the band's ability to reproduce the grace of 'Ten' or 'Vs'. Wait and see...
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. Breakerfall - 02:19
02. Gods' Dice - 02:26
03. Evacuation - 02:56
04. Light Years - 05:06
05. Nothing As It Seems - 05:22 *
06. Thin Air - 03:32
07. Insignificance - 04:28
08. Of The Girl - 05:07 *
09. Grievance - 03:14
10. Rival - 03:38 *
11. Sleight Of Hand - 04:47 *
12. Soon Forget - 01:46 *
13. Parting Ways - 07:17 (+ Ghost Track)

LINEUP:
Eddie Vedder: Chant / Guitares
Jeff Ament: Basse
Mat Cameron: Batterie
Mike McCready: Guitares
Stone Gossard: Chant / Guitares
   
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