Review: Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt

By Alle Royale

Another year is passing; another Pearl Jam record hits the airwaves. Eddie Vedder and co. have been around as a band since forever, always making music regularly, always touring, staying together and growing together from worldwide smash grunge phenomenon to one of the most respected classic rock act in the show business.

Yes, you did read it well, Pearl Jam has developed to the point of becoming as classic as a classic rock band can be, but in the best possible ways; that means they smoothed the rough edges of their juvenile fury without losing their typical intensity, while the lyrics paint landscapes of poetical depths more than of ideological rage.

One fine example is the new punk rock single, “Mind Your Manners”, where the guitar sounds remind more of the aural attack of Television’ “Marquee Moon” than The Ramones, and, generally, the band seems much more in control of their powers, being at the peak of a process of maturation that has been slow and gradual, but inescapable, every past album representing a step in the direction of “Lightning Bolt”.

Another year is passing, another Pearl Jam record hits the airwaves, and what really stands out is the on-going top quality of their material, as if they founded the fountain of eternal youth; maybe most of you reading this didn’t notice, but they are still here, still relevant, still beautiful. Maybe they are no more the flavour of the month, but they are better than before, and much, much better than most flavours of the month.

“Lightning Bolt”, as previous album “Backspacer” was, is a stellar effort with no weak episode, no filler, no posing; it’s heartfelt and sincere, and songs like the marvelous “Sirens” are there to testify.

The other day I was passing some time, as usual, in a record store, and suddenly “Lightning Bolt” was on air; I was there, inspecting records and listening and…I could hum every single song, even if had listened to the record just a handful of times at home. Those songs had already found their paths inside me, just like good songs do, just like Pearl Jam are doing since a lot of years: they are finding their paths to reach everyone of you.

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