Backspacer - Pearl Jam

Something seemed to have happened to Pearl Jam after their amazingly wonderful 1998 album 'Yield'. They yielded. To what, it wasn't clear. But they certainly seemed to have stepped aside.

I've been waiting for something enjoyable from them for all these years and now after 11 years they finally have an album that is amazing again. No,  Backspacer isn't quite as good as Ten or Vitology or even Yield. However, it has the kind of energy that made Pearl Jam endearing to begin with. Eddie Vedder sings 'I want to live with the volume full' in the highly entertaining track Supersonic which is a welcome change from the unbearably lost drivel that hovered over most of Binaural, Riot Act and the self-titled Pearl Jam.

The concise 40-minute album is packed with small, bouncy songs such as Got Some, Fixer, Supersonic, Gonna See My Friend that rely on fast guitar riffs and basic rock sound. Lyrics are refreshingly juvenile and fun.

Backspacer proves once again that artists are best when they focus on art and leave every other agenda behind. Vedder has clearly hit the backspace and managed to erase most of the damage to his legacy that the last 10 years have done.