Pearl Jam Captures the Times on New Album "Gigaton" - A Review

Music is food for the soul. In a world full of unpredictability, we’ve chosen to hang onto that idea pretty closely right now.
Fortunately, with the release of Pearl Jam’s 11th full-studio album, music has truly proven it’s worthy of that wondrous suspicion.
Entitled Gigaton, Pearl Jam’s first studio album in nearly seven years has somehow materialized at the exact time it needed to. Harping on themes like power, resilience and courage, the Seattle natives have utilized a key trick to songwriting, which now seems more critical than any other aspect — shared experiences.
Fueled by their classic grunge roots, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers have put together an album that only further cements their legitimacy in the world of rock and roll. As if they need that.
Pearl Jam Tweets About New Album 'Gigaton'
Composed of a varying rhythmic rate, the 12-song tracklist consists of a wide collection of sounds driven by Jeff Ament’s frequent heavy basslines and Mike McCready’s poignant guitar solos. And with a hard rock structure at its core, Gigaton lets out a rightful wail that seems to stem from its current audience with every listen.
Opening with an eerie introduction, the first track of the album, “Who Ever Said,” immediately sets an ominous tone for what is to come... and rightfully so. Led by a prominent kick drum and Eddie Vedder’s raw vocals, track one hones in on Pearl Jam’s classic sound.
What now seems like a premonition, was once just a handful of objective ideas that have easily molded into a lost society.
Picking up where they left off, “Superblood Wolfmoon,” guided by a ‘90s-inspired heavy lead guitar, discourages the idea of giving up as Vedder sings “don’t allow for hopelessness, focus on your focusness.” Seems a bit on the nose, right?
Pearl Jam's "Superblood Wolfmoon"
Well, it gets even better. From the slowed-down, partially acoustic anthem “Alright” which preaches it’s alright to “shut it down” and “be alone,” to the guitar solo-heavy “Never Destination” which deems confusion as a “disease” that has stripped our grace, the record's release seems to have coincided perfectly with the current unpredictable matter at hand.
And let’s not forget the folk-inspired acoustic track “Comes Then Goes” which admits that we all need a “savior from human behavior sometimes” or the tribal nature of a tom-heavy drum in “River Cross” which closes the album with a bit of comfort in the lyrics “look around at the promise now, here and now, can’t hold me down.”
Pearl Jam's "Comes Then Goes"
Assuming you recognize the affinity of present situations, it’s almost impossible to look past the importance of this album’s message, even in a general sense.
But what about specifics? Well, Vedder and company seem to have nailed that as well. Referencing his politically outspoken critique on President Donald Trump, Vedder takes advantage of a couple of hard-hitting songs to further his opinion.
In the distorted grunge sound of “Quick Escape,” Vedder mentions the president specifically, describing a narrative in which one treks across the world to find a place “Trump hadn’t f***ed up yet.” Coupled with a few mini solos and guitar slides along the way, the fourth track of the record seems to evoke a sense of rage and anger that many Americans currently share during this trying time.
And that’s not all. Eager to build on the political statement, Vedder continues his banter on the 6-minute long “Seven O’Clock” with lyrics like "then there's Sitting Bull*** as our sitting president.” Surprisingly one of the calmer hits of the album, the sixth track provides a simple instrumental backing in an effort to highlight Vedder’s lead vocals.
Pearl Jam's "Seven O'Clock"
Honing in on the subject of resilience, “Take The Long Way” and “Retrograde” manage to incorporate the theme flawlessly, emphasizing the idea of change and “momentum rearrange,” even though the fast-paced nature of the former and the smooth arrangement of the latter completely separate the two auditorially.
Pearl Jam's "Retrograde"
Surprisingly, the lead single, “Dance of The Clairvoyants,” as well as the tail end of the album, “Buckle Up,” happen to be the biggest outliers of the group. Making use of an electronic synth and a prominent bassline, along with a seamless acoustic and electric composition, the two tracks manage to put out the most modern sound of the LP, sticking to much cleaner trends over their often distorted grunge counterparts.
Pearl Jam's "Dance of The Clairvoyants"
As one of the first bands to postpone their upcoming tour, we feel unbelievably lucky to have at least received what can be considered a fair exchange. During a time in which music really is crucial to our sanity, Pearl Jam couldn’t have released a more universally relevant album. And for that, we are forever grateful.

For more information about Pearl Jam's postponed 2020 Gigaton Tour dates, along with ticketing information, please check out their official website!

Karma Police - Please Share:

Most played songs

Last updated: 13 Aug 2020, 11:35 Etc/UTC