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Binaural

Pearl Jam

Release Date: 05.16.00
Record label: Sony
Genre(s): Rock

80 Music-Critic Score
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A Continuing Excellence
by: peter naldrett - uk correspondent


Although keeping a lower profile than other rock giants such as REM and U2, the persistent quality and depth of Pearl Jam's music over the last 10 years has rightly installed them as one of the "Big Three."


Since the ground-breaking album Ten launched them into super-stardom in 1991 (at the same time as Out Of Time catapulted REM into the stratosphere of rock), there has been no looking back for Eddie Vedder's outfit.


Their latest release, Binaural, is their sixth studio album and is typical of a rock band that has reached a plateau of greatness, it being musically sound and lyrically intelligent. A testimony to the quality of Binaural is "Thin Air," starting as a cleverly worked ballad and ending on a crest of rousing guitars. The variety of Pearl Jam's first collection of new tracks for two years is further reflected in the opening blitzkrieg of "Breakerfall," the radio-friendly "Light Years" and the experimental "Insignificance." Another to watch out for is "Nothing As It Seems," the album's first single takes its time to infect the lobes with beautiful dirge-like vocals.


In true rock style, Pearl Jam are linking the launch of the album to a full world tour that started in Lisbon and will reach our shores (the UK) in late May and early June. For those unable to get tickets, Binaural is a welcome substitute, especially as it comes with attractive packaging and a 32-page booklet that puts many major artists to shame.