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Pearl Jam have lost none of their youthful fierceness. | Photo: Danny Clinch
Pearl Jam have lost none of their youthful fierceness. | Photo: Danny Clinch
Martin Hošna -

On Dark Matter, Pearl Jam Sounds Energetic and Upbeat

The last grunge veterans Pearl Jam did not disappoint on their twelfth album Dark Matter. Perfectly combining rock energy with their own elegiac fragility, they have released an album that doesn't look back to the past but writes the next chapter of their explosive style.

The bet on the young and currently sought-after producer Andrew Watt (Miles Cyrus, Rolling Stones, Ozzy Osbourne and others) clearly paid off. The eleven tracks rush along their trajectory like a roaring rock'n'roll train, pushing groovy guitar riffs, stunning solos, and their unique unwavering sentimentality in front of them.

The opening track "Scared Of Fear" sets a brisk Rolling Stones-like pace, until Eddie's wistfully insistent vocals join in. Of course, he also plays a key role on Dark Matter by providing lyrics that revolve around the innermost human thoughts and broken or disturbed relationships. But Eddie Vedder wraps his laments in an angry aroma that comes out most strongly in the title track "Dark Matter" with its wailing guitars and the opening sharp chord riff.

The other songs add to the catchiness of the album. The track "Won't Tell" is a charismatic pop-rock ballad, while "React, Respond" and "Running," with their thundering bass line, are some of the fastest punk rock songs Pearl Jam have ever recorded. The chilled and bluesy "Something Special" (co-written by former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer) rides a wave of musical optimism with gorgeous solo entrances from Mike McCready, who, like on the moving "Wreckage", pays tribute to a generation older storytelling idols Neil Young and Tom Petty.

What can musicians appreciate about the album?

Pearl Jam have lost none of their youthful fierceness. On the contrary, they unwaveringly recall it in every song, proving that even at the age of sixty, you can make music that never gets old. Matt Cameron's captivating mix of elegiac vocals, punchy guitars, keyboard layers and dynamic percussion swells with emotion like never before. Live, it's sure to be a blast.

Pearl Jam – Dark Matter obal

Pearl Jam – Dark Matter

Monkeywrench, 00:48:21


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Martin Hošna