Monday, 25 February 2008



I have to concede that back in the day I did fall hook, line and sinker for Pearl Jam.  I didn’t really understand the apparent feud that was occurring between them and Nirvana; I didn’t strike me that anything they were doing was particularly wrong.  These guys looked just as troubled and from my side of the fence, their posturing was earnest and pained, not false and laboured.  Sure they went straight onto a major label and thus lacked Sub Pop cred but their songs sounded great and to a trouble teenager in the early nineties that was all that mattered.

“Even Flow” was easily the best single to be lifted from Ten.  It still saw Vedder at his most lyrically earnest but the song possesses bounce which the band could probably have done with more as too many times early on their songs would meander into unnecessary guitar breaks and modern solos, not that this song avoids being guilty of such a transgression.  The rumble present here counteracts such effects.

“Thoughts arrive like butterflies”.

The single houses one of best known Pearl Jam b-sides in the form of “Dirty Frank” which is a downright funky stomper that unsurprisingly will have appealed to the Red Hot Chili Peppers fans in the audience.  It even comes with a weird En Vogue vocal take off.  This was definitely a bad that did not care too much about its punk/indie credentials (at least at this stage).

Finally the CD ends with a remix of “Oceans” which doesn’t sound a whole lot different to the version from the album (crapper sounding drums, more echo on the vocals).  I’m guessing this was the version originally intended for release as single, the one they made the surfer video for.  Again, something else Nirvana would not have been caught dead doing.  Still, it’s a blissed out track with no real literary meaning just a vehicle for which Vedder was able to display his range and sensitive soul.

I used to love “Even Flow” but time has not been kind on/to any of us.

Thesaurus moment: spent.

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