Lightning Bolt, the new Pearl Jam record, was in my mailbox when I arrived home last night. I was able to listen to it, with Alice in my arms. Without being overly trite, it was pretty moving listening to the band that I grew up with while holding my daughter.
I was thinking of doing a review, and I may down the road, but I'm not sure I'll say anything that won't be said better by others. The short of it basically boils down to this - if you like Pearl Jam, you'll like the record. If you don't, or if you're one of those people turned off by Eddie Vedder's vocal affectations, you probably won't. Needless to say, I liked it quite a bit.
A final thought. Many people try to review music (and all other art) objectively, and there is a value in that, but music is also meant to provoke an emotional response. It is impossible to experience the art of a favorite artist without the emotional connection to all of the existing work. The Pearl Jam record is consistent with their growth as artists over the 22 years since Ten was released, and Lightning Bolt fits perfectly in their discography.
I am seeing them live in Worcester tonight. Two tracks from the album I hope to hear are "Getaway" - the opener, which they have yet to perform live - and "Pendulum." I also would love to hear "Speed of Sound," a standout from their last record that they've only performed four times. They played it this past Friday in Pittsburgh, but here's hoping.
And here's hoping I'm around in 32 years to listen to whatever band Alice grows up with.