Pearl Jam - The Fixer

NME.COM feature on Pearl Jam - The Fixer album including album review, artwork, tracks, listen now, tour dates, discography and more.

Release date: 25 August 2009

Tracklisting click track to read more

  1. The Fixer
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Pearl Jam - The Fixer: Wikipedia Album Entry

"The Fixer" is a song by the American rock band Pearl Jam. Featuring lyrics written by vocalist Eddie Vedder and music co-written by drummer Matt Cameron and guitarists Stone Gossard and Mike McCready, "The Fixer" will be released on August 24, 2009 as the first single from the band's upcoming ninth studio album, Backspacer (2009). The song has reached number two on the Billboard Rock Songs chart and number three on the Billboard Alternative Rock Tracks chart.

Origin and recording
"The Fixer" features lyrics written by vocalist Eddie Vedder and music co-written by drummer Matt Cameron and guitarists Stone Gossard and Mike McCready. Cameron wrote the majority of the song's music in 2008, while Gossard and McCready would end up writing the song's bridge. In an interview with Rolling Stone in February 2009, Vedder discussed a song matching the description of "The Fixer". Vedder stated, "That could have been a seven-minute, weird, sideways kind of artsy song with a cool groove...I tinkered with it after everyone left, and we shrunk it down and turned it into something else....I'm thinking about set lists: 'Will this be a song we'll play every night?'."

Composition
"The Fixer" is composed in the key of B major, and uses odd time signatures and switches between them regularly throughout the song. The song starts in 10/4, then switches to 6/4 for the verse, while the chorus and bridge are both in 4/4. Guitarist Stone Gossard on the song:

I think the band definitely progressed and did some things we haven't done before. When people talk about "pop" I think it’s about a simplicity of melody and a simplicity of arrangement that doesn't over complicate a good idea or a great lyric. I think "The Fixer" is a great example. You really hear something about Eddie's personality in the lyric and you get a view that a lot of people don't get from him which is a sort of optimistic and playful melody and lyric.

Release and reception
On July 14, 2009, a 30-second clip of "The Fixer" was featured on Fox's broadcast of the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. "The Fixer" was released to radio airplay on July 20, 2009. A 7" single for "The Fixer" will be released commercially through the band's official website on August 24, 2009, accompanied by the B-side "Supersonic", also from the new album. It will be made available commercially to digital music stores. A CD single for "The Fixer" will be released commercially in the UK on September 7, 2009. The song has reached number 11 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and number three on the Billboard Alternative Rock Tracks chart. In Canada, the song reached the top 70 on the Canadian Hot 100.

Stephen M. Deusner of Pitchfork Media said in his review of the song that "neither the band nor Brendan O'Brien has a light touch for this sort of classic rock-oriented pop...Vedder, whose default is tortured defiance, can't help but add too much gravity to these lyrics, as if fixin' things was an obligation instead of a calling. They work too hard here trying to have fun." Jessica Letkemann of Billboard said in her review of the song that it is "shot through with optimism at a level not seen since Pearl Jam's 1998 Yield." She added that "with Vedder mixed down among Stone Gossard and Mike McCready's warm guitars and the throat-ripping moments of his delivery somewhat muted, there's a sense of reserve that makes "The Fixer" a tease for hearing PJ in its uninhibited natural setting: live." Josh Modell of Spin said that "'The Fixer'...[exploits] Pearl Jam’s leanest, punkest tendencies...when Eddie Vedder pulls out that indignant yet inclusive snarl and proclaims, 'When something’s gone, I wanna fight to get it back again,' you can probably assume 'it' is his band’s mojo."

In September 2009, "The Fixer" will be made available as downloadable content for the Rock Band series as a master track as part of the album Backspacer.

Music video
The music video for "The Fixer" was directed by Cameron Crowe. The video was filmed at The Showbox in Seattle, Washington in May 2009. The video consists of a filmed live performance of the band rather than a conceptual video. Footage from the video will be used for a commercial for Target advertising Backspacer which features "The Fixer".

Live performances
"The Fixer" was first performed live at the band's August 8, 2009 concert in Calgary, Alberta, Canada at the Virgin Festival.

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