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Pearl Jam - 'Lightning Bolt'

The quintet’s 10th album tries to experiment, but there’s something very ‘mopey American teenager’ about ‘Lightning Bolt’

  • Release Date 14 Oct, 2013
  • Record Label Virgin/EMI
  • Pearl Jam - 'Lightning Bolt'
4 / 10
It feels impossible that ‘In Utero’ is already two decades old, but even more unthinkable is that Nirvana contemporaries Pearl Jam are still trotting out their turgid rock blub-fests.

The quintet’s 10th album tries to experiment with prog-lite (‘Yellow Moon’) and jangle pop (‘Sleeping By Myself’) and delivers some punky four-chorders (‘Mind Your Manners’). But there’s something very ‘mopey American teenager’ about ‘Lightning Bolt’, and if Eddie Vedder didn’t have the rest of his band in tow he would just sound like a loon at the back of the bus. Worst of all, it’s dull – which, against all the odds, makes us look back at Vedder’s 2011 solo album ‘Ukulele Songs’ – tracks played on the tiny Hawaiian instrument – with fond memories. At least it was a curiosity.

Kate Hutchinson

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