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508 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 11, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Pearl Jam lowered its profile after becoming a worldwide musical phenomenon in the early '90s, pulling back from the touring, radio, and press fronts. And this diverse 13-song outing, lacking another "Alive" or "Better Man," isn't the album to thrust Pearl Jam back into the limelight. Binaural kicks out the jams with a grandiosity worthy of the Who, as Pearl Jam roars through the loose, raucous two-minute-plus opener "Breakerfall" and into another brief rave-up, "God's Dice." Quickly, though, the loud MC5-style guitar outpourings that begin PJ's seventh album (and first to feature former Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron) morph into the edgy, taut "Evacuation" and the midtempo "Light Years." The spare, mournful "Nothing as It Seems" (with lyrics and music by bassist Jeff Ament), "Thin Air," and the lilting "Parting Ways" all reflect romantic introspection. Eddie Vedder's poignant ukulele-accompanied "Soon Forget" is an affecting aside, and the rollicking "Insignificance" and Middle Eastern-tinged "Of the Girl" are all noteworthy. That's a strong lineup, but Binaural nevertheless falls short of the heights this talented group scaled in the past. --Katherine Turman

1. Breakerfall
2. Gods' Dice
3. Evacuation
4. Light Years
5. Nothing As It Seems
6. Thin Air
7. Insignificance
8. Of The Girl
9. Grievance
10. Rival
11. Sleight Of Hand
12. Soon Forget
13. Parting Ways
14. Typing

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 11, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Epic
  • ASIN: B0014YVCDK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (508 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,860 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 81 people found the following review helpful By JC_John on May 24, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This album more than met my expectations...Although it may be a fruitless effort to compare pearl jam albums with one another, I can't understand why people have such negative things to say about Binaural. The tracks on this album individually show more development than those on any other album. Just because there isn't a song that sounds like Even Flow or Alive, does that make it a bad album? Does that make it "fall short"? What other comments have I heard? "Not fun"..what are you talking about? If any album isn't fun, it's Ten (not much variation between songs and very little risk was taken). "The songs don't stick in my head"..isn't that kindof a good thing? The less developed a song is, the easier it will stick in your head. Example: Green Day -vs- Soundgarden. 3-chord junk songs versus actual skill. Give the album a few more listens. In addition, if the songs don't stick in your head, then they will age well as a consequence. You won't get tired of them as easily as you would "Jeremy." Binaural also can boast the most equal contributions amongst band members in terms of song composition. Jeff, Stone, and Eddie have really made an effort to work together on this album. Matt Cameron on drums also gives this album alot of energy, and a different feel from the previous albums. While Ten did not take enough risks, Vitalogy (one of my other favorite albums) peaked with creativity; however, take note of all the filler songs, including pry to, aye davinita, and heyfoxymophandlemamathatsme. No Code was very searching and reflective, but didn't rock in the way that many people liked. Yield was diverse and rocking, but exhausting to listen to the whole way through. Binaural pulls it all together, and while it may not contain an "anthem" that you and your buddies can sing along to, I ask once again, isn't that a good thing?
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By on May 22, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Some say Pearl Jam are finished. Some say they went long ago when Vitalogy became the epitome of what Grunge had become - confused, muddled and dark. Some say they went with No Code, when the brash classic rock meets punk anthems of Ten and Vs. flew out the back door in favour of eastern-influenced singalongs such as Who You are and the rockers on it seemed unfocussed. Some said they died with Yield.
No matter when people say Pearl Jam 'died' or 'sold out' (and there is many a PJ fan who would dispute that last comment to the day they die), the fact remains that Pearl Jam have the potential to create some of most emotional, passionate and beautiful rock music ever made. On this album, they get there.
The album opens quickly, with Pete Townshend like riffs exploding into the speakers - its 'I can see for Miles' except this time it breaks into rapid fire bass and guitar - Breakerfall - the perfect opening for the album, and PJ sounding in fine form. That moves quickly onto 'Gods Dice'- the perfect one-two to floor this listener at the start of the album. Then comes the jilted 'Evacuation' - the Matt Cameron penned piece, filled with sparkling fills.
Then the album sparks into top gear. 'Light Years' follows - the albums mix of the best of Pearl Jam over the past ten years - its Given to Fly, Wishlist, Alive and Immortality all rolled into one and the result is one of the most beautifully crafted pop songs ever made. Stunning. 'nothing as it seems' continues in the same mold, all McCready wailing over the strum of the acoustic.
Still only five tracks in, and already we're knocked out by the sheer BEAUTY of the writing.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Ockham's Razor on June 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Pearl Jam has never been a band to be boxed into formulaic songwriting or pinned down with simple-minded categorizations. What makes PJ great is their willingness to experiment, evolve and take significant RISKS with each release. It's a risky proposition, because along with great hits can come great misses, and the public is ever so fickle and resistant to change. But it's something that will ultimately make PJ a truly standout - if not classic - band. And who in the hell ever said that you judge a band's quality by the album sales? If you believe that, you've been missing out on 90% of the best music out there. Populist tendencies and crowd-pleaser work do not necessarily a classic make.
The most ironic thing about this all is that on "Binaural" PJ continues on with their original purpose...making experimental, truly "ALTERNATIVE" music, pushing the envelope and exploring sounds and textures. It's ironic because that's what alternative and grunge were about in the first place - the spirit of the movement was about music deviating from the mainstream. No, this isn't a "Ten" or a "Vs." because those were ten years ago...back then, THAT was "alternative". PJ have continued to evolve and follow their vision. And now they're getting slammed for doing what people loved about them at first. Of course each album should be evaluated according to it's musical and lyrical substance and quality, not its's just a point that I personally find amusing.
Having said that, "Binaural" is quite, quite good. PJ here sounds restrained yet raw, elegant, graceful, mature, MUSICAL. It's a RAUCOUS album played with freshness and almost abandon - yet layered and complex.
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Topic From this Discussion
2008 Reissue?
The only difference I've found is that the booklet, while still the same size, is made from a more standard CD book paper, instead of the recycled type material of the original.
The album still kicks just as much ass!
Jun 15, 2011 by Austin Dalyai |  See all 2 posts
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