Customer Reviews


383 Reviews
5 star:
 (242)
4 star:
 (77)
3 star:
 (29)
2 star:
 (21)
1 star:
 (14)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Mix!
Pearl Jam are back after 4 years from their last release. While the last album Backspacer had some mixed reviews, overall consesus was good. For myself Backspacer was there best since Yield. Now, when Mind your manners came out I was pretty excited because it had a punk type feel of the Vitalogy years mixed in with Backspacer. I believe McCready said he was inspired...
Published 14 months ago by Lonnie L. Fowler

versus
33 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not MY kind of PJ album, but not bad
This is what I call a positive negative review, meaning I'm not as fond of this album as others but I have nothing really negative to say about it or Pearl Jam. I've been with these guys since the very beginning, and to say I'm a "fan" doesn't begin to describe how much I love this band. Up until Backspacer, the only album I wasn't quite as fond of out of their catalog...
Published 14 months ago by Jason A. Kentros


‹ Previous | 1 239 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Mix!, October 16, 2013
This review is from: Lightning Bolt (Audio CD)
Pearl Jam are back after 4 years from their last release. While the last album Backspacer had some mixed reviews, overall consesus was good. For myself Backspacer was there best since Yield. Now, when Mind your manners came out I was pretty excited because it had a punk type feel of the Vitalogy years mixed in with Backspacer. I believe McCready said he was inspired by Dead Kennedy's on the song that he actually wrote music for. When Sirens single came out, I was amazed again by another quality ballad. Everyone was spot on in Sirens, the lyrics, the melody, the keys, guitar, guitar solo etc... An instant classic. As far as the album as a whole, it starts off fast with Getaway, reminiscent of Yield type of sound. Next of course is Mind Your Manners. Then another rocker in Fathers Son, which has an odd tropical type bridge that takes a bit to get used to. Sirens comes in too ease the heaviness of the begining. After that you get a jolt of Lightning Bolt that has another Yield type of sound with a hint of Tom Petty. Great song. Next 2 songs are Infallible and Pendelum, which I think are the gems of the album. Infallible has a funky bass grove and catchy chorus that is instantly epic. Pendelum has this haunting type of begining that almost sounds like a sonar then takes off with slight simple progressions. Next is Swallowed Whole which is rocking rhythm guitar with lyrics to match, which honestly reminds me of S/T album and Backspacer. Next is the bluesy Let the Records Play that has a catchy chorus and McCready wails some blues several times throughout. Sleeping By Myself is the full bands version of Ed's solo song off Ukelele Songs. Liked that they added more components to this version. Yellow Moon almost reminds me of something Ed did off of Into The Wild. Future Days ends the album off just right with a ballad with simplicity and heart. Overall, whether you're a PJ veteran or a newbie there is a lot to appreciate with this album. However, if you're looking for the Pearl Jam of the 90's I don't recommend it to those people because it's not 90's anymore and Pearl Jam have grown up and evolved into something greater. They've expanded their horizons and never settled for anything less. I almost gave up on Pearl Jam after Riot Act's passion-less effort. I'm glad I stayed for the ride. Lightning Bolt is another Pearl Jam classic and recoommend it for those with an open mind to give it a spin. Lightning Bolt to me is a mix of many things that they have done well in the past and also brought new adventures with it. The begining reminds me of Vitalogy/Yield/Backspacer then the middle sort of reminds me of Binaural with Infallible and Pendelum. The end of the album sort of has an Into the Wild/Backspacer/Ukelele songs feel. Hope my review gave insight to what I consider a pretty good Pearl Jam album that will continue to grow on me.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


52 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HAUNTING, FAMILIAR, October 15, 2013
This review is from: Lightning Bolt (Audio CD)
I love Pearl Jam. I have since they first hit the scene, and I've been lucky enough to see them live seven times over the past twenty years. I'm way too biased to even pretend I can give you an objective view, but I can offer up the following observations of "Lightning Bolt":

• The music on this album covers more range than I think I've ever heard from them. From their grungy roots to their emotional ballads to their experiments with jangly blues, new wave and psychedelia, everything is here.

• At the same time, there is a cohesiveness to this album that I can't really recall on any Pearl Jam album since No Code. Whenever I start listening, I feel compelled to listen to the whole thing. That did not happen with Backspacer or the Avocado album. I think part of it is lyric-based. Everything on this album seems thematically connected, as there is an ever-present tension between inner emptiness and soul satisfaction. There is no Johnny Guitar or George Bush monologue to contend with. The stories that are told are more first-person and feel less contrived.

• Ed is unafraid to let you into his heart, and that is a double-edged sword. If you buy into it and take his lyrics seriously, you will be richly rewarded. The band clearly is "all in" on Ed's style of songwriting at this point, and helps ensure that lyrics like the following, from "Sirens," pack the necessary emotional punch:

"It's a fragile thing / This life we lead / If I think too much / I can get over- / whelmed by the grace / By which we live our lives / With death over our shoulders"

If you aren't looking for your heart strings to be pulled, and you have had a problem with Ed's soft side in the past, then that issue will likely come up again for you in spades with this album. On the other hand, you'll probably still dig the way he wails on songs like "Infallible" and "Swallowed Whole," and "Mind Your Manners" and "Let the Records Play" will probably appeal to the pit mosher and barn stomper in you.

• There is a "somber hopeful" paradox that absolutely enthralls me. It goes hand in hand with what seems to be a new emphasis on setting the mood. After front-loading the album with three pretty straightforward songs of angst, Pearl Jam really starts revealing that mood at the song "Sirens", which combines the dark imagery of ambulance sirens with transcendent lyrics of love. The music finds a way to echo this, which to me is somewhat of a revelation on this record. The new concert opener, "Pendulum" is also dark and beautiful. "Swallowed Whole" is an anthemic uplifting tune that has an unexpected, navel-gazing Pink Floyd keyboard drop in the middle. "Yellow Moon" has the kind of splintering tension that harkens back to "Release". And while I originally thought "Future Days" was overly sappy, the dark church organ that booms during the "I believe" lyric keeps the tension tight in that song as well.

All in all, I think this is one of Pearl Jam's finest works, exploring new ground while deftly weaving together the skills the band has acquired over the years. All the songs feel fresh and beg to be played live, and in my opinion, there isn't any "filler", which cannot be said about every album by this band. Bravo!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


32 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lightning Bolt: A great addition to the Pearl Jam catalog, October 15, 2013
By 
Russ Bashaw (Washington State) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lightning Bolt (MP3 Music)
Yeah the dudes are getting older, but Eddie Vedder, Mike McCready, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, and Matt Cameron are still really great musicians willing to expand their music pallets. Of course some of the songs off the new record Lightning Bolt are going to be a bit soft for some, but, think about it this way: The same group that put out Ten have had 20+ years to grow and evolve as musicians. They're not the disenfranchised youth anymore so it should go without question that the album is going to sound much different than anything else that they have put out earlier in their careers.

Some of the songs such as "Mind Your Manners" have a driving bass element from Ament that is akin to his playing in his other side project RNDM. Furthermore, Matt Cameron just participated on a new Soundgarden album recently, but he's never had a problem separating the style of play that he has for each band, but I feel like he used a lot of his good fills for the SG album and not here for PJ. Stone does what Stone does best. Would really like to see a double solo from him and McCready sometime, but I don't think that will happen any time soon. Eddie will be Eddie, as he always has been. His vocals are tight and sound as should and lyrically he is as intriguing as ever. Check out Pendulum and Infallible as examples.

Here's a track-by-track break down from my first couple of spins from the album:

"Getaway" feels like a radio-rock tune talking about criticism. I feel like this could have been the closing track of the album with as much negative press they might receive from the record, as a giant middle finger saying, "Hey, we're going to write and record the music we want to write and record, so piss off."

"Mind Your Manners" would have been a track on Vitalogy had it been written during the nineties. It has some attitude but I feel it was written and recorded to appease some of those who didn't want to give up grunge-era PJ. Its good, and EV has an edge to his voice that has been missing from some of the previous PJ releases.

"My Father's Son" leads off with fantastic Jeff Ament bass work that I feel we don't get to hear very much. Musically, this is a good, but I am not crazy about the vocals on the track.

"Sirens" definitely feels like a ballad, but I like it. Its a departure from much of what we've heard from PJ. It isn't "Last Kiss" (thank god) and EV's voice is great on the track. The introduction of the song might irk some but it's one that quickly picks up steam throughout the track.

The title track "Lightning Bolt," sounds like something that would have been on Backspacer. Those who know me know I'm not the biggest Backspacer fan. The album was a little too optimistic for my tastes but given the time frame and political circumstances of the release (2009) it is understandable.

"Infallible" sounds like the band was doing some experimenting with different soundscapes. It's different and clever. I dig it.

"Pendulum" is my favorite track on the album. For some of you, it might be your least favorite. Once you listen to the whole thing, you'll know why. Indescribable in my mind. It's the Present Tense of Lightning Bolt.

"Swallowed Whole" is good. I was taken aback from the acoustics used on the latter part of the album, but the sonic transition is good. More from Ament's bass on this one too.

"Let The Records Play" reminds me of a track that would have been coming out of late 50s early 60s rock and roll, and the title is aptly named. This reminds me of Johnny Guitar, and is one of the more "funner" tunes of recent Pearl Jam memory. Very Backspacer esque.

"Sleeping By Myself" is a very sad one and a track that you'd listen to on repeat after being cheated on. This originally appears on Eddie's Ukulele album and in all honesty I feel that is the better version.

"Yellow Moon" has an interesting intro that reminds me musically of the intro of Alice in Chains "Sludge Factory" during their MTV unplugged set. There is some organ on this too, which was caught me off guard, but I really liked it. McCready jams on this a little bit and his solos are perfectly placed on the track - this song would have been great on the Into The Wild soundtrack that Eddie did a few years ago.

Future Days" also features piano, which is something that older fans might not have expected from PJ, but it is a welcome album closer. I imagine this one, as with most Pearl Jam tunes, will be much more enjoyable live than in studio.

If this album wasn't a Pearl Jam record it would probably receive a much better grade from media at-large, if of course, it was given the time of day (it's damn hard to get an album heard by mainstream media that isn't pushed by a label). But Pearl Jam doesn't exist to appease the mainstream media and that's a joy that a lot of us fans take solace in.
The album is worth listening to and owning and I look forward to seeing them play these songs live for years to come.
Find more reviews for all things Rock, Indie, and Electronic at audiohammock.com
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Album since Yield, November 5, 2013
By 
This review is from: Lightning Bolt (Audio CD)
Ever since i heard the first track off of Ten, I have been a HUGE Pearl Jam fan. They have easily become my favorite band and I consider them the closest thing us 30+ year olds have to a Led Zeppelin. As much as it pains me to say, the past several PJ albums have been disappointing to me. Then having to wait 5 years for new music was adding salt on the wound but it is all better now. This album is amazing and has me excited to see them live again!!! It is by far their best release since Yield and I highly recommend getting it.

One thing you will notice on this album is that Eddie's voice has never sounded better. Even the lyrics are top notch from start to finish. It starts off strong with "Getaway" and "Mind Your Manners". All Jeff Ament fans are going to love the bass in "Father's Son". The song "Sirens" is a beautiful power ballad and it gets stuck in your head so easily. "Lightning Bolt" is an instant classic and can easily be the best song on the album. Another standout is the old school rock vibe of "Let the Records Play". Aside from these rocking songs, there are 3 other slower songs that are just as enjoyable: "Infallible", "Pendulum", and "Yellow Moon". My only complaint about the album is the song, "Sleeping by myself", which is just a rehashed song from Eddie's Ukulele album. It is awful and doesn't belong here.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


33 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not MY kind of PJ album, but not bad, October 20, 2013
This review is from: Lightning Bolt (Audio CD)
This is what I call a positive negative review, meaning I'm not as fond of this album as others but I have nothing really negative to say about it or Pearl Jam. I've been with these guys since the very beginning, and to say I'm a "fan" doesn't begin to describe how much I love this band. Up until Backspacer, the only album I wasn't quite as fond of out of their catalog was the 2006 album known as "Avocado", although over time some of it grew on me; just not one I play often. When Backspacer came out, I was all in; that was my favorite since Yield, which is my favorite Pearl Jam album. As information started pouring out regarding this new album, I heard the excitement in the band which got me really excited about it. Then I heard Mike say that it's "way better than Backspacer" and heard "Mind Your Manners" and I was counting the days. After hearing the album a few times now I disagree with Mike but I'm not saying he is wrong, I'm just saying that for me this is not way better than ANY of their albums, not just Backspacer.

I enjoy the opening two rockers "Getaway" and "Mind Your Manners", and after a few listens I really enjoy "Sirens" and "Pendulum". Aside from those and the title track there aren't many others on the album I would listen to on a regular basis. I'm not disappointed in this album or in the band, this is just another "Avocado" for me, an album that for whatever reasons didn't grab me the way the others have. In the big picture, it's hardly significant because after all this is Pearl Jam, the band whose music has been the soundtrack of my life. Being a fan doesn't mean that you're automatically going to love every piece of music your favorite band makes, I think that's what is called being "biased". I'll just have to wait to see what comes next but that won't be too hard with a huge catalog of amazing music to help me get by. I'll still buy it because I will always support these guys and over time I may learn to appreciate it a little more. Besides that, it just wouldn't feel right to leave a gap in my PJ library. Of course I will see them on tour because they're amazing live.

For anyone reading this review and feeling discouraged, let me remind you that there will always be albums you love that many people don't like and it makes you love it even more because it gives you that feeling of "they're all crazy". Let this be one of those albums for you, allowing my subtle disapproval to stand as your motivation to love it more to spite me! I love Pearl Jam, always have, always will, and I applaud the fact that they've never made the same album twice. That kind of constant evolution means that now and then one may not appeal to someone as well as others, and I'm alright with that. I'd love to hear from some of the other longtime fans, whether you agree or disagree.

**UPDATE 10-30-13**
The album has been out for two weeks (and it's been "Ten" days since I first posted my review, haha). Rather than beat the songs I like to death I've been giving some time to each of the ones I had dismissed. So far, out of those tracks "Swallowed Whole" is the biggest "what was I thinking" moment; really like that one now. Overall, I'm happy with the first 8 tracks (except for Infallible) and the rest I could do without, except for Yellow Moon. That one took a few listens but glad it made it on the album; wish it was the closer.

So, after giving it more of a chance the number of songs I enjoy has increased to 8 out of 12, but I stand by my initial review and rating because I still feel the same way about the album as a whole. The impression I walk away with from this album (more than the last few) is that Mr. Vedder is not the shy angry guy he once was. The intensity and ferocity from songs like "Go", "Animal", "Habit" and "Why Go" (to name a few) isn't lost but perhaps less organic as he's overcome his personal demons and the inspiration comes from a different place. Of course the band still rocks and at times has more attitude and vigor than ever, but what excites me the most is that with each album you can tell that these guys really appreciate and respect each other in how they collaborate. Always looking forward to what comes next from these guys!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pearl Jam greatest band of the last 20 years., November 5, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Lightning Bolt (Vinyl)
Everyone complains on how this album is too soft etc etc and how its horrible. People seem to forget these guys have been making music for 20+ years. Everyone thought the "grunge" movement was a fade. Pearl Jam out lasted them all. They evolve with every album. I simple love this album and anyone who is stuck in the 1990s wake up and smell the coffee its 2013 my friends. PJ20
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made me a fan!, October 28, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Lightning Bolt (MP3 Music)
I hadnt really listened to anything by pearl jam before this album, being exposed to Jeremy and Alive, left me with the impression that they were kinda a dark band. i will admit it, I was wrong. I absolutely love this album, and it has helped me to appreciate all of the other great music they have put out.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get the "vinyl" format - It melts the cd or digital quality - The album feels nice in the hands and the inserts are awesome, November 7, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Lightning Bolt (Vinyl)
5 stars are because no-one else is doing anything remotely good in the music business now...

Get the "vinyl" format - It melts the cd or digital quality - The album feels nice in the hands and the inserts are awesome
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gets a bit boring at the end., October 23, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Lightning Bolt (MP3 Music)
The album starts out with a bang with "Get Away" and then "Mind Your Manners." There are a few good tracks after that,
"Sirens," which is this albums version of "Black," and Lightening Bolt, are both good songs, but then it starts to go down hill. "Infallible" reminds me too much of "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilara and the guitar parts are similar to "Tremor Christ." "Pendulum is a really good song, haunting and thought provoking. But after "Pendulum" it just gets boring. They try to rock it out with the "Let The Records Play" but the lyrics are too lame to let it really work. Then its just one boring slow song after another ultimately ending in a "country" tune. "Yellow Moon" sounds like Eddies cover of "Big Hard Son" off of his solo album. Most of the album was written by Eddie, and you can imediately tell his songs, and by Jeff Ament. The Ament songs are really the highlights of the album. Stone Gossard contributes only one song and I believe this is why the album fails. Gossard was the main song writer in the bands early days and has now been supplanted by Vedders all too predictable song writing. You can tell that the band just writes songs individually and then records them as a group. The album sounds like a "greatest hits" of all the members solo works, and not a Peal Jam album. "Backspacer" had a similar problem but had more rockers on it to keep you interested despite Eddies constant interuptions. I will say that for once Eddies voice doesn't ruin the songs as it often does in the past. If you are going to buy this album on MP3, just buy the first 7 and save yourself some money.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacks energy and intensity, bottoms out in the second half., October 30, 2013
By 
M. Daneker (Spinnerstown, Pa USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lightning Bolt (Audio CD)
If you recall the intensity of the performance that first garnered Eddie Vedder so much attention upon the release of Ten, you'll only have to watch him now to know what's missing from PJ 20 years later. On one hand you might say holding that would be a far stretch two decades later, but I present artist from Elvis & The Beatles to Metallica and the Rolling Stones as argument that growing and become more fierce with age is possible.

Lightning Bolt kicks off with 10 minutes of solid PJ rockers that recall the freedom and immediacy of Go & Spin the Black Circle. Then the unspeakable happens, arena rock, the great, big, should never have happened Sirens. I'm not sure why we should be impressed that they can pull off a Journey style power ballad thirty years later, but we shouldn't be.

We get one more burst of energy, the should-have-tweaked-the-chorus title song which aims but never fires, it's just "ok".

Then the album pulls over and gets out of the car and walks home, dragging it's feet. Sure, Let the Records Play is a do-whap beat with a throw back message, a solid B side. The other songs are purely devoid of energy, phone-in mini opus's that seem to just blend together and drag on until the CD repeats and the three really good songs play again. Why we would re-do "Sleeping By Myself"is confusing, but Swallowed Whole sounds like a through-away from the superior "into the wild" soundtrack. Yes, the final 7 songs are all passible and one or two of them on any PJ record would be ok, but these songs aren't Black, Release, Indifference, Immortality or The End. The lack the passion and all grouped together they collectively sink the ship.

It's also worth noting the slick, polished sound. Takes all the life write out of the music. Every since Yield the production on PJ records (other than the self-titled one) has been a dreary wash of radio-friendly clean and crisp. It's like they try so hard to live up to the expectations they perceive us to have of them that they fall even shorter for it.

PJ, is a great band, but they show the ease in which they write, especially considering this was done in two quick sessions a year apart. EV says they aim to put out the best record, period, shame they didn't try to write it first. I think the worse thing is that we all know they could do this record in their sleep, which is why I wish they'd wake up.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 239 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Lightning Bolt
Lightning Bolt by Pearl Jam (Audio CD - 2013)
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.