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Rate Breakerfall
5 Stars 11%  11%  [ 4 ]
4 Stars 50%  50%  [ 18 ]
3 Stars 28%  28%  [ 10 ]
2 Stars 6%  6%  [ 2 ]
1 Star 6%  6%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 36
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 Post subject: Song of the Moment: Breakerfall
PostPosted: Fri December 28, 2012 5:17 pm 
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old thread archived here

I think you could make an argument that Breakerfall is the most forgotten song in Pearl Jam’s primary catalogue, as it is immediately followed by two weak songs, and is overshadowed by the other opening album tracks. And while Breakerfall is far from the best thing the band has ever produced, I do think it has been unjustly forgotten.

The frantic build to the start is a wonderful way to start the record. There is so much energy here, the main riff is pretty cool, and there are a number of good guitar fills and some strong solos. Matt and jeff do a strong job propelling the song along, even if there work is muted by the Binaural murk (I love Matt’s rolling drums in the bridge especially). And Eddie sounds animated and full of passion and conviction. While there isn’t anything truly memorable here, it is a very solid musical package, and there is a freshness to it. So what’s the problem?

I think some of it is the placement of the song on the record, as I said above. We’d forget Last exit if it was followed by gods dice and evacuation. But I think the bigger problem is something that another poster (punkdavid I think) hit on in another thread. Pearl Jam’s catalogue is populated by sympathetic characters who have been wounded in some way and are looking for redemption in love. But there is no sympathy here. The main character is the source of her own pain and loneliness, and not because there are larger external issues she can’t cope with, but simply because she sounds like a brat. There’s no empathy here, and so you don’t particularly care what happens to the person. Eddie’s vocals don’t’ take you anywhere as a result, and the song ends up sliding off you, instead of colliding with you and forcing you inside it. Breakerfall never quite never makes it past its slick surface and ends up disposable, which is a shame since musically it’s really a strong number, with good performances all around. It’s doubly a shame since there is also a concept here worth exploring in more detail. The way in which we can be our own worst enemy and close ourselves off to the world around us and the love it gives is a rich well they’ve tapped but have hardly exhausted

3.5 Stars. Would be 4 with better lyrics

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Breakerfall
PostPosted: Thu August 08, 2013 8:12 pm 
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So this song has been owning me recently. In the studio there's the shadowy after-vocals, the beautiful bass and Mike being a slut. Live, there's the potential for some additional bass shenanigans at the beginning, Ed howling like a banshee and a great ending. And both show a simple progression of E can make me slide off the seat like a recently fiddled-with busty schoolgirl.

But towering over it all is the riff. The riff! Oh Jesus it's amazing. It's one of my favourites the band have written. Listen to that bitch on Binaural. It gives the impression of a smooth-moving yet rickety steam punk Howl's Moving Castle pursued by some predatory plodding bass creature whilst smoothly moving up the gears of E. And then drugged up Mikey comes in and adds another layer of complaining guitar.

In short, Breakerfall: hold me down and call me Sally.

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Breakerfall
PostPosted: Fri August 09, 2013 11:15 am 
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Wow, the first time I heard this song I thought it was the lamest thing ever. Now I like it because it starts the album known as Binaural, but that's almost the only reason I like it.

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Breakerfall
PostPosted: Fri August 09, 2013 11:18 am 
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harmless wrote:
Wow, the first time I heard this song I thought it was the lamest thing ever. Now I like it because it starts the album known as Binaural, but that's almost the only reason I like it.

I still think it's pretty forgettable, certainly their weakest opener to date at that point.

I really don't enjoy this song very much.


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Breakerfall
PostPosted: Fri August 09, 2013 11:21 am 
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Birds in Hell wrote:
harmless wrote:
Wow, the first time I heard this song I thought it was the lamest thing ever. Now I like it because it starts the album known as Binaural, but that's almost the only reason I like it.

I still think it's pretty forgettable, certainly their weakest opener to date at that point.

I really don't enjoy this song very much.


But... it's produced nicely. And the speaking background vocals on the chorus lifts it from being even worse. They need to add those speaking vocals to the chorus of Lightning Bolt to make it cool.

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Breakerfall
PostPosted: Fri August 09, 2013 11:53 am 
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Birds in Hell wrote:
harmless wrote:
Wow, the first time I heard this song I thought it was the lamest thing ever. Now I like it because it starts the album known as Binaural, but that's almost the only reason I like it.

I still think it's pretty forgettable, certainly their weakest opener to date at that point.

I really don't enjoy this song very much.


probably their weakest opener.

Followed by their weakest second track

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Breakerfall
PostPosted: Fri August 09, 2013 12:10 pm 
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Really dislike this song. I think the music is ok. Probably could have benefited from being a little harder edged. The lyrics drag the whole song down for me.

2 stars

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Breakerfall
PostPosted: Fri August 09, 2013 12:13 pm 
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GSMF always reminds me of this song, but much better.

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Breakerfall
PostPosted: Fri August 09, 2013 12:15 pm 
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Juvenal wrote:
So this song has been owning me recently. In the studio there's the shadowy after-vocals, the beautiful bass and Mike being a slut. Live, there's the potential for some additional bass shenanigans at the beginning, Ed howling like a banshee and a great ending. And both show a simple progression of E can make me slide off the seat like a recently fiddled-with busty schoolgirl.

But towering over it all is the riff. The riff! Oh Jesus it's amazing. It's one of my favourites the band have written. Listen to that bitch on Binaural. It gives the impression of a smooth-moving yet rickety steam punk Howl's Moving Castle pursued by some predatory plodding bass creature whilst smoothly moving up the gears of E. And then drugged up Mikey comes in and adds another layer of complaining guitar.

In short, Breakerfall: hold me down and call me Sally.

You need to post more, Juvey. This board needs more of this, bitch!

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Breakerfall
PostPosted: Fri August 09, 2013 12:27 pm 
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Sexy bitch, that is.

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Breakerfall
PostPosted: Fri August 09, 2013 12:32 pm 
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Where's stuzzo?

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Breakerfall
PostPosted: Fri August 09, 2013 12:32 pm 
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No wait. I was a bit unfair on this song. There's some great things about it. I just can't be bothered to describe them all. It's got that rock-and-roll vocal / riff thing going on in the verse, and the chorus riff is very nice, as well as the double-snare on the first hit of the bar, like in rock and roll. Yeah.

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Breakerfall
PostPosted: Fri August 09, 2013 12:52 pm 
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I'm a fan of the music and the lyrics. It was great fun as a live openner too!


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Breakerfall
PostPosted: Fri August 09, 2013 1:03 pm 
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stip wrote:
Birds in Hell wrote:
harmless wrote:
Wow, the first time I heard this song I thought it was the lamest thing ever. Now I like it because it starts the album known as Binaural, but that's almost the only reason I like it.

I still think it's pretty forgettable, certainly their weakest opener to date at that point.

I really don't enjoy this song very much.


probably their weakest opener.

Followed by their weakest second track


Stip, I'm going to have to beat you. No reach around for you tonight.

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Breakerfall
PostPosted: Fri August 09, 2013 1:04 pm 
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Also - I shouldn't post drunk.

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Breakerfall
PostPosted: Fri August 09, 2013 1:07 pm 
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Juvenal wrote:
Also - I shouldn't post drunk.

You should post drunk more, Chris.

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Breakerfall
PostPosted: Fri August 09, 2013 1:11 pm 
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No, you totally should. That description of Breakerfall is a thing of beauty. For me, I think I'm closer to Harmless's opinion. This a good, mid-tier song that's elevated because it's the opener on my favorite PJ album.


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Breakerfall
PostPosted: Fri August 09, 2013 2:34 pm 
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This song has some interesting things going on, especially in the background, but it's never been a stand out for me. I want to give it four stars, but it's a song I rarely seek out. For now, it's a 3 star song for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Breakerfall
PostPosted: Fri August 09, 2013 3:48 pm 
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Loving this song recently...One of my favorite openers, altho i do agree with Stip that it suffers due to the lackluster songs that follow it...The demo version owns

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 Post subject: Re: Song of the Moment: Breakerfall
PostPosted: Fri August 09, 2013 3:56 pm 
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Been a big fan of this song recently...it used to be the only trouble spot on Binaural besides Soon Forget, but it clicked into place pretty easily. This is the kind of song they were trying to write and didn't on Backspacer; a catchy, short up-tempo that concisiously employs some pretty tried-and-true tropes (like the way it goes into that rock shuffle on the chorus, the Byrds or R.E.M.-ish riff during the verse).


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