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 Post subject: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Binaural
PostPosted: Fri December 28, 2012 4:03 pm 
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old thread archived here

listen to the album and share your thoughts

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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Binaural
PostPosted: Fri January 17, 2014 7:32 pm 
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I think it's time. I even have headphones with me

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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Binaural
PostPosted: Fri January 17, 2014 7:34 pm 
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This is probably the PJ album I am the least likely to listen from start to finish, although I probably put it ahead of Riot Act in my rankings. When it came out I probably had it ranked third. Same for Riot Act too, actually, but some of that may have been me really wanting to like the record more than I did.

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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Binaural
PostPosted: Fri January 17, 2014 7:36 pm 
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Im gonna stay out of this thread because there are too many people who have horrible tastes.


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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Binaural
PostPosted: Fri January 17, 2014 7:39 pm 
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Breakerfall: This is one of the most confounding songs in the catalog for me. I WANT to love it. I really like the music--the main riff and the cacophony behind it. The shimmer edge on Eddie's voice, and the rumbling backing vocals that dull it, are pretty cool. There are some clever lyrics (it's like she lost her invitation to the party on earth and she's standing outside hating everyone here). Nice rumbling drums going into the final chorus run. there's probably a technical term that I don't know, but I love the general effect.

I do wish Mike's solo wasn't overwhelmed by the rest of the song.

Still, at the end of the day I am curiously uninterested in Breakerfall. Something about the overall affect. It's loud but muted--a bit too distant. Kind of like the lyric--standing outside the song, which diminishes it in some way. I can't really explain it. On paper all the pieces are here, but the sum is definitely significantly less than the individual parts. I think the only opener I like less is Sometimes, but sometimes is the more successful song. It does what it wants to do and I just don't care that much about it. breakerfall SHOULD appeal to everything I love about pearl jam, and doesn't

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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Binaural
PostPosted: Fri January 17, 2014 7:40 pm 
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Strat wrote:
Im gonna stay out of this thread because there are too many people who have horrible tastes.



all the more reason to lets actually listen and enlighten the rest of us. Do you really want me being the only person talking about Binaural?

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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Binaural
PostPosted: Fri January 17, 2014 7:40 pm 
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stip wrote:
Still, at the end of the day I am curiously uninterested in Breakerfall. Something about the overall affect. It's loud but muted--a bit too distant. Kind of like the lyric--standing outside the song, which diminishes it in some way.

God damnit stip, that's the whole fucking point.


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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Binaural
PostPosted: Fri January 17, 2014 7:42 pm 
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yeah, which is what turns me off to most of the album. I like this song a lot more when they turned into GSMF.

But even so, I should still like this song more than I do.

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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Binaural
PostPosted: Fri January 17, 2014 7:43 pm 
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plus isn't the whole point of binaural recordings supposed to be like you're in the room? I guess that's a neat trick if so, to invert the whole experience

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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Binaural
PostPosted: Fri January 17, 2014 7:43 pm 
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sort of, pearl jam kind of half assed it in that regard though


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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Binaural
PostPosted: Fri January 17, 2014 7:46 pm 
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Hmmm, thin air just came on. Better turn off shuffle.


God's Dice: This is even a bigger puzzle than Breakerfall, since listening to a lot of the individual elements of this song there's some good stuff here. I like the churning guitar in the 'designate/resignate' parts, there's energy, eddie sounds good (again a bit too shimmery for my tastes, but still). Yet in the end I still find this song totally boring. Everyone is playing their heart out and I just can't get excited about any one part. Matt is even doing the drum thing I like in the bridge and whatever...I have this song really loud on headphones, I'm totally enveloped by the music, and it's just background music

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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Binaural
PostPosted: Fri January 17, 2014 7:46 pm 
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cutuphalfdead wrote:
sort of, pearl jam kind of half assed it in that regard though

even on the songs BoB didn't produce?

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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Binaural
PostPosted: Fri January 17, 2014 7:47 pm 
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so mad


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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Binaural
PostPosted: Fri January 17, 2014 7:47 pm 
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Breakerfall is perhaps one of their lesser pre-S/T openers, but that's more due to the strength of the openers they had rather than a problem with Breakerfall itself.


Last edited by digster on Fri January 17, 2014 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Binaural
PostPosted: Fri January 17, 2014 7:49 pm 
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stip wrote:
cutuphalfdead wrote:
sort of, pearl jam kind of half assed it in that regard though

even on the songs BoB didn't produce?

Well not all the songs were recorded with binaural microphones to begin with. And didn't BoB just do the mixing on the songs he was brought in for? Binaural is a recording technique, not a mixing technique.


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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Binaural
PostPosted: Fri January 17, 2014 7:51 pm 
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I, for one, love the muted distance of the songs on Binaural. The loudness, while still feeling pushed away. There's something intense going on that you're not quite able to touch. But that fits in with the entire theme of the record. Even the artwork is trying to portray a sense of immense power separated by an incredibly vast distance. This is an album of muted rage, and that shows in not just how they wrote the songs, but how the recordings were constructed.


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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Binaural
PostPosted: Fri January 17, 2014 7:51 pm 
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Evacuation: Not a fan of evacuation, and have become less of one over time. Don't like the marbles in Eddie's mouth during the verses, the chorus grates, and I can see how the riff is interesting, but that doesn't make it good. To be fair, the jagged angular sound of it is not one of my favorites.

I think this is also a pretty boring bridge. It's just strumming and an unremarkable vocal melody. The second iteration is better.

I wonder why the guitar accents are so buried in all these songs.

Man, this chorus really grates. It's probably worse than habit. Yeah, it is.


I think part of the problem with the run of the first three songs is that for all the energy and intensity it seems oddly passionless--a featureless collection of songs despite a lot of stuff happening in each of them. Easily the worst opening run in the catalog by quite a bit, and one of the blandest stretch of three songs they have. that's a hard run to recover from, especially given how alienating the overall record is.


And yes, I get that this may be part of the point, but the fact that there is intentionality behind it doesn't make me care any more.

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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Binaural
PostPosted: Fri January 17, 2014 7:52 pm 
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cutuphalfdead wrote:
stip wrote:
cutuphalfdead wrote:
sort of, pearl jam kind of half assed it in that regard though

even on the songs BoB didn't produce?

Well not all the songs were recorded with binaural microphones to begin with. And didn't BoB just do the mixing on the songs he was brought in for? Binaural is a recording technique, not a mixing technique.

you're almost certainly right. I'm just being imprecise with terms I'm only broadly familiar with

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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Binaural
PostPosted: Fri January 17, 2014 7:55 pm 
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cutuphalfdead wrote:
I, for one, love the muted distance of the songs on Binaural. The loudness, while still feeling pushed away. There's something intense going on that you're not quite able to touch. But that fits in with the entire theme of the record. Even the artwork is trying to portray a sense of immense power separated by an incredibly vast distance. This is an album of muted rage, and that shows in not just how they wrote the songs, but how the recordings were constructed.


I like the way you put this. I've always had a personal correlation with R.E.M.'s early work; not necessarily in sound or style, but there was a distance or mystery in this record that isn't present in most of PJ's other stuff. But like REM's stuff, the mystery heightens the power of the songs, rather than detracts from them. I never feel like Binaural is skimping on emotion.


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 Post subject: Re: Lets Actually Listen to the Album: Binaural
PostPosted: Fri January 17, 2014 7:56 pm 
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digster wrote:
cutuphalfdead wrote:
I, for one, love the muted distance of the songs on Binaural. The loudness, while still feeling pushed away. There's something intense going on that you're not quite able to touch. But that fits in with the entire theme of the record. Even the artwork is trying to portray a sense of immense power separated by an incredibly vast distance. This is an album of muted rage, and that shows in not just how they wrote the songs, but how the recordings were constructed.


I like the way you put this. I've always had a personal correlation with R.E.M.'s early work; not necessarily in sound or style, but there was a distance or mystery in this record that isn't present in most of PJ's other stuff. But like REM's stuff, the mystery heightens the power of the songs, rather than detracts from them. I never feel like Binaural is skimping on emotion.

Reckoning is drenched in binaural recordings.


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