The board's server will undergo upgrade maintenance tonight, Nov 5, 2014, beginning approximately around 10 PM ET. Prepare for some possible down time during this process.
FAQ    Search

Board index » Watched from the Window ... » Pearl Jam




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 116 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Backspacer
PostPosted: Fri December 28, 2012 4:19 pm 
Offline
User avatar
The worst
 Profile

Joined: Thu December 13, 2012 6:31 pm
Posts: 29472
old thread archived here

Buggy wrote:
This is a multi-part series for each album. We'll move on to the next album when it seems like it's been discussed enough. I'd like to reiterate that the aim of these discussions is to hear opinions on what you think is the single most significant flaw for the album being discussed. We're not looking for general album bashing, but rather a critical look at the single biggest weakness for each record.

Example of a poor post:
There are so many things that suck on this album. Track 4, 8 and 9 are terrible and the lyrics for such and such a song a really bad. Not only that, but the cover is stupid.

Like I said, we're not looking for general album bashing. What I suggest is to go give a listen to the album being discussed. For some of us, it's been a while listening to these older albums all the way through, and it helps you think and take that critical view before you post. Try and be insightful and give good reasons why you believe the flaw you're pointing out is the biggest flaw of the album.

_________________
*Led Zeppelin Mega Tournament: Click here*


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Backspacer
PostPosted: Mon June 30, 2014 1:29 pm 
Offline
User avatar
The worst
 Profile

Joined: Thu December 13, 2012 6:31 pm
Posts: 29472
This is a tricky one for me. I don't think Backspacer has very many flaws. Overall the execution is quite solid and the songwriting hits what the album wants to accomplish. I think think the flaws with Backspacer are related to the idea behind the album--that in the end Pearl Jam fans want them to write dour, serious, weighty music, and resist something that, while not superficial, feels lighter and freer. It's interesting that Backspacer may very well be the best reviewed record they ever had among a larger music community that is not only uninvested in pearl jam sounding a particular way, but sort of relieved that for once they chose not to.

But maybe people really want an unencumbered pearl jam record and just happen to hate these songs.

Some issues:

Backspacer really closes out the developmental arc of the first 9 records. While there are some strong sonic and thematic links between Backspacer and Lightning Bolt, Lightning Bolt definitely feels like a record that marks either the beginning of a new journey or a failure to launch. Backspacer is a moment of forgiveness, redemption, and celebration after the struggles of 9 records and 20 years. When thought of in that context the record works really well, and suddenly feels a lot more substantial than it might on its own. On its own, however, I can see how it feels cheap, lightweight, unearned--the songs are something of a victory lap for a race that was run elsewhere.

The last time we did a pearl jam mix tournament I had a lot of the real heavy cathartic pearl jam songs on my team (RVM, Black, Corduroy), and I was feeling around for some final songs to draft and plugging them into the mix I had. It was amazing how much more power so many of the Backspacer songs had following a run like that--building off of those struggles, rewarding the listener for having survived them. On the album itself you don't get that feeling. Stuff like Johnny Guitar, Fixer, Got Some, Gonna See My Friend are all kind of getting at the same experience, and don't provide an internal context for it, because that context came from Ten -> S/T.

Supersonic is a bad song. The worst song in the studio catalog. Nice bridge, but that's it.

Mike is pretty unremarkable on this album, and after how strong he was on Riot Act and, to a lesser extent, S/T, this was pretty disappointing. I think the only part he plays that I really care about is the outro to Force of Nature.

The major anthems let the album down. Both Untought Known (which has a wonderful initial build to...nowhere) and Amongst the Waves (which has really nice verses but a plodding chorus) needed to recall past trials endured and obstacles overcome--to remind us why we are celebrating the present. And only Force of Nature really pulls it off--but the 10th song is a bit too late in the album for that.


I have some minor issues with a few songs. Eddie is a little reedy in got some, Johnny guitar would have been better without a fade, the huh huh huh's at the start of the fixer sound too processed and the sound of the guitar at the start of Force of Nature is terrible (those are two great songs that throw unwelcomed challenges at the listener right out of the gate). Just Breathe's chorus is maybe a bit too in your face. A song that saccharine probably needs to dial those tendencies back. While it's grown on me, speed of sound is too cluttered--and if they really wanted to make the song a cacophonus mess they should have really embraced it and gone for a full fledged distorted wall of sound. Instead I get the impression they were shooting for Off He Goes and just missed the mark.

Actually that's a lot of small issues--almost every song but GSMF and the End I can find something wrong with, but again these are small things. Overall I enjoy backspacer immensely and it is still in the top half of the canon for me. I wouldn't want every album to be backspacer, but one was a breath of fresh air

_________________
*Led Zeppelin Mega Tournament: Click here*


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Backspacer
PostPosted: Mon June 30, 2014 1:57 pm 
Offline
A Return To Form
 Profile

Joined: Wed November 13, 2013 4:34 pm
Posts: 211
stip wrote:
Supersonic is a bad song. The worst song in the studio catalog. Nice bridge, but that's it.

Mike is pretty unremarkable on this album, and after how strong he was on Riot Act and, to a lesser extent, S/T, this was pretty disappointing. I think the only part he plays that I really care about is the outro to Force of Nature.


I agree with Supersonic. The teaser they released of the bridge before the release of the album was very exciting but unfortunately it it surrounds a poor, generic song.

It is a fairly underwhelming Mike album but he has some nice moments. The dual guitar run on ATW is excellent and it's a lovely solo for the song. The Force of Nature outro is still my favourite moment on the album. The song gets too much stick in my opinion.

The production on The Fixer is just a bit too polished and squeaky clean to embrace, like they needed to use studio magic to enable Eddie to hit those notes, which was made all the more annoying when it was played half-step down when debuted a month after the single was released.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Backspacer
PostPosted: Mon June 30, 2014 2:11 pm 
Offline
User avatar
Rank This Poster
 Profile

Joined: Thu January 24, 2013 4:32 am
Posts: 4533
Gonna have to go with Johnny Guitar here.

_________________
Red Mosquito: Come for the Pearl Jam discussion, stay for the rampant homosexual innuendo.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Backspacer
PostPosted: Mon June 30, 2014 5:48 pm 
Offline
User avatar
Future Drummer
 Profile

Joined: Mon July 08, 2013 5:47 pm
Posts: 3056
Location: Louisville, KY
Take your pick-

- Album is too short
- The Fixer - just in general. That song is horrible
- Full band Speed of Sound disaster in lieu of beautiful acoustic demo
- Just Breathe lyrics and "uh-huhs"
- Unthought Known outro
- Amongst the Waves and Force of Nature are neutered PJ shells

I don't really mind Supersonic or johnny Guitar, these are the short, fun little rockers that actually fit on the album.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Backspacer
PostPosted: Mon June 30, 2014 7:00 pm 
Offline
User avatar
Looks Like a Cat
 Profile

Joined: Wed January 02, 2013 11:15 pm
Posts: 13319
Location: Seattle, WA
stip wrote:
Mike is pretty unremarkable on this album, and after how strong he was on Riot Act and, to a lesser extent, S/T, this was pretty disappointing.


But, the TEXTURES


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Backspacer
PostPosted: Mon June 30, 2014 7:02 pm 
Offline
User avatar
An enigma of a man shaped hole in the wall between reality and the soul of the devil.
 Profile

Joined: Tue January 01, 2013 5:13 pm
Posts: 29089
Location: Anywhere mediocrity is celebrated.
EVERYTHING

_________________
dev wrote:
Love pans out.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Backspacer
PostPosted: Mon June 30, 2014 7:07 pm 
Offline
User avatar
Looks Like a Cat
 Profile

Joined: Wed January 02, 2013 11:15 pm
Posts: 13319
Location: Seattle, WA
Riot Act grew on me. S/T grew on me. But I still really dislike Backspacer. It's the album created by a band that squeezed itself through a Play-Doh pop music shape cutter.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Backspacer
PostPosted: Mon June 30, 2014 7:15 pm 
Offline
User avatar
"You kids quit having fun with the word filter!"
 WWW  Profile

Joined: Tue January 01, 2013 3:35 pm
Posts: 27422
Location: don't PM me I don't have anything
bodysnatcher wrote:
stip wrote:
Mike is pretty unremarkable on this album, and after how strong he was on Riot Act and, to a lesser extent, S/T, this was pretty disappointing.


But, the TEXTURES

Patterns.

_________________
tragabigzanda wrote:
Stop it, this is pissing me off.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Backspacer
PostPosted: Mon June 30, 2014 7:22 pm 
Offline
User avatar
Looks Like a Cat
 Profile

Joined: Wed January 02, 2013 1:56 am
Posts: 13174
theplatypus wrote:
bodysnatcher wrote:
stip wrote:
Mike is pretty unremarkable on this album, and after how strong he was on Riot Act and, to a lesser extent, S/T, this was pretty disappointing.


But, the TEXTURES

Patterns.

Runs.

_________________
Cell Phone Songs



Top
 
 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Backspacer
PostPosted: Mon June 30, 2014 7:33 pm 
Offline
User avatar
Rank This Poster
 Profile

Joined: Wed January 30, 2013 4:30 pm
Posts: 4728
hlniv wrote:
- Album is too short


And yet, feels way too long.

_________________
cutuphalfdead wrote:
so glad i don't see signatures


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Backspacer
PostPosted: Mon June 30, 2014 11:39 pm 
Online
User avatar
AnalLog
 Profile

Joined: Sat January 05, 2013 9:37 am
Posts: 1940
Bammer wrote:
Gonna have to go with Johnny Guitar here.


You're a retard.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Backspacer
PostPosted: Mon June 30, 2014 11:40 pm 
Offline
User avatar
The Master
 Profile

Joined: Tue January 01, 2013 2:04 pm
Posts: 46894
Location: Sector 7-G
Wendy Carlos's Twin wrote:
Bammer wrote:
Gonna have to go with Johnny Guitar here.


You're a retard.

I'm glad I'm not the only one to see it.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Backspacer
PostPosted: Mon June 30, 2014 11:52 pm 
Offline
Yeah Yeah Yeah
 Profile

Joined: Tue January 29, 2013 11:24 pm
Posts: 93
Location: London, UK
Backspacer is great. Its fun. Put it on if you're having a BBQ. Or driving on a sunny day.

I guess, yeah, the flaw is the lack of depth - but the songs are SO MUCH BETTER than Avocado. Avocado is a bunch of middle aged rich men trying to sound young and angry. Backspacer is the sound of the same men realising that they should just cut it loose and enjoy themselves.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love them to make another No Code or something - but Backspacer has its place. It's fun, lightweight, and overall good quality.

Some other flaws:

1. The demo of Speed of Sound is completely gorgeous. The studio version drains it of any real beauty and turns it into "just another decent song"
2. Just Breathe. Sorry, but this is all far too obvious and cheesy for me. Might have worked as a solo song.
3. Force of Nature - is a bit boring.

/10

Gonna See my friend - 8 Kick ass opener - shits all over most of Avocado immediately
Got Some - 7 Enjoyable
Fixer - 7 Enjoyable
Jonny Guitar - 7 Enjoyable
Just Breathe - 6 The X Factor is calling...
Amongst the waves - 7 Enjoyable
Unthought known - 7 Silly title. But, you know, enjoyable...
Supersonic - 7 I like this song. It's fun. Fuck you.
Speed of Sound - 7 Enjoyable, but a wasted opportunity.
Force of nature - 5 Sounds like Avocado.
The End - 8 Fantastic song. Feels uttertly genuine and heartfelt. Ed's voice is sweet and clear. Great stuff!

ENJOYABLE!!!


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Backspacer
PostPosted: Tue July 01, 2014 1:04 am 
Offline
likes rhythmic things that butt up against each other
 Profile

Joined: Sat February 23, 2013 1:55 am
Posts: 825
My second favorite album. This is the first Pearl Jam album since Ten that is what it is suppose to be. GSMF is a great song. A 4 star for me that doesn't want to be a 5. Got Some has some good to great moments, but the verses drag a little a 3.5. The Fixer I like is 3.8, but feel like it should be on the back half of the album. Johny Guitar a solid 4. Just Breath a top Ten song for me, but I would have killed the strings. Amongst The Waves I like this song, but don't love it Ed doesn't sell this song.
Unthought Known a top Ten for me 5 stars best song in a decade no flaw for me at all. Supersonic this songs biggest flaw is that it is not needed. this would have been a nice place for the Fixer. Make it a shorter 10 song album. Speed Of Sound this song along with Pilate are the most interpersonal songs in Pearl Jams catalog so I can not judge it fairly, and I have never heard the demo so I can not speak to it.
Force Of Nature is 4.5 and would be 5 if it had better guitar tone. The End is a 5 could not be better. Ed knocks the ball out of the park on the last three songs.

_________________
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Listenin ... n=timeline


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Backspacer
PostPosted: Tue July 01, 2014 1:06 am 
Offline
User avatar
The worst
 Profile

Joined: Thu December 13, 2012 6:31 pm
Posts: 29472
https://soundcloud.com/pearljamonline/s ... die-vedder

_________________
*Led Zeppelin Mega Tournament: Click here*


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Backspacer
PostPosted: Tue July 01, 2014 1:16 am 
Offline
likes rhythmic things that butt up against each other
 Profile

Joined: Sat February 23, 2013 1:55 am
Posts: 825
stip wrote:
https://soundcloud.com/pearljamonline/speed-of-sound-eddie-vedder

Thanks Stip. I am gonna have to listen to that a bit , but I think I like the studio take better

_________________
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Listenin ... n=timeline


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Backspacer
PostPosted: Tue July 01, 2014 1:22 am 
Offline
User avatar
F.U.B.A.R
 WWW  Profile

Joined: Wed July 03, 2013 11:21 pm
Posts: 13580
Location: Lft Craquepeau
stip wrote:
https://soundcloud.com/pearljamonline/speed-of-sound-eddie-vedder

Wow, is that the demo? PJ should really stop finishing songs.

_________________
Rangi Guy wrote:
So skating back to the train station after work today things went wrong.....now my skateboard is at the bottom of the harbour :(


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Backspacer
PostPosted: Tue July 01, 2014 1:34 am 
Offline
likes rhythmic things that butt up against each other
 Profile

Joined: Sat February 23, 2013 1:55 am
Posts: 825
Sgt. Crackpot wrote:
stip wrote:
https://soundcloud.com/pearljamonline/speed-of-sound-eddie-vedder

Wow, is that the demo? PJ should really stop finishing songs.

Funny I listened to Daughter from bridge school 92 for the first time in twenty years and thought the same thing.

_________________
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Listenin ... n=timeline


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: What is Each Album's Major Flaw?: Backspacer
PostPosted: Tue July 01, 2014 2:05 am 
Offline
User avatar
Fake NYC Setlist Relayer
 Profile

Joined: Tue January 01, 2013 5:53 pm
Posts: 7791
McParadigm wrote:
theplatypus wrote:
bodysnatcher wrote:
stip wrote:
Mike is pretty unremarkable on this album, and after how strong he was on Riot Act and, to a lesser extent, S/T, this was pretty disappointing.


But, the TEXTURES

Patterns.

Runs.


Licks.


Top
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 116 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

Board index » Watched from the Window ... » Pearl Jam


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], potatojunkie and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
It is currently Thu December 14, 2017 8:46 pm