Pearl Jam Releases New Single “The Fixer”

By: The Music Man

Jul 28 2009

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Category: Music

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Pearl Jam-one of the icons of the Seattle grunge invasion of the 90’s. Along with Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, and Nirvana, this band unleashed the “Seattle Sound” out to the nation. Many fell right in love with Eddie Vedder’s awesome vocals. Some go as far to call his singing as “golden baritone” vocals. They might not have had as dark of a tone as the other alternative rock acts coming out of Seattle, but they were, and are a spectacle in the rock legacy.

Now, Pearl Jam has released a new single, which is available on their Myspace account and can be heard on rock radios across the nation. It’s called “The Fixer” and it is just one song out of the new album, Backspacer, which will release on September 21, 2009. You must certainly wonder, How is this song? Awesome, good, okay, bad, or complete trash?

What is the song like? Right from the introduction, I could tell this wasn’t going to be anything like the Ten album. It takes more of a turn to mainstream rock, thus alienating many Pearl Jam fans. What do I mean by a turn to mainstream rock? Well, no guitar solo, an absence of the deep, emotional lyrics of previous songs, and it just doesn’t have the “grunge” sound to it.

Instead, we have a pumping guitar riff, a strong bass part, and more cheerful lyrics filled with the “yeah, yeahs” and “hey, heys” that plague so many rock songs. It’s upbeat, and again cheerful, making this a hummable tune. After all, it’s not common to see someone walk down the street while humming songs like “Jeremy” or “Daughter”.

I may sound like I don’t like this song, but the exact opposite is true. I absolutely love this song. It’s a song that makes you want to party or dance. And that’s pretty much what it is: a party tune.

Ironically, Nirvana’s frontman Kurt Cobain had called Pearl Jam the “sellout” of alternative rock. Cobain said they didn’t have the true alternative rock sound and feel due to the many prominent guitar leads. They made peace before Cobain’s death in 1994. And now, fifteen years after Cobain died, Pearl Jam has become the “commercial sellout” that the Nirvana frontman accused of them years before. They’ve reinvented themselves into a mainstream rock sound, which could make them more popular. However, this will cause the loss of many fans, who fell in love with the Ten album’s grunge sound.

So, my verdict on this? Definitely a great song. I can’t wait for Backspacer to come out to see what else Pearl Jam has come out with. They definitely need a break from their emotional songs. But, it is saddening to see them leave their alternative rock roots. Some even call the release of this single, “The Death of Grunge”. I feel it’s  a nice breath, allowing us to party a bit with Eddie’s golden baritone voice.

Rating: A

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