Backspacer

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Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 220 Ratings

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  • Summary: The ninth studio album for the Seattle-based alt rock band was produced with Brendan O'Brien.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. The lightness and dexterity of the playing throughout Backspacer, and of Vedder's hard-driving, often playful vocals, come from Pearl Jam's members taking this music seriously, honing in and nailing it.
  2. Backspacer, the band’s ninth studio album [is] one of its most cohesive and satisfying in terms of brevity, crisp production, and a sharp focus.
  3. 80
    For the first time in years, Pearl Jam are seizing the moment rather than wallowing in it.
  4. The album grows same-y, but tracks like the surfing-as-life-metaphor anthem 'Amongst the Waves' do indeed make something old feel, if not new, good again.
  5. Backspacer is very much calculated to sound the way it sounds, and suggesting Pearl Jam have lost anything would be premature. Ultimately there’s no point fretting about the future when contemplating a record that’s so very much a celebration of the moment.
  6. A little more effort at the end would have been appreciated, but so long as you’re content with paying full price for what’s essentially twenty-eight minutes of listenable music, Backspacer works as a fun little rock n’roll record.
  7. Virtually the whole record settles into the same formula the band's been dutifully churning out since the dawn of the millennium.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 84
  2. Negative: 1 out of 84
  1. Jul 7, 2012
    10
    an amazing work for an amazing band that proves they are still relevant and still a music genius
  2. DannyL.
    Sep 23, 2009
    10
    Nothing reinvented, that's for sure. Just a brilliant, underrated band continuing the conversation about what it means to be human Nothing reinvented, that's for sure. Just a brilliant, underrated band continuing the conversation about what it means to be human (Steve Almond's definition of art.) Pitchfork DOES suck. Expand
  3. BillyB.
    Oct 6, 2009
    10
    My favorite album since..........well since their last one!! Songs that have you up moving or laying in bed with your headphones on wiping a My favorite album since..........well since their last one!! Songs that have you up moving or laying in bed with your headphones on wiping a tear from your eye!If you love pearl jam its simple,,,you love this album. Expand
  4. DjR.
    Sep 23, 2009
    9
    Great Band, Great Album!
  5. MattA
    Oct 8, 2009
    9
    I'd like to start off by saying, "I was never a Pearl Jam Fan." I downloaded the CD on a whim and it's slowly grown on me ever I'd like to start off by saying, "I was never a Pearl Jam Fan." I downloaded the CD on a whim and it's slowly grown on me ever since! The album is short, but there are hardly any tracks worth skipping. Pearl Jam has mixed classic grunge rock, and alternative folk, in a way only seasoned musicians could. This is the 1st PJ album I've bought, and they have convinced me that they deserve all the praise they get. My favorite tracks: Forces of Nature, Unthought Known, The End. Expand
  6. May 11, 2016
    8
    This is actually one of my favourite Pearl Jam records. The problem I have with the band's 2000's output is that their albums have a bit tooThis is actually one of my favourite Pearl Jam records. The problem I have with the band's 2000's output is that their albums have a bit too much filler or interesting ideas that are not as fully explored as they could be. This album is more trimmed down and more accessible, but with higher quality songwriting. Its anthemic nature harkens back to the "Ten" album; tracks like "Gonna See My Friend" and "The Fixer" are every bit as catchy as "Even Flow" or "Alive". Expand
  7. DonalM
    Oct 25, 2009
    2
    I'm a huge PJ fan, but this is hugely disappointing drivel. Its one of those albums, and I don't come across many, where I I'm a huge PJ fan, but this is hugely disappointing drivel. Its one of those albums, and I don't come across many, where I couldn't find any reasons to have a second listen. Since it was Pearl Jam, it got a second listen, and a third, but it still sounds like a whole album of filler. Its now out of the CD player and I don't know if it will go back in. Expand

See all 84 User Reviews