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

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Universal acclaim- based on 209 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
    The commitment that Vedder brings to all this material, from the rowdiest thrashing to the schmaltziest ballad makes this feel like a unified and ultimately convincing project. [Oct 2009, p.90]
  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. When Pearl Jam shocked the world with Ten and Vs, there would have been few that believed the band were capable of an album such as Backspacer--an ostensibly traditional rock album that, at times, feels contented and at others strays close to emotional equity. The shock this time is that they nearly pull it off.
  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: 75 out of 83
  2. Negative: 1 out of 83
  1. Jul 7, 2012
    an amazing work for an amazing band that proves they are still relevant and still a music genius
  2. DannyL.
    Sep 23, 2009
    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
    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. DanC
    Sep 23, 2009
    Great record. Do not read the pitchfork review and take it seriously, that's the real reason why I posted.
  5. ChrisC
    Oct 25, 2009
    Claudio D., your English is magical. That was beautiful. Eddie would be proud. Great album; welcome back, Pearl Jam.
  6. Nov 12, 2012
    Pearl Jam, a rock band built on survival, has pulled through after the death of Grunge music. As one of the only Grunge bands of the early nineties left in existence, Pearl Jam has constantly been pressured to create music that doesn Expand
  7. DonalM
    Oct 25, 2009
    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 83 User Reviews