Binaural - Pearl Jam

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 16
  2. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. The band's most consistent, well-written effort yet.
  2. A seething, furious album; a declamatory statement against cynicism and passivity and the simple injustices of everyday life.
  3. 90
    Near-brilliant... smoldering slabs of sonic complexity... [#46, p.86]
  4. The songs are sharper, the production is layered, and the performances are as compassionate as ever, resulting in their finest album since Vitalogy.
  5. In the main they have done away with their more stodgy, pretentious material and distilled their sound into a stripped down rawness, and they sound all the better for it.
  6. 80
    If there's an ounce of you that's ever been keen on Pearl Jam, or even if you've never bothered, grab a pair of headphones and let Binaural pummel and soak into you, and relax about it.
  7. A warts-and-all album; it has grabbers, songs that sink in slowly and a few absolute duds?
  8. Pearl Jam returns to peak form with a 13-song collection of driving power rock reminiscent of the band's glory days of the early to mid-1990s.
  9. 70
    Oddly, it's the faster songs -- once Pearl Jam's forte -- that detract from Binaural as a whole.
  10. 70
    Probably the last good album we can realistically expect from Pearl Jam.
  11. A formless collection that drifts from one tune to the next, weighed down by a general sense of murk that pervades everything from Tchad Blake's production to the song arrangements and the lyrics.
  12. If Binaural were Pearl Jam's first effort, it would receive little notice and get panned for its lack of focus and abundant musical mediocrity.
  13. It's an uneven mix that frustrates by offering just samples of what Pearl Jam increasingly does best, namely, provide clear and, yes, quiet stories about the travails of everyday life.
  14. At their worst, Pearl Jam witter on pointlessly.... When Pearl Jam gel, though, it's close to special.
  15. A remarkably overt homage to seventies stadium rock?
  16. 20
    A stinker of an album... a giant leap backwards in combining the overblown punk of 'Vs' with the grunge bluster of 'Ten', minus the tunes. [July 2000, p.107]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. Feb 19, 2012
    'Binaural' is an enjoyable album, with the band retiring to their art-folk/rock after the mixed success of 'Yield'. With tracks like 'Of The Girl' and 'Insignificant' providing some contrasting texture to the album, a thought remains as to the lack of inspiration. However, Pearl Jam make mediocre ok. Full Review »
  2. Jun 6, 2011
    although it's lost its edge over time. still a remarkable album. not their best. definitly not their worst.
    despite its reputation its NOT
    ONLY for the die hard fans. and its definitly no stadium rock as some people claim Full Review »