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 songs are sharper, the production is layered, and the performances are as compassionate as ever, resulting in their finest album since Vitalogy.
  2. 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.
  3. 70
    Oddly, it's the faster songs -- once Pearl Jam's forte -- that detract from Binaural as a whole.
  4. 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.
  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. 90
    Near-brilliant... smoldering slabs of sonic complexity... [#46, p.86]
  7. 70
    Probably the last good album we can realistically expect from Pearl Jam.
  8. A seething, furious album; a declamatory statement against cynicism and passivity and the simple injustices of everyday life.
  9. A remarkably overt homage to seventies stadium rock?
  10. The band's most consistent, well-written effort yet.
  11. At their worst, Pearl Jam witter on pointlessly.... When Pearl Jam gel, though, it's close to special.
  12. A warts-and-all album; it has grabbers, songs that sink in slowly and a few absolute duds?
  13. 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]
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. gazc
    Aug 23, 2009
    An incredible album, do not get the '0' rating. 'Light years' is their most emotional and tear jerking song and the atmosphere created in 'nothing as it seems is phenomenal. They even hit the mark with the political songs such as 'Grievance', 'insignificance' and 'evacuation'. Lyrical Vedder is flawless. Full Review »
  2. JackV
    Mar 16, 2005
    pearl jam have never made an album short of brilliant. it is not in their forte to make bad music.
  3. 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 »