Review this album
PaulB.Oct 17, 2007Neither here nor there really, but exactly what i was expecting.
MarkH.Oct 23, 2007Without a doubt, there are some good songs on this album. As a soundtrack it is pretty decent but as an album I think it is a poor effort on the part of Vedder. The lyrics could have been a little more cryptic but what can you expect for a soundtrack?
MatthewP.Sep 24, 2007I'm of two minds in terms of this album. The first one thinks that this is mostly a standard singer/songwriter affair and the only reason I'm paying attention to it is because it's by Eddie Vedder and I love Pearl Jam. The other thinks that it's a light, airy CD that coincides perfectly with the sentiments of Chris McCandless (spelling?) the main character in the film. I'm of two minds in terms of this album. The first one thinks that this is mostly a standard singer/songwriter affair and the only reason I'm paying attention to it is because it's by Eddie Vedder and I love Pearl Jam. The other thinks that it's a light, airy CD that coincides perfectly with the sentiments of Chris McCandless (spelling?) the main character in the film. In the mindset of the latter, it succeeds as a companion for the film. For the former, it's a disappointment. In either, the lyrics are too literal and lazy. We know Vedder can write greatly worked lyrics from songs like "Present Tense" and "Man of the Hour" (Vedder's more successful soundtrack effort for Big Fish) but that wit and creativity doesn't really appear here. With that being said, it truly seems like Vedder was trying to get in McCandless' head to write these songs and considering that the man was immature, naive, and wholly acting on feeling, Vedder may have hit his target right on. Even if that's the case, most of these tracks are forgettable. The ones that could've stood out are far too short (Setting Forth, No Ceiling) with the exception of "Big Hard Sun" which you'll be singing in your head for days. The soundtrack does capture the whimsical feeling of wind blowing through your hair in anticipation of an adventure much like the movie calls for. But music like this, one dimensional, simple acoustic strumming, needs great vocals and lyrics to support it. See Bob Dylan's first four records or Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska to hear this style perfected. Case and point: Songs like "Society" in which the lyrics are pretty much terrible fail because the words distract from any mood Vedder is attempting to create. When I hear "Society" all I can think of is how unmotivated that word usage is. Vedder stopped at the first inkling here and formulated a song from it without ever working beyond and pushing his creativity. "The Wolf" is reminiscent of "ARC" on Riot Act but less powerful and far too brief. Vedder really needs to explore this aspect of his vocals...explorations of wordless, haunting melodies because it's a real strength of his. There are even more recent examples of artists who've made music in this style more successfully like Ray Lamontagne. Check out his Til the Sun Turns Black to feel what Into the Wild should sound like. I'm being so thoroughly brutal with this review because I love Eddie Vedder's music and I just want him to work harder.… Collapse