Ukulele Songs

  • Record Label: Republic
  • Release Date: May 31, 2011
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22
Buy On
  1. Q Magazine
    Jun 29, 2011
    60
    His second solo effort succeeds largely because its titular novelty never overshadows the bittersweet folk vignettes, driven by his affecting baritone. [Jul 2011, p.119]
  2. Uncut
    Jun 3, 2011
    60
    He appears, so far as it's possible to tell, a competent ukulelist, and his parched baritone remains effective--but this doesn't to understate matters wildly, seems quite the best use of his skills. [Jul 2011, p.96]
  3. 60
    Ukulele Songs is lovely as it breezes by, but it doesn't promise a very long shelf-life.
  4. May 20, 2011
    60
    If you've ever fantasized about Vedder singing you, or your kids, to sleep, consider your wish fulfilled.
  5. 50
    On their own, each of the 16 songs are mildly admirable. Altogether, they're incredibly grating. In fact, if you weren't paying close enough attention, you'd be convinced the same song had been spinning for nearly 35 minutes.
  6. Jun 6, 2011
    40
    The ukulele, while a beautiful, serene instrument, is arguably limited, especially as the centrepiece of an album this long. Vedder's distinct baritone complements it, but his chords eventually become repetitive.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Jun 4, 2011
    9
    You don't have to be a huge fan of Pearl Jam to really love this stunning yet different album from a rock legend. This seemingly odd careerYou don't have to be a huge fan of Pearl Jam to really love this stunning yet different album from a rock legend. This seemingly odd career move lacks the controversy of Bob Dylan going electric, nor is it an ironic Joaquin Phoenix-style career meltdown. Vedder clearly has a lot of love for the uke and this album adds fuel to the current four string resurgence; the likes of Amanda Palmer have been blazing the way, showing the world that the uke is clearly no longer the bastion of gawky Lancastrians singing comedy ditties about window cleaners. This album is more graceful than the novelty aspects of the uke would suggest and Vedder's watchwords are restraint and simplicity. The album embraces the ukulele's inherit playfulness and revels in the intimate nature of one man and his instrument. These 16 tracks breeze along like an informal campfire singalong rather than Pearl Jam's usual stadium antics. Although there are some tongue in cheek moments, Ukulele Songs represents a genuine attempt to engage with the instrument. Vedder firmly embraces the restrictions placed by losing two strings, focusing on simple but effective songwriting.

    For the most part the album sees Vedder playing alone and there's something beguiling about the juxtaposition of his deep, fragile vocals with the playfulness of the strings. Everything moves along swiftly, with all of the tracks staying below the three minute mark. Highlights such as You're True, Sleepless Nights and Satellite burst forth with energy and emotion, more than holding their own against their usual guitar counterparts. The album concludes with a cover of Dream A Little Dream, a playful wink to the audience and an crooning acknowledgement to not take the album too seriously; arguably this drags everything back into novelty territory, but there is something charming and lullaby-esque about it.

    You should really get this one now and kick back & relax to these mellow sounds ASAP! :)
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 1, 2011
    9
    This is a very good album. All of the songs are good, but some are simply brilliant, Satellite, a masterpiece, Longing to belong a classic,This is a very good album. All of the songs are good, but some are simply brilliant, Satellite, a masterpiece, Longing to belong a classic, Goodbye simple beautiful. Ed Vedder does something really difficult in this album. He uses a small instrument, perfect for songwriting, but too simple to be a solo instrument. Someway with a little bit of more production this would be a 10/10, more strings like in Longing to Belongâ Full Review »
  3. Feb 11, 2017
    7
    When i was big on Nirvana and Pearl Jam, and i found this album i really enjoyed it. It motivated me to go out and rent a ukulele and writeWhen i was big on Nirvana and Pearl Jam, and i found this album i really enjoyed it. It motivated me to go out and rent a ukulele and write some songs on it. I don't think it's an album that you will listen on a regular basis but i think late at night laying outside or in your bed its a great LP to listen to.

    Favorite Tracks: Longing to Belong, Can't Keep, Sleeping By Myself
    Full Review »