Ukulele Songs - Eddie Vedder
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22
  1. Jun 21, 2011
    80
    Pearl Jam grungemeister reveals self to be shameless romantic. {July 2011, p. 106]
  2. Jun 7, 2011
    80
    Beautifully threaded together by Eddie's therapeutic strumming, mesmerizing voice and graceful transition between moods, this is a quietly understated masterstroke. [28 May 2011, p.51]
  3. Jun 2, 2011
    80
    It's a grown-up album for grown-up fans; rest assured, Vedder isn't finished raging, but he does also have to sing his kids to sleep.
  4. Jun 1, 2011
    80
    While it's not a classic album, Ukulele Songs is a lively and enjoyable LP that easily warms the cockles.
  5. May 27, 2011
    80
    Ukulele Songs is an album brimming with integrity and enthusiasm and, most importantly, it boasts great tunes.
  6. 75
    The instrument's intrinsic sweetness seems to head off any inclination to succumb to despair, and contrasts evocatively with his sandpapery, quavery vocals.
  7. 75
    It's a feather-light lark from a dude known for depth.
  8. Jun 1, 2011
    74
    Don't fret, Pearl Jam fans. Vedder isn't leaving his day job anytime soon, but he demonstrates that even the simplest formula of a man and his ukulele can be a complex, beautiful thing.
  9. Jun 2, 2011
    73
    Why foist all of this upon a fanbase that's gracefully aging right along with you and is thus a little more malleable than either of you were in your mid-twenties, a little more open-minded, a little more down for whatever? The answer, clearly, is "Why not?"
  10. Dec 19, 2011
    70
    Vedder never has been ashamed of his bleeding heart... it's refreshing to have a record where that heart is pushed toward the center, beating fully and proudly on his lightest, sweetest album yet.
  11. Jun 16, 2011
    70
    Ukulele Songs can aptly be summed up as Vedder's pensive doppelganger which has been peeking out sporadically over the past decade or so, with none of his Pearl Jam-rage presenting itself here.
  12. May 31, 2011
    70
    The ukulele doesn't allow for the widest range of expression, which makes it a challenging foil for Eddie Vedder, who never met a feeling he couldn't drive through a wall. But this uke-suffused album stands up because he adapts the instrument to his idiosyncratic needs.
  13. Jun 1, 2011
    67
    Ukulele Songs finds Vedder in a good place-content but not satisfied, comfortable with his history, but not confined by it.
  14. Jun 1, 2011
    64
    Like a lot of Vedder's experiments, the spirit is easier to admire than the final product. The ukulele might be a great campfire instrument, but sometimes what works best at the campfire should stay there.
  15. 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]
  16. 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]
  17. 60
    Ukulele Songs is lovely as it breezes by, but it doesn't promise a very long shelf-life.
  18. May 20, 2011
    60
    If you've ever fantasized about Vedder singing you, or your kids, to sleep, consider your wish fulfilled.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. May 24, 2011
    30
    The slapdash nature of these 16 (!) songs doesn't make them feel visceral or honest (which was clearly the artist's intention), but haphazard and disposable.
  22. May 25, 2011
    25
    The songs, a handful of covers and about a dozen originals, aren't terrible, but the ukulele gets really old, really quick.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Mar 22, 2013
    8
    Remember when i first time heard Can't Keep as whole album promo on YouTube, it was absolutely great! And as i lately checked the whole album it is as great as the single. Little instrument, no power, no brutality, no anger, just a shy sounding voice of Eddie and ukulele makes it, an intimate and totally different than any others, maybe aside of Into the Wild soundtrack which contains Rise song, a little introduction to this Ukulele Songs. Full Review »
  2. 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 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 »
  3. 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, 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 »