Just boughtPearl Jam's new album Lightning Bolt, out today, (yeah, still do buy; downloading is great but I like liner notes, etc. particularly from bands I cherish)
Best and most instantly accessible Pearl Jam album in years. Now, here's the thing: Sometimes 'accessible' can be a bad thing. Or perceived as a bad thing; as if having hits is pandering and there is merit in that thinking.
Pearl Jam itself, read their allmusic.c0m entry, (which has actually been changed since last I looked; previously it doumented Pearl Jam's anti-commercial bent but anyway, that bent is/has been obvious to any listener) consciously 'avoided' hits and commercial success after the initial mainstream success of their first two albums. And that's OK. Good for them, artistically.
But let's be honest. There have been many great songs since the 1990s but, aside for the occasional sterling, stick in your head track like Nothing As It Seems (Binaural album) or Given To Fly (Yield) that appear on compilations, Pearl Jam has not released anything of 'singles' consequence in a long time. And that's fine. But - and it's the eternal 'struggle' in music, perhaps - do you want to be artistic, or commercial, or a combo of both?
Well, it seems Pearl Jam, wonderfully enigmatic band that they are, has decided. This time. They've gone artistic/commercial on Lightning Bolt.
Good for we listeners.