Upcoming Album Track Listing Published

by Kathy Davis on June 22, 2009

Visions mag scan from Skyvalley123 (via Message Pit and Bugs)

Visions mag scan from Skyvalley123 (via Message Pit and Bugs)

The Pearl Jam world is ablaze with news about the track listing published in German magazine Visions July 2009 issue.  If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already seen the track list, but here’s an overview of  the news and information that is surfacing about “Backspacer”, Pearl Jam’s upcoming 11 song, 39 minute long album.

Stephan from Bugs translates from Visions magazine:


Four mountain ridges, a canyon, a copious green valley, a steep rock, a jungle, veld – and an almost punchline ending. Pearl Jam’s ninth studio album “Backspacer” is the first one since “Yield” that has been produced by Brendan O’Brien.

See My Friend: Pearl Jam as you expect them today: straight rock, strong  lyrics, hands-on and aggressive.  Rolling Stone Magazine discussed this in their Feb. 19, 2009 article:  One song, a garage-y composition by Vedder, repeats the lyric “see my friends” over Stooges-meet-the-Who power chords and loose, Johnny Thunders-inspired lead guitar from Mike McCready.

Got Some: Also rock, also straight and almost angry but with some distinctive guitar licks by Mike McCready. Track was performed live on Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien June 1, 2009

The Fixer:  The first highlight. A tight, almost classic rock tune but clever at the same time. Slightly odd, and with cool vocal melodies and rhythms this track is a mini anthem. Performed for Target commercial shot by Cameron Crowe at The Showbox in Seattle May 29, 2009. Title confirmed by Kelly Curtis in Billboard Magazine article of June 1, 2009

Johnny Guitar: Fortunately not as bland as the title suggests.  Also a rocker, but with a remarkable amount of lyrics and sincerity. Grows above average but still a very classical tune.

Just Breathe: The first break and a moment to take some breath. Lovely acoustic ballad. The fingers fly over the fret board, an unobtrusive string arrangement and lyrics about love – mature, wonderful, terrific vocal delivery.

Amongst The Waves: Finally there’s not only pushing forward but in all directions with a song that tries to reach the sky. The positive build-up reminds of “Given To Fly” as well as the fact that you just can’t point at the root of “Amongst The Waves” (Is it the lyrics? guitars? drums?).

Unthought Known: First very climatic, then a passionate mid-tempo rock song.  A slightly blurry ending but still more palpable than anything off  the last album. Track performed live by Ed Vedder on his 2008 solo tour in New Jersey- August 7, Montreal- August 10, Washington, D.C.- August 16

Supersonic:  The obligatory wild song that you can find on every Pearl Jam album since “Vitalogy”. Almost cheerful, driven by Matt Cameron’s fast pace, in the beginning reminiscent of Soundgarden. But Soundgarden were better at creating those angular bundles of energy.   Though likely unrelated, the Seattle Supersonics were an NBA basketball team from 1967-2008. The word itself means “faster than the speed of sound”,  which coincidentally  is the title of the next album track.

Speed Of Sound: Exotic. A strange pop song with a different sound than the rest of the album and its clear-cut production. Still: piano, tingling, suspense…

Force Of Nature:  A rock song like a Pearl Jam concert: An innocent beginning, but it grows naturally and expands and has you totally in its grip before you know it.

The End:  The second acoustic song and to be taken literally. One of the strongest ballads by the band since a long time, amongst other things because its urgency manifests in Vedder’s vocals. Even the end of the end needs a worthy ending. Track performed live by Ed Vedder on his 2009 solo tour in Philadelphia – June 12, Baltimore-June 14, Nashville- June 18

The magazine lists September 18 as the release date; perhaps this is the European date with September 22  being the projected U.S. release date.  Short album, you say?  It doesn’t need to have a long running time to be brilliant.  If you had a chance to pickup R.E.M.’s latest release,  last years ”Accelerate”,  it should help convince you that short, sweet and to the point is sometimes a better way to go -”Accelerate” turned out to be a perfect return to form, and clocks in at 34 minutes with it’s 11 tracks. The new U2, No Line On The Horizon = 11 tracks, 53 minutes. The boys are keeping good company. 

Thanks to:   B. Smith;  Stephan, Valerio and Dennis from Bugs

Kathy Davis ( Twitter: @CrookedArm23 )
A Bay-Area based entrepreneur, co-editor Kathy conceives and writes her share of TFT’s articles and sections. She was co-editor/co-founder of one of the first Pearl Jam fanzines "Footsteps" (1992-1997). Kathy’s first Pearl Jam show was at the Bridge School Benefit on November 1, 1992.

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