This week, Pearl Jam’s new album Backspacer finally shows up in stores. Listening to it now and it’s a fine little rock record for sure. There’s a certain clarity to the mix as well as energy and diversity in the songs. The guitar work is crisp and tasteful throughout. I haven’t listened to it enough for it to really sink in yet, but I’m diggin it.
Also, much has been made about Pearl Jam releasing Backspacer independently, with out a record label. And of course a lot more has been made about the fact that they cut an "exclusive" deal with Target to promote/sell this album. But, to clarify: yes, Target will be the only "big box" retailer to carry it, so you wont find it at BestBuy, Walmart, or the big chain mall record stores. But in true Pearl Jam fashion, they insisted on an interesting clause in the deal that allows the album to also be sold at independent record stores. I love that move, and hopefully those of you planning to buy this will hit up your local record shop while it still exists.I think some indie stores might even have a special edition with different packaging. Two sites to help you find your closest indie store are: http://www.the-ird.com/store.html and http://www.cimsmusic.com/. So check the record store before Target.
Finally, here’s a little behind-the-scenes look at Pearl Jam making Backspacer. This short film was done by Danny Clinch. He’s a great photographer, and his artistic eye certainly lends a nice beauty to this little film. His shots just look great, and his edits can sometimes be choppy to coincide with the music, but never too fast or annoying. Interesting stuff, especially the part where Eddie Vedder says he approached his role on this album as "Participating as instrument, rather than as a storyteller. Writing’s great, but there’s too many words."