Eddie Vedder – Ukulele Songs

PEARL JAM play the Air Canada Centre on September 11 and 12. See listing Rating: NNAt this point in.


PEARL JAM play the Air Canada Centre on September 11 and 12. See listing Rating: NN

At this point in Pearl Jam’s incredibly successful yet determinedly self-directed career, it’s unlikely anyone tells Eddie Vedder and the boys what’s best for them. If Vedder wants to release and mass-market a 16-song solo album of spare ukulele tunes, then that’s what the furrowed-browed singer is going to do. But if ever there was a release that screamed, “Free for fan club members!” this is it.

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. Breaking up the monotony are appearances by the Swell Season’s Glen Hansard (Sleepless Nights) and a lithe-sounding Cat Power (Tonight You Belong To Me), who shows up on the second-last song to reward you for your stamina.

Top track: You’re True

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