Pearl Jam has just launched “Lightning Bolt,” its first studio album since 2009’s “Backspacer,” Producer Brendan O’Brien who has worked with PJ for 20 years, notes that frontman Eddie Vedder “sings his ass off on this record,” particularly on “Sirens,” which he calls “one of the best songs they’ve ever written.” He adds that “Sirens” and another album track, “Infallible,” are both “very melodic and beautiful songs.” The recording of “Lightning Bolt” began with sessions in early 2012 after the blitz surrounding Cameron Crowe’s 2011 “Pearl Jam Twenty” documentary and was finished during sessions at Los Angeles’ Henson Recording Studios earlier this year. “Especially when we were finishing up,” O’Brien says, there was a sense of “unity, everybody pulling together, and there was a joy about what we were doing. The songs have a lot of drama they’re good at that. But there wasn’t a lot of drama from the [process], just a lot of everyone enjoying.” “I think it’s a great representation of their work right now,” O’Brien says of “Lightning Bolt.” “If you like Pearl Jam, you’ll love this. And if you haven’t listened to Pearl Jam in awhile, I think it’s going to bring you in. That’s the whole idea.”
Arcade Fire’s penchant for an album-uniting concept is nothing new. 2010’s multi-award-winning ‘The Suburbs’ (Clash review) arrived informed by its makers’ upbringing, at the fringes of bigger-city culture. It proved a suitably sprawling affair, mazey, sometimes unsure of direction but ultimately arriving at its desired destination.
Contrastingly, ‘Reflektor’ finds the Montreal-based ensemble – ostensibly fronted by husband-and-wife pairing Win Butler and Régine Chassagne – ditching the GPS and going their own way. Inevitably, things don’t go smoothly. Read More