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Pearl Jam lowered its profile after becoming a worldwide musical phenomenon in the early ês, pulling back from the touring, radio, and press fronts. And this diverse 13-song outing, lacking another "Alive" or "Better Man," isn't the album to thrust Pearl Jam back into the limelight. Binaural kicks out the jams with a grandiosity worthy of the Who, as Pearl Jam roars through the loose, raucous two-minute-plus opener "Breakerfall" and into another brief rave-up, "God's Dice." Quickly, though, the loud MC5-style guitar outpourings that begin PJ's seventh album (and first to feature former Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron) morph into the edgy, taut "Evacuation" and the midtempo "Light Years." The spare, mournful "Nothing as It Seems" (with lyrics and music by bassist Jeff Ament), "Thin Air," and the lilting "Parting Ways" all reflect romantic introspection. Eddie Vedder's poignant ukulele-accompanied "Soon Forget" is an affecting aside, and the rollicking "Insignificance" and Middle Eastern-tinged "Of the Girl" are all noteworthy. That's a strong lineup, but Binaural nevertheless falls short of the heights this talented group scaled in the past. --Katherine Turman

uuid: F5E66D6D-08EF-44C7-8568-ECA85F3075FB
upc: 0074646366523
tracklisting: Breakerfall
Gods' Dice
Light Years
Nothing As It Seems
Thin Air
Of The Girl
Sleight Of Hand
Soon Forget
Parting Ways
title: Binaural
rating: 3
purchase date: 09-05-2005
published: 16-05-2000
price: $11.98
net Rating: 4
last lookup time: 137384704
genre: Grunge
fullTitle: Binaural
currentValue: $1.75
created: 137384688
country: us
aspect: Audio CD
asin: B00004T8RK
artist: Pearl Jam