Arts, Music, Review

Eddie Vedder’s ‘Earthling’ Offers a Jumble of Perfect Road Trip Tunes

★★★☆☆

Eddie Vedder’s fourth solo album Earthling offers innovative rock songs with introspective lyrics. Vedder, the lead singer and guitarist of Pearl Jam, proves once again that he is not afraid to explore his individuality through music. His new album, which came out on Feb. 11, includes 13 songs and surprising collaborations with Elton John, Ringo Starr, and Stevie Wonder. 

Earthling touches on themes of world peace, friendship, love, and concern for the suffering environment while maintaining a bold, consistent voice in each song. Vedder contrasts the sensitivity of his messages with hard rock but also experiments with other softer styles. His song “The Haves,” seems more like a sentimental ballad about finally reaching a sense of satisfaction when meeting the right person.

It is the perfect album to play loudly on a solo road trip with the windows down. The first track, “Invincible,” sets the upbeat tone for the album with lyrics that express how people’s ability to love other people is a superpower. 

“You are, we are / All part of this everything / So feel important / You are light, you are principle / When you love, invincible,” Vedder sings.

“Brother the Cloud” is an energizing song despite its theme of loss. It starts as calming and melodic but builds up to a loud chorus that lingers in the listener’s head, making it the most-listened song on the album, according to Spotify. There are many unique rhythmic and vocal choices to appreciate on the album, making listening an enjoyable journey of exploration. 

But, at times, Earthling feels like the artist’s messy personal experiment. “The Haves” is followed by “Good and Evil,” a song that feels more like rock metal than a gentle ballad, creating a harsh and confusing transition. Given that his career as a solo artist is short in comparison to his 32-year career in Pearl Jam, Vedder is still solidifying his solo sound. 

Earthling reveals the artist’s talent and ambition as a songwriter, singer, and guitarist. The way that Vedder creatively combines all of these elements makes him a remarkable solo artist, and his individual career gives his fans much to anticipate and expect for the future.

Featured Image Courtesy of Republic Records

February 20, 2022

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