Album review: Pearl Jam comes back with ‘Gigaton’

By Stephanie Arenas

Pearl Jam has finally released “Gigaton,” the band’s first studio album since 2013’s “Lightning Bolt.”

Fans all over the world have held high expectations for the new album in hopes of it sounding similar to Pearl Jam’s 1991 album “Ten.” While the new album held a completely different sound, many fans were not left disappointed.

“Gigaton” is definitely the type of album that needs to be listened to in its entirety several times before coming to a final conclusion.

The lead single, “Dance of the Clairvoyants,” was released January 22. At first listen, the song may seem like any other uninspired, generic rock song. But give it a chance. After a few listens you may find yourself singing along.

Though not the strongest song in their discography, it is definitely the type of song to bring people to dance and sing at a party.

“Dance of the Clairvoyants” also brings a clear vision of the theme of the album.

It questions the future of our society but in a positive light. 

“Expecting perfection / Leaves a lot to ignore / When the past is the present / And the future’s no more / When every tomorrow / Is the same as before,” describes the current state of our world.

Though not in any way related to COVID-19,, fans may find a sense of comfort in these lyrics during the pandemic.

The next single, “Superblood Wolfmoon,” released February 18, is definitely a step up from “Dance of the Clairvoyants” as it paints a picture of a relationship that has ended horribly.

Although it is an upsetting topic, this song is not melancholic in any way. It actually creates an upbeat feeling that draws in the broken-hearted to give them hope for the future.

Out of all the songs on the album, “Superblood Wolfmoon” is the most memorable due to its catchy lyrics, groovy melody and relatable topic. While all the other songs are special in their own way, this song has the ability to touch the hearts of anyone who has a listen.

Prior to the release of the final single “Quick Escape,” Pearl Jam’s lead singer, Eddie Vedder, voiced some strong opinions about President Donald Trump.

“I don’t think he’s crazy like a fox,” Vedder said during a concert in the Netherlands in June 2018. “I think he’s like, crazy like a narcissistic mother f—-r.”

“Quick Escape” addressed the fear of an environmental apocalypse coming our way prior to the events caused by COVID-19.

The band takes shots at Trump with the lyrics, “The lengths we had to go to then / To find a place Trump hadn’t f—-d up yet.”

By the end of the song, we are left with the idea of having to leave the planet due to an unstoppable environmental crisis.

Overall, although “Gigaton” may not sound anything like 1991’s “Ten,” it becomes a breath of fresh air the more you listen to it.

By my fourth or fifth listen, I had fallen in love with the album. While not as great as “Ten,” it is great on its own level.

Illustration by Julian Navarro | Viewpoints