Pearl Jam

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  • Rock and indie
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Photograph: Danny Clinch
Pearl Jam

In a year when Nirvana nostalgia is peaking thanks to a snazzy In Utero reissue and a late-model Alice in Chains is reestablishing itself as a live heavyweight, it’s worth reserving some props for a less star-crossed contemporary. Yes, Pearl Jam abides, still featuring four fifths of its original 1990 lineup, and still dogged by haters who can’t stomach the band’s stubbornly earnest approach to the art of rock. Lightning Bolt, the new, tenth Pearl Jam LP, isn’t going to change anyone’s mind. Nothing newfangled here, just a winning formula—raucous and reflective by turns, quirky in spots, slightly cheesy in others, with compact arrangements framing Eddie Vedder’s eminently imitable but still uncannily commanding pipes—toughened by age and built to last.—Hank Shteamer

Follow Hank Shteamer on Twitter: @DarkForcesSwing

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