Monday, May 01, 2006

Eponymity

What is it about an album that would make a band say "Yes, this is the one that will be self-titled."  Other than for a first album, I just don't get it.  Is it a lack of creativity?  Originality?  Or do they really think that this one is special.  And what happens if you release one later that is better (of course Led Zeppelin solved that problem by putting out Led Zeppelin I, II, III, and IV).

What the hell am I talking about?  Well, Pearl Jam has a new album coming out tomorrow (May 2), but thanks to Ten Club I got a copy of it on Friday and have been listening to it all weekend.  The album is quite succinctly named "Pearl Jam".  Ten, Vs., Vitology, No Code, Yield, Binaural, Riot Act.  And now Pearl Jam.  So what is it about this album that it gets the eponymous label?

I mean, it's good.  It'll take a while to solidify its rankings in the PJ discography, but right now I'd put it on about the same level as Binaural, Yield, and No Code.  Which puts it a step below the "classic three" Ten, Vs, Vitology, and the (IMHO) underrated Riot Act.

Am I reading too much into this?  Probably.  It doesn't really affect anything.  Its a solid PJ album and any Jam Fans will love it.  Its not going to win over any new listeners, but Pearl Jam quit trying to do that a long time ago (something I admire about them, actually).  While it certainly isn't the definitive Pearl Jam album as the name might indicate (and I don't really thing that there could be any such thing), it fits right into the catalog, and will get plenty of playtime on my iPod.

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