Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Is this album really 10+ years old???

WOW! It's hard for me to believe 1995 was that long ago. Apparently, "time fades away"...I'm certain I've heard that somewhere before.

Back to the subject at hand: MIRROR BALL (1995).

This is an album I can't believe I lost touch with. After all, it features the songwriting, singing and guitar playing of my all-time favorite artist, backed up by one of my very favorite bands, Pearl Jam.

Playing this CD after so many years, I found myself grinning from ear to ear. This is truly a great album. Click here for a 4-Star review from Rolling Stone magazine (not that a 4-Star review from Rolling Stone guarantees a great album, I just think it's interesting reading).

The opening notes of "Song X" announce that this album is coming straight at you, "Hey Ho/Away we go/We're on the road/To never". Strap in for the ride. "Act of Love" follows with "The fruit of love/Was in the future/Around the corner/And over the hill/The act of love/Was slowly pounding/Slowly pounding/Slowly pounding". On the 3rd track, "I'm the Ocean", Neil has this to say about modern society, "Need distraction/Need romance and candlelight/Need random violence/Need Entertainment Tonight". Have I mentioned lately what a great f-cking songwriter Neil Young is? I thought so.

To me, the guitar work just seems to get better and better throughout the album. By tracks 7 ("What Happened Yesterday"), 9 ("Throw Your Hatred Down"), and 10 ("Scenery") it's blistering. Mike McCready from PJ is, in my opinion, a vastly underrated lead guitarist. And, I'm on record as saying Neil Young's guitar work kicks ass (better even than, dare I say, Crapton himself!). I'd love to know who was playing which solos. But, in the end, who cares? The album rocks and that's ALL that matters.

I suppose I should mention the song "Downtown" is a humorous send-up of left-over hippiedom, in case you don't read the RS review.

Bottom-line: Ladies and Gentlemen, we definitely have ourselves another "keeper". If you don't already have it, get the damned thing ASAP!!!!

PS - I am a HUGE fan of Pearl Jam's companion piece, the 2-song CD single MERKINBALL (1995), which includes "I Got Id" (best PJ song ever, perhaps?) and "The Long Road". Highly recommended.


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