Eddie Vedder, Ukulele Songs

Eddie Vedder, <em>Ukulele Songs</em>

Eddie Vedder’s Ukulele Songs is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It is, in fact, simply Eddie Vedder singing along to a ukulele. However, when you listen to this, you will come to realize the music doesn’t quite match the way you would expect this to come out sounding. (But then again, when has Eddie Vedder really done anything by the norm?) No, this really does not sound like a Don Ho cover album, but rather more toward the side of an acoustic Pearl Jam album — i.e., Vedder with simply an acoustic guitar.

For those unfamiliar with Eddie Vedder, this might not be your best introduction to him. If you’ve somehow managed to miss the recent release of Backspacer or any Pearl Jam albums before that, though, then I don’t really know how to relate to you. If you’ve always known that Local H has a song called “Eddie Vedder” but you thought that the titular character was fictional, then I do not know how to relate to you, either. So for sake of argument, can we just assume that everyone knows who Eddie Vedder is?

The basic fact of knowing who Eddie Vedder is will determine whether or not you like Ukulele Songs. For fans of Pearl Jam, this must be a pleasant little album to listen to when you’re not rocking out to their electric songs. At the same time, I could very easily see a mixed CD being made from this, with songs throughout the massive Pearl Jam catalog being dispersed within these tracks. (I’d be sure to include their live cover of “Baba O’Riley,” as well.)

The first song, “Can’t Keep,” starts off with a bit of vengeance and fury, which makes you think this entire album might be just as fast-paced an angry-sounding. As the album progresses, however, you tend to hear some softer songs without as much rage. The songs tend to be more about sadness and moving on from situations in life. It turns into a somewhat mellow album as it gets deeper, but still without being what you would think of as a traditional ukulele collection from Hawaii.

While this may not be Vedder’s first solo album — who can forget the Into the Wild soundtrack? — it seems very appropriate for him, as a lot of his music tends to focus around surfing anyway.

[Eddie Vedder is playing 11/12/12 & 11/13/12 at Jones Hall, along with Glen Hansard.]
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Review by . Review posted Friday, November 2nd, 2012. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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