Singer Eddie Vedder cautions a despondent friend that refusing to move on will lead to a “Life Wasted.” Similarly, the optimistic “Inside Job” finds a man refusing to let disappointments destroy him (“How I choose to feel is how I am”). “Army Reserve,” “Parachute” and “World Wide Suicide” all decry war while mourning its casualties, especially the heavy-hearted families and friends fretting back home. Songs also caution against drug abuse (“Severed Hand”) and eulogize a victim of corporate downsizing who is left to support his family without a paycheck (“Unemployable”).
It’s one thing to hate the prospect of war, another to vilify those burdened with the task of fighting one (“World Wide Suicide”). Vedder lambastes people of faith on the live-and-let-live diatribe “Marker in the Sand.” Other lines appear to buy into evolution (“Big Wave”) and the right of gays to marry (“Comatose”). Grotesque liner photos look like something out of a Uwe Boll movie.
Pearl Jam captures the band’s passion for social issues. In some cases, that’s great. In others, listeners who prefer the moral high ground will feel ridiculed.
After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews.