“It’s like with oil painting… a friend of mine said, ‘Paint a hundred, see if you’re good at it. After a hundred, maybe you’ll know.'” That’s how Eddie Vedder kicks off this short look inside Backspacer, due September 20th. It’s not their hundredth album — really just their ninth — but as the band pulls into their 20th year of existence, it’s fair to say Pearl Jam has now been painting for a long, long time. Snippets of new tracks surface here: “Got Some,” which they premiered on the first night of Conan’s Tonight Show; “Just Breathe,” a ballad clearly inspired by Vedder’s solo work on the Into the Wild soundtrack; and first single “The Fixer,” which we learn was a Matt Cameron contribution, and whose calf-springing beat just keeps getting better and better. Intercut with loving footage of the band’s Seattle warehouse home — and one sweet John Hughes tribute — this video feels like the infamous PJ shell just creaked open a little bit wider in hopes of letting a few more people in. I’ve heard the whole album and can back them up when they say it’s a tight, concise piece of work. Based on what you’ve heard so far, what do you think, Mixers?
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