Hard pounding rockers typify the first half (Getaway, Mind Your Manners, and My Fathers Son). The second act loses a little steam, although if theyre was one guy who can pull off melancholia its Eddie Vedder. The upbeat acoustic number Sleeping By Myself" was first heard on Vedders 2011 solo album Ukulele Songs, reworked here featuring input from the entire band. Let the Records Play, dominated by a greasy bluesy rock riff, switches the albums momentum up a little bit, giving listeners a refuge from the Pearl Jamesque rock that rules most of the record up to that point. While the poignant Future Days, ends things on a high note.
Eddie Vedder seems to have come to terms with middle age, and once again the band feels no need to sound like anything contemporary. Producer Brendan O'Brien's return is welcomed, having worked with Pearl Jam on their previous album Backspacer. OBrien forces the band to stick to basics, thankfully reducing the emotional molasses that inflicted past records. No more extravagance, just classic rock at its most forthright, with a few stops in between to shed some tears.