Pearl Jam leader Eddie Vedder has returned to his solo career today with the release of a new song ‘The Haves’, and the announcement of a new album, Earthling.
It’s not like Vedder has been taking it easy over the past couple of years: he’s established the Ohana Festival, contributed to the soundtrack for the Sean Penn film Flag Day, released the Matter of Time EP, and of course, continued his eternal domination of the rock world with Pearl Jam. But now he’s taking some time for himself with a brand new solo album.
Vedder certainly knows how to differentiate his solo work from his Pearl Jam music. His first solo album, the soundtrack to the 2007 film Into the Wild, features mostly acoustic folk songs from Vedder. He then doubled down on going the polar opposite of the high energy rock and roll of his day job by releasing Ukulele Songs in 2011. As can be culled from the title, it features mostly just Vedder and a ukulele, which is about as far from Pearl Jam’s signature grunge sound as one can get.
‘The Haves’ isn’t quite as distant from Pearl Jam as some of those other works. Vedder’s baritone bray is still intact, but Vedder is obviously continuing his more mellow vibe on his solo work. Maybe that comes from living a relatively calm existence in Hawaii most of the time, maybe it comes from Vedder being relatively content in his life.
Whatever the case may be, ‘The Haves’ is a very pretty cut that contrasts well with the more uptempo ‘Long Way’ released earlier this year. It’s all a bit modern day Springsteen-esque, with its slick production and relatively tame take on rock and roll, but it’s pleasant enough that I’m not going to rag on it too much. There are plenty of villains worth taking down a peg in this world, but Eddie Vedder doesn’t seem to be one of them.
Check out the lyric video for ‘The Haves’ down below. Earthling is set to be released on February 11th.