Out Now: Eddie Vedder ‘Earthling,’ a Soaring, Emotional LP ft. Elton John, Ringo Starr, Stevie Wonder & Eddie’s Father

Adrian GarroCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

Today, Feb. 11, Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder releases Earthling, a brand new studio album that is his third proper full-length solo record overall.

His first since 2011’s Ukulele Songs, the 13-song collection continues Vedder’s career-long exploration of the human condition with reflective songs with Vedder’s customarily thoughtful lyrics finding a spot between melancholy and hope.

Take “Invincible,” the rousing album opener, as an example:

Feeling honest as a promise
Troubled times have come upon us
At the core of the cosmos
We are so much more than particles
Sonic to the subatomic
You are a whisper and a scream
You are, we are
All part of this everything
Yeah, so feel important

Vedder shared a few songs in the lead-up to Earthling‘s release, each one a showcase of his songcraft — and each demonstrating his creative expression that may not otherwise feel appropriate or stylistically consistent under the Pearl Jam umbrella.

Click here to pick up Earthling on CD from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pre-order Earthling on LP from our Rock Cellar Store (Release Date: TBD)

“Brother The Cloud,” one of the pre-release tracks, touches on the emotions of yearning and love:

If I could wish, wish it away
I would bleed out my knees and pray
If I could give all that I have
To bring him back today
These are but dreams
As sad as it seems
I’m always wide awake

Vedder’s backing band for this project, by the way, is an all-star lineup comprised of Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Josh Klinghoffer (formerly of the Chili Peppers and now with Pearl Jam), and guitarist Andrew Watt, who produced Earthling. Bassist Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction) and singer/songwriter Glen Hansard are also part of the Earthlings live band that is accompanying Vedder on the road right now (more on that later).

The Tom Petty-leaning “Long Way” was one of the earliest songs shared from the album, and features Benmont Tench (lending to its Petty influence):

Also joining Vedder on the album in guest appearances are a few especially high profile friends — namely, Stevie Wonder, Ringo Starr and Elton John, the latter of which counts in “Picture” and lends his vocals and skills on a piano:

Per a news release:

In the recent New York Times Magazine interview Eddie described it as: “the album is structured kind of like a concert: The special guests come out at the end. Stevie, then Elton, then we’ve got our “Mrs. Mills” song with Ringo. Then the last special guest was my father, whom I really didn’t get to know.”

Yes, that’s correct — Vedder teams with his estranged father on “On My Way,” which features a sampled vocal from his dad, which was recently discovered by Eddie. It’s an emotional way to close out an album of self-realization and depth, bringing a frequent topic among Vedder’s songs full circle:

Earthling is an earnest collection of songs from one of our most gifted singer/songwriters around. Eddie Vedder is a living legend, a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer with a versatile back catalog of music with Pearl Jam that elevated him from “musician” to “icon” long ago — and Earthling is another powerhouse example of his impeccable songcraft.

Stream it below.

Vedder and his band have some remaining dates on the Earthling tour next week:

February 15    San Diego, CA            The Magnolia
February 17    Los Angeles, CA         YouTube Theatre
February 21    Seattle, WA                 Benaroya Hall
February 22    Seattle, WA                 Benaroya Hall
February 22    Seattle, WA                 Benaroya Hall

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