Thursday, April 18, 2019

Certain Songs #1515: Pearl Jam – “The Fixer” | Medialoper

Album: Backspacer
Year: 2009

Like most bands, Pearl Jam’s output slowed up in their second decade: 2002 brought Riot Act, another album I never really connected with, and 2006 brought the much better Pearl Jam album, though it still didn’t come anywhere close to the heights they’d previously reached.

However, 2009’s Backspacer nearly did. From the cover art by the great Tom Tomorrow to the very strong lineup of songs, Backspacer was the best Pearl Jam album in over a decade, and I even got to see them on the subsequent tour.

In all the long years, I’d only ever seen Pearl Jam once: at same 1994 Bridge School show with Sherilyn & Kim that Neil Young & Crazy Horse played an amazing version of “Change Your Mind” and served as Stan Lynch’s final show with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

As much as I like Pearl Jam, they weren’t really the draw for me that evening, so I don’t remember too much of their set outside of the encore of “Bee Girl.” The same can’t be said for the second time I saw them, with Tim & Jean & Andrea, at the Universal Gibson Ampitheater — which opened with fucking “Corduroy,” featured the first “Jeremy” of that tour, and showcased a bunch of Backspacer songs, including the joyful “The Fixer.”

Yeah, hey, hey
When somethings dark
Let me shed a little light on it
When somethings cold
Let me put a little fire on it
If somethings old
I wanna put a bit of shine on it
When somethings gone,
I wanna fight to get it back again

Somehow balancing pure pop with weird time signatures, handclaps and even a decorative keyboard, “The Fixer” probably would have been rejected back during the 1990s, but the mood of Backspacer was more up than any record they’d ever done, and “The Fixer” was exhibit number one, especially on the chorus.

Hey, hey, hey
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
Fight to get it back again
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Fight to get it back again
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Fight to get it back again
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Singing at the top of his register, voice breaking with every single “yeah, yeah, yeah,” you get the impression that while Eddie isn’t sure that he’s going to fix anything, he’s sure as hell going to enjoy the process.

Since Backspacer, Pearl Jam has only put out one record, 2013’s Lightning Bolt, which I didn’t like nearly as much, though as I write this, they are supposedly in the studio working on a new one, which I’ll definitely check out.

“The Fixer”

“The Fixer” performed live in 2009

“The Fixer” performed live in 2010

The Certain Songs Database
A filterable, searchable & sortable somewhat up to date database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page


No comments: