Eddie Vedder - Ukulele Songs
Admit it, when you first heard that Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder was making an album of ukulele songs, you thought it was going to be a train wreck didn't you? I certainly did.
When you hear the grunge strumming of the album opener "Can't Keep", coupled with Vedder's signature growl, your suspicions would seem to be confirmed. It's an awful mess of a song.
In fact, all too often on this record, Vedder tries to shoehorn in his Pearl Jam trademarks, the angsty lyrics, the big-lunged vocals, rather than adapt his songs to work within the range of the instrument he has chosen. When that happens, the songs sound absolutely ridiculous.
Guest appearances by Chan Marshall and Glen Hansard help a little bit, softening the songs, but it's really not enough as Vedder seems intent on his direction.
The most successful songs are actually when Vedder dials up the kitsch factor. Cheesy tracks like "Tonight You Belong To Me", "Sleepless Nights", and the classic "Dream a Little Dream" are the ones that are best suited to this type of treatment, and the results reflect that.
While Ukulele Songs is an album that grows on you the more you listen to it, one would have to spend a lot of sleepless nights before it gets anything beyond "alright". It's a cool gimmick that yields unsurprising results.
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