So Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder’s latest solo outing “Ukulele Songs” finally landed on my doorstep today! Needless to say I’ve had it on endless rotation since it’s arrival. This is not a hard thing to do as while the album is amazing, it’s also amazingly short coming in at just shy of 35 minutes.
Length aside, each song is still its own masterpiece in stripped down melodic magic. The tracks drip with Vedder’s familiar haunting vocal tones accompanied by the simple yet soulful sounds of his faithful ukulele.
The album opens with Can’t Keep, a Pearl Jam cover stripped back and laid bare but still retaining a modicum of rock from the Seattle grunge days.
Goodbye is fast becoming my personal favorite. A sweet yet saddening track which melts in classic Vedder style a combination of yearning for more whilst saying farewell “and for what feels like the first time, I don’t know where you are tonight, I guess that this is goodbye.”
The first single “Longing to Belong” is one of the smoother songs on the album and and definitely a showcase of Vedder’s strengths. Tonight You Belong To Me is another surprise as Chan Marshall of Cat Power joins to flirtatiously duet in this cover of a 1920’s classic.
Other tracks sway in style from the uplifting You’re True through to the mellow Hawaiian hula-esque harmonies of Sleepless Nights.
Ukulele Songs really is an accomplishment is bringing out the trademark rich and raw tones of Eddie Vedder’s voice, then backing it with the often friendly, sometimes sorrowful strummings of the much underrated ukulele.