Gigaton

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Gigaton
Pearl Jam - Gigaton.png
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 27, 2020 (2020-03-27)
Recorded2017–2020
Genre
Length57:03
Label
ProducerJosh Evans[3]
Pearl Jam chronology
MTV Unplugged
(2019)
Gigaton
(2020)
Singles from Gigaton
  1. "Dance of the Clairvoyants"
    Released: January 22, 2020
  2. "Superblood Wolfmoon"
    Released: February 18, 2020
  3. "Quick Escape"
    Released: March 25, 2020
  4. "Retrograde"
    Released: May 14, 2020

Gigaton is the eleventh studio album by American rock band Pearl Jam, released March 27, 2020.[4][5] It was preceded by the singles "Dance of the Clairvoyants", "Superblood Wolfmoon" and "Quick Escape".[6][7] It is the band's first studio album in seven years.[8] The cover artwork was produced by photographer Paul Nicklen.[9] Its release was scheduled to coincide with a tour of North America.[10] However, the North American leg was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the aim to reschedule it for a later date.[11][12]

Background and recording[edit]

Producer Josh Evans told Variety's Jonathan Cohen[13] that "Seven O'Clock" was pieced together from different portions of a jam early in the recording sessions, and then layered with new elements later on. Eddie Vedder's vocal on the solo acoustic "Comes Then Goes" was captured on the first take, while the 1850s-era pump organ Vedder played on the 2015 demo of "River Cross" was retained for the studio version.[14]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic80/100[15]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[16]
The Guardian4/5 stars[17]
Consequence of SoundB+[18]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[19]
Kerrang!5/5 stars[20]
Mojo4/5 stars[21]
NME3/5 stars[22]
Pitchfork6.2/10[23]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[24]
Spin4/5 stars[25]

Gigaton was met with positive reviews from critics noted at review aggregator Metacritic. This release received a weighted average score of 80 out of 100, based on 26 reviews.[26] AllMusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine rated the album 4 out of 5 stars, noting that its three highlights were "Who Ever Said", "Dance of the Clairvoyants" and "Never Destination".[16] Rolling Stone writer Kory Grow also gave the album a positive review, also rating it 4 out of 5 stars. Grow wrote that Gigaton is "an admirable, inspiring example of grown-up grunge".[24] Spin writer John Paul Bullock was also positive toward the album, writing, "Gigaton has a little something for everyone. It's a complex, dynamic album full of earnest emotion and subtle humor". [25] Mojo, in yet another positive review, wrote, "Strong and loose, political and personal, Pearl Jam get the balance absolutely right".[21]

Kerrang! writer George Garner gave the album a perfect score, and wrote: "it's Pearl Jam's most incensed album since 2006. It's their most musically inventive since 1998. And, by virtue of its themes, it is their most gravely needed of their entire career. It is, in short, a triumph". Garner also noted that Gigaton "often zips along so quickly that on first listen it's easy to miss the details that make it so special".[20]

Writing for The A.V. Club, Alex McLevy gave the album a B, criticizing it for being uneven, but praising the band for musical experimentation and writing that it, "stands out in comparison to several more recent Pearl Jam albums due to the improved ratio of hits to misses on the back half".[27] Consequence of Sound critic Matt Melis graded the album a B+, noting that the three best songs from Gigaton were "Superblood Wolfmoon", "Quick Escape" and "Retrograde".[18]

Steve Lampiris of The Line of Best Fit considered Gigaton the band's most experimental album, and gave it a score of 8 out of 10.[28] Tom Hull was less impressed, giving it a B grade and saying that it is "not bad, nor especially interesting, and by the end I was reminded of how tedious Eddie Vedder's voice is."[29]

Accolades[edit]

Accolades for Gigaton
Publication Accolade Rank Ref.
Spin Spin's 30 Best Albums of 2020 – Mid-Year
N/A

Commercial performance[edit]

On the US Billboard 200, Gigaton debuted at number 5 with 63,000 equivalent album units, marking the band's twelfth top 10 album. Of that sum, it sold 14,000 vinyl copies, the second-largest weekly vinyl sales for a 2020 release.[31]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics are written by Eddie Vedder, except where noted[32].

No.TitleLyricsMusicLength
1."Who Ever Said" Vedder5:11
2."Superblood Wolfmoon" Vedder3:49
3."Dance of the Clairvoyants" Jeff Ament, Matt Cameron, Stone Gossard, Mike McCready, Vedder4:26
4."Quick Escape" Ament4:47
5."Alright"AmentAment3:44
6."Seven O'Clock" Ament, Gossard, McCready, Vedder6:14
7."Never Destination" Vedder4:17
8."Take the Long Way"CameronCameron3:42
9."Buckle Up"GossardGossard3:37
10."Comes Then Goes" Vedder6:02
11."Retrograde" McCready5:22
12."River Cross" Vedder5:53
Total length:57:03

Personnel[edit]

Pearl Jam

  • Jeff Ament – bass guitar, keyboards and guitar on "Dance of the Clairvoyants" and "Quick Escape", drum loop on "Quick Escape", keyboards on "Alright" and "Seven O'Clock", Mbira on "Alright" and "River Cross", programming on "Seven O'Clock", piano on "Buckle Up", production, layout
  • Matt Cameron – drums, drum programming on "Dance of the Clairvoyants", guitar on "Alright" and "Take the Long Way", vocals and programming on "Take the Long Way", production
  • Stone Gossard – guitar, bass on "Dance of the Clairvoyants", percussion on "Buckle Up", vocals on "Buckle Up", keyboards on "Retrograde", production
  • Mike McCready – guitar, percussion on "Dance of the Clairvoyants", keyboards on "Retrograde", production
  • Eddie Vedder – lead vocals, guitar, keyboards on "Seven O'Clock", pump organ on "River Cross", production, layout, text

Additional personnel

  • Ames Bros. – text
  • John Burton – engineering
  • Josh Evans – keyboards on "Superblood Wolfmoon", "Never Destination", "Buckle Up" and "River Cross", drum programming on "Alright", production
  • Meagan Grandall – backing vocals on "Take the Long Way"
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering
  • Paul Nicklen – photography
  • Brendan O'Brien – keyboards on "Quick Escape" and "Retrograde"
  • Joe Spix – layout

Charts[edit]

Chart performance for Gigaton
Chart (2020) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[33] 3
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[34] 1
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[35] 4
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[36] 2
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[37] 5
Croatian International Albums (HDU)[38] 1
Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI)[39] 12
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[40] 6
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[41] 2
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[42] 5
French Albums (SNEP)[43] 34
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[44] 3
Greece albums (IFPI)[45] 1
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)[46] 6
Irish Albums (OCC)[47] 6
Italian Albums (FIMI)[48] 1
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[49] 30
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[50] 6
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[51] 4
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[52] 6
Portuguese Albums (AFP)[53] 1
Scottish Albums (OCC)[54] 3
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[55] 1
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[56] 10
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[57] 2
UK Albums (OCC)[58] 6
US Billboard 200[31] 5
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[59] 1
US Top Hard Rock Albums (Billboard)[60] 1
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[61] 1

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Grow, Kory (March 9, 2020). "Pearl Jam Combine Fury and Maturity on 'Gigaton'".
  3. ^ Lavin, Will (January 13, 2020). "Pearl Jam announce new studio album Gigaton". NME. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
  4. ^ Willman, Chris (January 13, 2020). "Pearl Jam Announces First Album in Seven Years, Along With North American Tour". Variety. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
  5. ^ Bloom, Madison (January 13, 2020). "Pearl Jam Announce Tour and New Album Gigaton". Pitchfork. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
  6. ^ Jones, Damian (February 13, 2020). "Listen to a preview of Pearl Jam's new single Superblood Wolfmoon by pointing your phone at the moon". NME. Retrieved February 14, 2020.
  7. ^ Blistein, Jon (March 25, 2020). "Pearl Jam Plot 'Quick Escape' From Environmental Doom on New Song". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
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  13. ^ Cohen, Jonathan (January 25, 2020). "Eddie Vedder Unveils Pearl Jam's New Album, 'Gigaton,' at Intimate Listening Session".
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  17. ^ Alexis Petridis (March 26, 2020). "Pearl Jam: Gigaton review – grunge gurus revel in the end times". The Guardian. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
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External links[edit]