Eddie Vedder

One Step Back

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Advertised as a solo album by the Pearl Jam front man, this is actually the demos recorded by Vedder's first band, Bad Radio. Vedder has tried very hard to keep these from surfacing, but eventually someone had to find these floating around. The sound quality is awful, and the packaging leaves a lot to be desired. But unlike Pearl Jam, there is very little redeeming about the music found on the disc. Typical of most college bands of that era, this is generic, politically correct funk-rock similar to the kind the Red Hot Chili Peppers were making around the same time. Songs like "What the Funk" and "Sick of Possies" are bland party anthems, while the social commentary of "I'm Alive" and "Homeless" lack the lyrical direction that Vedder would later find. Oddly enough, "Better Man," one of Pearl Jam's better ballads, is here in its original form. One song cannot save an album, but the point of the compilation was not to be a solid collection of songs. Instead, this is an unintentionally hilarious view into the noise that Vedder was making before he became successful. Pearl Jam fans may want to get this to complete their collection, but detractors of Vedder would probably enjoy this album far more.

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