With this group, the guitar rules - and Eddie Vedder, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, Mike Mcready and Matt Cameron have got themselves quite a collection in Binaural.
All the songs have a strong whiff of disenchantment with life or a system, like in "Grievance", "Insignificance" and "Rival", or loss, as is the case in "Breakerfall" and "Parting Ways".
Imagine a room where the air is thick with smoke and where people are dressed in black wearing looks of acute sadness now bordering on indifference on their faces. The lyrics to the songs in this album seem to have come from the minds of these very people.
My favourites were "Soon Forget", a little ditty about the ineffectualness of money, "Sleight Of Hand", that talks about a man so worn down by the monotony of his job that he eventually seeks respite from it by opting out of life itself, "Light Years", which is a love song about a man who has lost the woman he loved and finally "God's Dice", which attempts to explain the meaninglessness of life.
All in all, what we have here are interesting, deep lyrics spruced up with lots of guitar - which makes it the ideal album for Pearl Jam fans. Also accompanying the album is a booklet - its pages filled with copies of the original typed song sheets, pictures of the group and doodles drawn by them while at work.This article was first published on 29 May 2000.