Pearl Jam’s ‘Gigaton’ debuts at No 1

Album is No 1 rock album within first week of release

Pearl Jam’s Gigaton has been hailed “superb”, “fascinating and ambitious”, “inspiring and engaging”, “their finest studio hour” and “Pearl Jam’s best in a generation.” The critics and fans alike have praised the bands latest release and it has now bowed at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums Chart this week. Additionally, it landed in the Top 5 of the Billboard Top 200. Internationally the album debuted No. 1 in Italy and Austria, Top 5 in Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Canada, and Finland and Top 10 in the UK, Ireland, and New Zealand.

At Metacritic, Gigaton registered the group’s second highest cumulative critical score — only bested by their diamond-certified 1991 debut, Ten. Among numerous positive reactions, Associated Press exclaimed, “Pearl Jam come roaring back with superb new album.” In a four-out-of-five star review, Rolling Stone wrote, “The group has blended the miasmic angst of ‘Jeremy’ and ‘Alive’ with a sense of tenderness and even flashes of hope.” UPROXX promised, “Pearl Jam is reliable on Gigaton at a moment when nothing else is,” and Spin christened it “Their best album since the late nineties.”

Gigaton represents Pearl Jam at the peak of progression. From moments of guitar-fueled catharsis such as “Who Ever Said” through the icy absolution of “River Cross,” the lyrics, riffs, and rhythms transmit a message of hope, culminating on Eddie Vedder’s final words, “Here and now…won’t hold us down…share the light…won’t hold us down.”

Produced by Josh Evans and Pearl Jam, Gigaton marks the band’s first studio album since GRAMMY award-winning, Lightning Bolt, which was released on October 15, 2013. Internationally, the album is available and distributed by Universal Music Group.

Opening up about the album, Eddie Vedder and Jeff Ament appeared on the Bill Simmons Podcast for a marathon two hour interview.

“We’re kind of reclusive by nature. So, in some ways it feels normal to be away from people, that’s not necessarily out of my wheelhouse…but I just keep thinking that first time we’ll be in front of people, it’s even hard to imagine when or how, it’s going to be different. It’s not like we didn’t appreciate it before, it’s just even tenfold,” Vedder tells Simmons about the upcoming North American Gigaton Tour that was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The trek was supposed to kick off on March 18th in Toronto and run through April 19th in Oakland. So far, only the spring dates have been postponed with new dates to be announced. The group’s overseas run, starting June 23rd in Frankfurt, Germany, has not been affected, as of press time.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.