There are a number of ways for a band to look back on a chunk of their career, and for this two-disc retrospective, Pearl Jam have chosen to take the thematic, rather than the chronological, route. Rearviewmirror
is divided into an "Up" disc and a "Down" disc, a sensible approach given the often wild mood swings that mark the band's output. The former portion, naturally enough, concentrates on the quintet's charging rockers, from the ecstatic, vinyl-worshipping "Spin the Black Circle" to the rending tones of "Jeremy" to the careening punk assault of "I Got S**t." The "Down" volume delves into the more introspective side of Eddie Vedder
and company, running together such alternately doleful and pensive songs as "Nothingman" and "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town." That disc also serves up the band's sole Top 40 hit, a cover of J. Frank Wilson
's early-'60s death ballad, "Last Kiss." While there's no new material to be found here, longtime collaborator Brendan O'Brien does remix three tracks from the band's earliest days -- and those new versions of "Once," "Alive," and "Black" do differ significantly from the originals, particularly in the crisp separation in Mike McCready
's and Stone Gossard
's guitars. Objects in this Mirror
are certainly worth a second look.