First off, lemme say this- I like Eddie Vedder, and I like Pearl Jam.
I'm impressed with how both Vedder and his band have managed to stay musically relevant, growing and cultivating a small but passionate fanbase where so many of the so called Seattle "grunge" bands of the 1990's have faded away.
That being said, really- Eddie Vedder?
You're releasing an entire album of ukulele songs?
In case you aren't hip to this particular development- yes, Eddie Vedder is releasing his second solo album composed entirely of songs accompanied by the ukulele, and as though that wasn't dumb enough, guess what the title is?
Now look. Eddie Vedder is a terrific musican, and I love his gravely voice and his introspective lyrics, and the whole shaggy package, and I even heard a track from the album, and it was pretty good, but still, all I could think afterwards was "that was great- imagine how great it would be if he used a REAL guitar."
Don't get me wrong.
Ukuleles have value. For one thing, they are funny. I mean, c'mon! Look at them! They're tiny widdle guitars! Hilarious! Tiny Tim used to play the ukulele, and it was a riot! Playing a ukulele is always good for a laugh, but let's be honest, if you ever break a ukulele, you don't think "OH NO, I need to get to a music shop to repair this!" You think: "Oh well, they'll give me a new one the next time I get over 20 dollars of takeout at the Polynesian place."
I mean, have you ever seen a ukulele? Check this out. This is a ukulele.
Even sadder? That's actual size.
I'm not saying you CAN'T play music on a ukulele, I'm saying you probably shouldn't. I mean, if Eddie Vedder wanted to do an album on a tiny little guitar, why not a mandolin? Those are small guitars that are integral in bluegrass music, and they are actual musical instruments, not something you buy for each one of your kids at Disney World to distract them from beating each other up in the hotel room.
Part of me thinks that Eddie Vedder might be in some kind of feud with another musician. Like the other guy said something like, "I'm a way better musician than you are, Eddie Vedder!" And Eddie Vedder said "dude- I can make a better album than you, and not only that, I can do it on a UKULELE. WATCH THIS."
If that was the case, I'd feel an awful lot better about this.
Ukulele Songs comes out today.