Eddie Vedder: Ukulele Songs
The ukulele is so hot right now and Eddie Vedder is part of the reason why. Vedder first used this instrument on the his first solo release, 2007’s Into The Wild soundtrack, and now he is following it up with an album that focuses exclusively on the instrument, Ukulele Songs. Whereas the first album leaned toward the triumphant, this one tends to linger in melancholy as Mr. Vedder’s musical exploration leads to an eclectic collection of songs. Despite it’s instrumental focus, both the covers and the original songs range in style, length, and content.
The 16-track album has a number of noteworthy songs such as “Without You,” a great cover of the classic “More Than You Know,” and the first single, “Longing to Belong.” Vedder maintains a sense of playfulness as he includes some very short snippets of music and mess-ups like the eight-second “Hey Fahkah.” He also winds up making some sweet songs sorrowful, like his darker version of “Dream a Little Dream” as well as some sorrowful songs sweet such as the gorgeous “Sleeping by Myself.”
The album also features guests such as Cat Power on “Tonight You Belong to Me” and The Swell Season’s Glen Hansard on a great rendition of the Everly Brothers song “Sleepless Nights.” Overall, the effort comes across as very personal as the Pearl Jam frontman strips down the production and leaves us with a collection of songs that are a balance of both heavy and light hearted.