Thursday, July 23, 2009

Eddie Vedder: Top Ten Songwriter writer, Andrew Moll, listed his Top Ten Songwriters [of all time?  currently?] this week.  Despite a continuing debate on the merits of The Fixer(the lyrics were most likely Ed's, even though the song is credited to Matt Cameron), we'll go ahead and prais our hometown hero for the honor.

In Pearl Jam's early days, Eddie Vedder wasn't the one writing most of the songs, as that was up to Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament. But it was Vedder providing the lyrics that made him a generational leader, against his best efforts. But the way songs like "Black" were written, it would be impossible for people not to latch onto what Vedder was singing. That connection with fans has only grown over the years as Vedder has penned classic Pearl Jam tracks like "Better Man," "Wishlist," "I Am Mine" and "World Wide Suicide." Vedder's talent has always been writing intensely personal lyrics that people can apply to their own lives. A lyric like "Everything has chains...absolutely nothing's changed," ends up meaning a lot to many listeners.

As much as Vedder writes about personal things, he's also as good as anyone at writing political statements. Lyircs from tracks like "Do the Evolution," "Grievance," and "Marker in the Sand" look at the political world with a skeptical eye, while the song "Bushleaguer" provides an excellent satirical take on everybody's favorite President. But Vedder's speciality is the personal, no doubt. He and Pearl Jam become stars by being direct and earnest and they haven't changed that approach at all. Whether he's whimsical on "Elderly Woman..." or exhausted on "All or None," Eddie Vedder knows how to tap into his own mind and make his statements mean something to rest of us as well.