The debut track from Eddie Vedder’s first proper solo album, Ukulele Songs, has arrived, and it’s a winner. The concept of an all-ukulele album from one of rock’s most ferocious vocalists has had many scratching their heads, but “Longing To Belong” should help assuage their fears.
First, the uke sounds great – this is not your Hawaiian gift shop model. Second, there’s a nice bowed stringed instrument following along. Also, it’s a rather touching love song, and feels more tightly focused lyrically than much of Pearl Jam’s modern output. “I may be dreaming, but I’m longing to belong to you,” sings Vedder, hitting some interesting chords along the way.
“Longing To Belong” would probably be the highlight of any PJ record post-No Code. Let’s hope the rest of the tracks are this engaging.
Ukulele Songs is due May 31.