a”The light gets brighter as it grows,” Eddie Vedder sings on “React, Respond.”

Here, we are going to navigate Pearl Jam’s new record Dark Matter in 11 stunning lyrics. However, there is so much personality to each song that this article could also be titled Dark Matter in 11 stunning sounds or riffs or musical moments or drum fills or thoughts.

The aforementioned “React, Respond” is fast-paced song. A mini-fast car so-to-speak that is filled with punk rocking twists, yet it’s still packed with a ton of profound words. It’s a theme that jumped out at me immediately with the band’s 12th studio album. This sensational collection of music acknowledges the power of your thoughts so deeply. Dark Matter will make you feel everything, if you want it to.

Throughout the 48-plus minutes, there are messages of love, hope, and hang in there, you got this. More than anything though, there’s truth, and that can mean that things aren’t always easy. It’s very much acknowledged in Dark Matter that sometimes you have to endure and comb through the wreckage (something’s got to give). And when you do, you may no longer give a fuck who is wrong and who’s right. That’s because living in the present tense, you learn to be grateful for the given moment.

For Pearl Jam and us fans, to properly explore where we are going with this new music, I feel it’s important to give a nod to the previous chapter.

Dear Gigaton, you may have unveiled during unfortunate circumstances at the start of a global pandemic, but thank you for being a pillar of strength. You made so much sense at a time when nothing else did.

And now here we are. With a new appreciation for everything. Dark Matter is such great representation of that sentiment. In fact, you can argue that is the foundation for this entire era.

Producer Andrew Watt, who worked with Vedder on Earthling, in his own way seems to exude so much gratitude for having the opportunity to work with Pearl Jam. He’s a lifelong fan who has a wealth of knowledge on their history. Furthermore, whether in studio or on stage with a guitar, Watt radiates an immense joy of being in the moment.

The moments of Dark Matter come in all shapes and forms. I was first introduced to the world of music by my mother constantly playing Stevie Wonder in the house. The fact that literally waiting for Stevie inspired a sensational song delivers such a full circle perspective. It also makes me think of Soundgarden, and the enthralling world of Seattle rock music blasting in the early 90’s. But I can hear him sing.

Alas, Dark Matter is “clear for liftoff.” It’s a new beginning and a chance for us all to celebrate a sun at the break of dawn that is truly something special.

Here, in the form of everything from heavy-hitting one-liners, to in-depth beautiful landscapes, is Pearl Jam’s Dark Matter in 11 stunning lyrics.

all photos by: Danny Clinch


“Is this what we’ve become?
One last last setting sun
I’ll give but I can’t give up.” 


“It’s better to give
Give than deceive
Questions dissolve
The more you believe.”


“Now you’re like the water and the water will find its way.”


“I once heard a sin
And now it’s stuck in my head
Or is it the press?
No one knows what happens next.”


“As she smiled and played a minor chord
In a key I never heard before
One song and it was done.”


“No room left on the pages
We filled ’em up
And painted some

Though the book
It may never be ready by anyone
By anyone but me.”


“You can relate, but still can’t stop
Or conquer the fear you are what
You’re not.”

~ be mighty. be humble. be mighty humble ~


“Got me running
But the race it never ends.”


“Afraid to fail
Same as afraid to try
These are the days
To accept all the invites.”


“Let’s get to the point
We all are heard and seen
Let’s get to the point
We can believe.”


The whole damn song, I experience an outpouring of emotion at every listen. What a send-off. 
But for this sake ~

“May your days be long til kingdom come.”

So, I will see you at the shows. Those from near and far away places. Old friends and new.
Let us not fade. 

additional reads: Pearl Jam’s Dark Matter Is Truly Something Special