Looking at my iTunes library a moment ago, I realize that I've listened to Eddie's sountrack to Into the Wild nearly a dozen times this week. I've listened to it quite a lot in the last few months, but this, frankly, is ridiculous.
If I had the energy at the moment to write a long retraction regarding the #5 album on my Top 5 albums of 2007 list - replacing Zeitgeist with the aforementioned soundtrack - I would. I'd go into great detail about my longstanding affection for the Pumpkins and Pearl Jam both, and how I've found my taste slowly but surely tilting in the direction of Eddie & Co. for several years now. I'd talk at length about how Eddie's voice is like a warm blanket that makes you feel safe when you wrap yourself in it, how his greatest vocal gift is his honesty, the fact that he sounds like he's never believed anything in his life as much as he believes the words he's singing right now (and onto the next song, and the next, and etc). I'd rant and rave about how "Society" is a song that needs to be played nonstop on radio stations around the country, how it's the perfect song for the world we're living in today, how it's a strong, beautiful flag for the people who really want to save the planet (and, by extension, us) to rally around. I could lose hours dissecting "Hard Sun," because it's a perfect song. Eddie's brought to new vocal heights in his duet with Corin Tucker (I dearly hope they do an album together soon - the male/female duet album seems to be in vogue these days, and they're just such perfect vocal counterparts); the instrumental part, so forceful and powerful from the start, just builds and builds inexorably until the distorted guitar overwhelms both their voices. The poetry of the lyrics, suspiciously simple ("So I tried to want her/I turned to see her weep/40 days and 40 nights/and it's still coming down on me - the imagery there, just overwhelming) but awe-inspiring in their power.
Yes, I know it's a cover. I don't care.
"The Wolf" allows the more primal elements of Eddie's voice (used sparingly during the bridge in "Hard Sun," but oh, to such effect) to take center stage, and it's about time. "Far Behind" is something not unlike a stripped down Pearl Jam song, and mentioning that could bring me to the featuring of his beloved ukulele on the record, and how much I love it. The beautiful plinkiness of the instrument contrasts and supports - like Corin's voice, but in a different way, for her voice is less than plinky - Eddie's rich, dark chocolate-y baritone.
I doubt I'll ever bring myself to see the movie, though. I like the images I have in my head associated with these songs much more than any than Mr. Penn could marry to them. Is that arrogant? It's only meant to be true...