"Moonlander" is the second solo album by Stone Gossard, best known as the rhythm guitar player and founding member of Pearl Jam. Released in 2013, the album showcases Gossard's songwriting and musical skills apart from his main band. Covering 11 tracks, "Moonlander" is a mix of rock, pop, and folk affects, showing Gossard's varied musical range. In addition to supplying vocals and playing guitar, Gossard likewise played bass, keyboards, and percussion on the album.
Album Production and Release
"Moonlander" was tape-recorded in 2012 at Studio Litho in Seattle, Washington, a studio owned by Gossard himself. The album was produced by Gossard, in addition to veteran manufacturer and engineer Floyd Reitsma, who also worked on Pearl Jam's 2013 album "Lightning Bolt".
The album was launched digitally on June 25, 2013, and consisted of a vinyl edition later on in the year. Together with the music, there was likewise a tie-in art job with a series of illustrations by artist and animator Joe Tunis, with one drawing for each song on the album. These illustrations were included as reward material with the album, and Gossard even developed a Moonlander app to share the drawings with fans, offering an immersive, interactive experience that surpassed simply the music itself.
Musical Style and Themes
"Moonlander" shows a variety of genres and affects, with the album's noise being described as a mix of "70s rock, 80s new wave, and 90s alt-rock". Gossard's vocals are frequently soft and melodic, complementing the more guitar-driven noise of the tunes. Many tracks include a combination of acoustic and electric guitars, pianos, and electronic components, showcasing Gossard's multi-instrumentalist skills.
Thematically, the album deals with introspection, individual development, and the beauty of the natural world. For instance, the opening track, "I Need Something Different", discuss discovering new perspectives and breaking devoid of old routines. "Moonlanding" and "Witch Doctor" focus on space exploration and the marvels of the unknown, reflecting both actual deep space and metaphorical inner space. "Beyond Measure" discuss spiritual and philosophical questions, while "Battle Cry" and "Both-- Live" attend to the difficulties and hardships faced throughout life.
The album likewise features instrumentals, such as the spacey, heavenly track "Half Light" and the more speculative "Pigeon", both showcasing Gossard's distinct guitar work.
Reception and Aftermath
While "Moonlander" did not achieve industrial success, it amassed generally positive reviews from both fans and critics. Praise was provided for Gossard's songwriting, musicianship, and the cohesive sound of the album. However, some critics noted that the album could have been more experimental and risk-taking, given the distinct styles of space and expedition.
Following the release of "Moonlander", Stone Gossard returned to work with Pearl Jam. He remains an important part of the band, adding to their 2020 album, "Gigaton". "Moonlander" stays a significant entry in Gossard's discography-- a varied, thoughtful, and interesting album that showcases his talents as a musician and songwriter beyond Pearl Jam.
Artist: Stone Gossard
Stone Gossard, founding member of Pearl Jam. Dive into his early life, legendary bands, quotes, and more.
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