Come Back – Pearl Jam (Pearl Jam, 2006)
Starting with the crack of a high-hat and the guitar that sounds oddly similar to the tone used on “Yellow Leadbetter”, this song saunters in and burns slows. Buried deep on their self-titled 8th album (sometimes called the ‘Avocado Album’) as the second to last song, “Come Back” has been one of my favorite Pearl Jam songs since I first heard it almost ten years ago. I believe it’s about loneliness and written from someone’s perspective of either a lost lover or even someone who’s died.
Vedder croons convincingly “I have been planning out, all that I’d say to you. Since you slipped away, know that I still remain true” while the entire song simmers under the weight of the loss. My favorite little moment is at 2:40 when the guitar has a subtle feedback that works.
By the time he finishes up the second verse Eddie’s ready to explode in longing when he finally releases the pain and reassures the character in the song “It’s okay”. We get a great little guitar solo before the grand finale and they ride the song out “I’ll be here! Come back!” with a rush of emotion that just tugs my heart strings like no other PJ song since “Black”
I always loved the longing in Eddie Vedder’s vocal as the band paints the picture of what he’s emoting about. It also features great guitar work from Mike McCready throughout. These days Pearl Jam is just as known for being a must-see live act for their hardcore audience and this song does get played sometimes. Still, I can’t believe it’s not a go-to for them to get the crowd’s SmartPhones out and have the audience in the palm of their hands. Maybe if I keep holding out…