May 17, 2009

Dream of the Next

It was bound to happen- that in a project of this magnitude, writing about every song in the exhaustive Pearl Jam catalog, I would come across a few songs that I either:
  • Have no connection to
  • I don’t really like.
I am faced with a few options on how to handle the dilemma in this situation. I could:
  • Strain myself trying to find some connection
  • Strain myself trying to creating some profound meaning that is not there
  • Listen to the song and allow it to inspire some sort of tangential art project
  • Admit that song is not my cup of tea and move on.
While I like options three and four, and may choose to employ them at a later time, I am choosing to go with option five for the song Oceans. The wikipedia page makes for a good read, with fascinating trivia like the fact that the song was the fourth official release off Ten, complete with a video, but I don't have much more to say on the song.

For a band that kept their videos close to their chest, I cannot believe this video was released at all. It is a bit on the embarrassing side. I don’t know about you, but I like my brooding, angst ridden rock stars who have martyr-complexes not to be frolicking and smiling on the beach in Hawaii. They can smile and be happy, but not like this. I cannot find an embeddable version. That may be for the best. View at your own discretion.

Having said that, I will admit that it was a nice touch opening the Unplugged session with the song, and it does have a quiet intimidate feel here:

It is funny, I seem to find myself reverting to option three. I guess I just never felt that the song belonged on Ten, especially with songs like State of Love and Trust and Breath left off. Listening to it now, however, I can see it as a pre-cursor to many of the songs that would come later, as the band released some tension and started to find that tribal rhythm section that Jack Irons perfected.

Ament went so far as to say:
"When we were picking songs for Ten we thought it was important to pick the weirder moments, like "Oceans", because we wanted to be able to explore those areas down the line."
I will leave it at that. Oceans is not one of my favorites. What are your thoughts? Have I missed something? Is there something more to the song in your view?


  1. Well, we were bound to disagree at some point in our journey. I love this song. It is the song that my husband and I call *our song*. It has a mellifluous quality, in the way that the lyrics and instruments flow in and out of each other. The lyrics to me symbolise that feeling of flow, of drifting along. The video seems very basic, and early 90s grungy. I'm also willing to admit that it might have more appeal to a woman than a heterosexual man :-p

  2. Hey Nirvana,

    Good to hear from you. I know a few people who love this song, and while I can appreciate what you are saying about feeling of flow, of drifting along, it still doesn't do it for.

    I am just glad that someone could use the word mellifluous on my blog!

    I would love to collaborate on a song with you in the future. You know where to find me, let me know if one is coming up. I am pretty much going in order.

    Thanks for chiming in...

  3. Hi Jabiz,
    I didn't have email for follow up comments turned on, so I'm just reading your response now. I'm on holidays for the next little while, offering a great opportunity to collaborate. From 'Ten', perhaps 'Release', or 'Daughter' from 'Vs' would be the next ones I'd be most interested in.

  4. @SoulCradler

    Release is a really personal one that I want to do alone, but if you create anything or send text I would love to guest post in on my blog.

    As for Daughter, I would love to do something great. Let's start thinking. It is a few songs away and probably won't be posted for a few weeks, but if you have the time we can work on it and I will just post it later.

    Let's use all the Web 2.0 tools at our disposal and create something cool.

    Hope you have email notification turned on ;)