Pendulum

freshymadfreshymad Posts: 54
It's on a road trip "home" that I realize Ed intentionally makes lyrics sound vague. I could craft those first four syllables into a myriad of meanings.

This is a super condensed review of my feelings about this song. I didn't include the nuances of how the opening notes feel slow but strangely rushed, or how Stone's notes lay on top of each other or how Ed's voice cracks at "may grow." Please recognize my restraint!

This song feels like a cosmic pendulum swinging from Earth towards the Sun. When Ed sings, "My shadow left me long ago," I picture the shadow as being grounded, from which point he is flung to the highest point of the pendulum, closest to the sun ... and there, is all alone. At the top of the swing at that moment of pure weightlessness, he is stuck there, not knowing when the fall will come.

"We are here and then we go. My shadow left me long ago," could also be describing a touring band on stage under the spotlight with no shadow. The music sounds like it's being turned off after that line.

"Easy left me a long time ago." That high note gives me chills when I play it loud. Then the cutting tone of Stone's guitar sustains the chill until the next line. At that point it feels surreal, like a gazillion sparks up my spine, right through to the next line, "I'm in the fire, but I'm still cold." That severance from the elements of nature despite efforts to connect -- I know that feeling of spiritual loneliness. So sad.

"Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah." The slow dance of someone making love to you over and over again, all the while intending to bring you down with your own vulnerability or mistakes. I mean, you love so you have to conceive. All the instruments come together and then quit but the drums play on, sounding like they are about to begin a new song, which is why I have to repeat again and again. Sometimes it doesn't feel so good to obsess with a song, but okay here. Very okay.

What blows my mind is how the band's music is so sensitive to the experience that there is no need for the words. This maturity of expression is even more poignant after listening to the song "Release." The band was young and innocent. It's a song to Dad. Time is a rocking horse with the birds and the rain. It's sad, but there's a sweetness to it.

I have seen too many seconds and too many years pass by now. Holding back the tears and then letting them flow -- much like a wave, yearning for that break on the shore ... or a pendulum reaching for the sun. This song, this life, are impossible to describe with only words.
Post edited by freshymad on

Comments

  • lazlobluelazloblue HoustonPosts: 735
    Nice take. I enjoyed reading.

    Pendulum is by far my favorite song on this new album!!
    Lollapalooza 92, Alpine Valley 11, De Luna 12, Wrigley/Pittsburgh/Dallas/OKC 13, Tulsa/Denver 14, Global 15, Wrigley 1/2 16
  • I'm not sure I can follow to all the places you painted a picture of, but it's a very interesting read.
    It's great to read that one song can bring so much to a person.
    It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.

    2006 Arnhem 2007 Werchter 2009 Rotterdam 2010 Nijmegen 2010 Werchter
    2012 Amsterdam 1 2012 Amsterdam 2 2014 Amsterdam 1 2014 Amsterdam 2
    2014 Berlijn
  • northerndragonnortherndragon somewhere, nowhere, anywherePosts: 9,041
    freshymad said:



    "Easy left me a long time ago." That high note gives me chills when I play it loud. Then the cutting tone of Stone's guitar sustains the chill until the next line. At that point it feels surreal, like a gazillion sparks up my spine, right through to the next line, "I'm in the fire, but I'm still cold."

    This is exactly how I felt the first time I heard this song...hadn't experienced that since listening to Release in my bedroom when I was 15, and just like then I hit the rewind button more times than I could remember.
    Anything you lose from being honest
    You never really had to begin with.


    Sometimes it's not the song that makes you emotional it's the people and things that come to your mind when you hear it.
  • davejtdavejt Posts: 55
    I loved Pendulum musically since I first heard the teaser in the background of the 2013 tour announcement. I couldn't wait to hear this awesome atmospheric Pink Floydish type song.
  • mfc2006mfc2006 PDX--->KCPosts: 29,403
    Easily my favorite song from LB & one of my favorite PJ songs of all time.
    I LOVE MUSIC.
    www.cluthelee.com
    www.cluthe.com
  • freshymad said:


    "Easy left me a long time ago." That high note gives me chills when I play it loud. Then the cutting tone of Stone's guitar sustains the chill until the next line. At that point it feels surreal, like a gazillion sparks up my spine, right through to the next line, "I'm in the fire, but I'm still cold." That severance from the elements of nature despite efforts to connect -- I know that feeling of spiritual loneliness. So sad.

    "Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah." The slow dance of someone making love to you over and over again, all the while intending to bring you down with your own vulnerability or mistakes. I mean, you love so you have to conceive. All the instruments come together and then quit but the drums play on, sounding like they are about to begin a new song, which is why I have to repeat again and again. Sometimes it doesn't feel so good to obsess with a song, but okay here. Very okay.

    What blows my mind is how the band's music is so sensitive to the experience that there is no need for the words. This maturity of expression is even more poignant after listening to the song "Release." The band was young and innocent. It's a song to Dad. Time is a rocking horse with the birds and the rain. It's sad, but there's a sweetness to it.

    I have seen too many seconds and too many years pass by now. Holding back the tears and then letting them flow -- much like a wave, yearning for that break on the shore ... or a pendulum reaching for the sun. This song, this life, are impossible to describe with only words.

    right on!
    It's a hopeless... situation
    And I'm starting to believe
  • Mad MohabMad Mohab Posts: 310
    edited October 2014
    Pendulum is a flash of brilliance, wish the boys would release a double album someday, their outtakes, jams and improvs are always some of their best stuff. This song almost failed to get on LB, but its incredible!
    Post edited by Mad Mohab on
  • deenieskateeniedeenieskateenie AustraliaPosts: 22
    freshymad, your words haunt me as much as the song, in a good way...
  • PJSirenPJSiren Salem, ORPosts: 5,863
    I'm bipolar and to me this song is the perfect description of what it's like to be bipolar....though I doubt that was Ed's intention, but he captured it to a T....

    Also, my friend texted me the other night and had been watching Hawaii Five 0 and this song was featured on an episode...she's not a PJ fan like me but texts me and says "pendulum was on Hawaii Five 0" and I knew exactly what she meant....lol
    Music is my Religion and Pearl Jam, my Savior!
    Tattooed Dissident!
  • whispering handswhispering hands Under your skinPosts: 13,527
    My Dad loves Hawaii 5 0. So, I usually sit and watch it with him and my step mom. So, thanks to this board, I knew it was going to be on there.. But when you look at the story line.. And there's Danny, looking out over the bay trying to figure out what he could gave done differently to save his brother Matt's life.. And you can see it's eating him up.. And those lyrics.. We are here and then we go.. My Dad knows that I know every stupid thing there is to know about music, musicians, and the chaotic world of Hollywood..and he only ever asks, if he's truly interested in the piece of work presented. So he asks me who that was singing this song. ( he even paused the show so I could answer!! ) so I told him it's Pearl Jam.. And he said no the guy singing. So I told him that it was Eddie Vedder. He googled him!! My Dsd NEVER googled anything!! ( makes me or my siblings do it!) so it was a but of a trip. But how perfect was that song knmaceme t on
    That show?!?!

    And this song always gives me chills!
    D1B50013-8BB5-4861-B9BC-AA0D88D58DF4.jpg

    The first rule of the ten club fight club is you don't talk about the ten club fight club!
  • TheiaTheia Posts: 145
    Absolutely love this song. It is haunting and wonderfully arranged.
    Musically, it is creative and beautiful.
    Lyrically, it is immensely appreciated by anyone who has been in a tragically low emotional state.
    One of my favorites on the record. Although, I have to confess, when I'm in a really great mood I have to skip over it. :(
  • vickisomoyavickisomoya Sarasota, FloridaPosts: 171
    Pendulum is pure poetry. It captures the state we live in of endless fluctuations....feeling secure about things...and then not, or happy, elated and then not. Even if you aren't bipolar there is still this constant wave of feelings....

    In one of Ed's interviews he says his job as a lyricist is to listen to what the music is saying, as its own entity expressing feelings...so he is giving the music the power first that it has to make us feel and his words just help us finish the picture. I think this is why all of their songs are so powerful. They understand the profound power of sound....vibrations......

    Whispered songs inside the wind,
    Breathing in forgiveness
    Like vibrations with no end
    Hear the planet hummimg
    Be it no concern
    Point of no return
    Go forward in reverse
    This I will recall
    Every time I fall

    Bridge School 2010
    EV Solo Portland 2011
    Missoula, MT 2012
    Wrigley 2013
    Worcester 2, Brooklyn 1, Baltimore 2013
    St. Paul, Milwaukee, Denver 2014
  • marilormarilor St Etienne, FrancePosts: 618
    So well said Vickisomoya ! I love when they play it as an opener during shows. Very intense song, they reach my soul with these vibrations...
    "We were but stones, ...Your light made us stars"
  • tinkerbelltinkerbell New ZealandPosts: 2,161
    The beauty of all music is personal interpretation, and obviously we all feel connected to Pearl Jams music and lyrics. I personally don't think too much about why a songwriter writes a song but more the connection I feel to it. For me Pendulum came to me at an especially difficult time, when my mum was very ill. I hadn't relistened to Lightning Bolt much in the lead up to Christmas last year but definitely had it on high rotation in early January when me mum passed away. For me Pendulum was a healing song that helped me process the grief of losing my mum. I love this song, it is haunting and soothing at the same time for me. It came right when I needed it and makes me feel my mums presence whenever I hear it.
    all you need is love, love is all you need
  • TJ25487TJ25487 Posts: 933

    The beauty of all music is personal interpretation, and obviously we all feel connected to Pearl Jams music and lyrics. I personally don't think too much about why a songwriter writes a song but more the connection I feel to it. For me Pendulum came to me at an especially difficult time, when my mum was very ill. I hadn't relistened to Lightning Bolt much in the lead up to Christmas last year but definitely had it on high rotation in early January when me mum passed away. For me Pendulum was a healing song that helped me process the grief of losing my mum. I love this song, it is haunting and soothing at the same time for me. It came right when I needed it and makes me feel my mums presence whenever I hear it.

    Very well said. I think too many people clamor to find out the literal meaning of songs and miss the point. They should be appreciating and interpreting the songs for how it helps them in their lives. When I first heard Ed's song "Rise" on the commercial for the Deadliest Catch where Captain Pfil was dying of cancer I interpreted the song to Phil and his families rallying cry. Now when I hear that song it has so much more meaning to me.
  • Damn. Nice review.
    "Society..you're a crazy breed. I hope you're not lonely without me.."
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