Quick. That is how Eddie Vedder describes the process of composing his first solo project, the songs for the “Into the Wild” soundtrack. A stripped-down acoustic soundtrack, which provides a minimalist contrast to the epic scope of Sean Penn’s film, Vedder provides a humanizing and melodic inner voice to the pic. There are no Pearl Jam rockers in this mix.
Most of the nine originals and two covers clock in at less than three minutes; folk-rock ballads such as “Setting Forth” and “No Ceiling” are just getting started before they abruptly end. The two strongest songs feature collaborators: Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker provides background vocals on “Hard Sun” and Bay Area singer-songwriter Jerry Hannan wrote and contributes guitar and background vocals on “Society.” Album would have benefited from more helping hands.