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FIRST LISTEN: Eddie Vedder & Cat Power Duet

The Pearl Jam frontman teams up with Cat Power, Glenn Hansard for solo acoustic album.

Kevin O'Donnell // May 26, 2011

On his new solo album Ukulele Songs, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder dials down the noise for a gorgeous collection of ballads performed on his favorite instrument, the ukulele. The record is due out May 31, but NPR has a full stream of the record now. Head here to listen.

The highlight is Vedder’s gorgeous duet with Cat Power’s Chan Marshall on “Tonight You Belong to Me,” a 1920s American standard made popular by Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters in Martin’s 1979 movie The Jerk. Vedder and Marshall’s version is wonderfully spare: just the pair’s intertwining, dulcet harmonies and Vedder’s whisper-quiet strumming.

Elsewhere, Vedder teams up with the Swell Season’s Glenn Hansard on the country standard “Sleepless Nights” and adds mournful cello melodies to “Longing to Belong.”

As we noted in our review, Ukulele Songs “rings sweet and simple, supporting lovely little songs that rely mostly on Vedder’s lovely baritone” and if you’ve ever fantasized about “Vedder singing you, or your kids, to sleep, consider your wish fulfilled.”