From “Green Disease” to “U” and now “Undone”, in this final stretch of More Than Ten, the remaining songs have many similarities, namely (at the risk of being completely redundant) they all consist of Ed Vedder indulging his lighter, leaner musical sensibilities. “Undone” is also a catalogue of other favorite Ed themes. Let’s recap them again!
1. Escape from mass, mainstream society to a smaller, simpler locale? Check.
Last stop on the west coast line
South of the northern border
One small corner on my mind
2. Commentary on the pitfalls of fame? Check.
Everybody, they know me there
Don’t get any second glances
Chances are that they don’t care
3. Ocean imagery? Oh you betcha.
Change don’t come at once
It’s a wave… building before it breaks
4. Left-wing politics? Yep.
Can’t wait for election day
Witness the occupation
Corporations rule the day
Ah yes, the four tenets of Vedderism. But there’s a notable, directly stated difference in “Undone”: “All this hope and nowhere to go / This is how I used to feel, but no more.” Though the song was released as a b-side, it is the act in Riot Act. It’s interesting to see that this renewed sense of both hope and purposefulness coincided with one of the grimmest times in modern U.S. politics and affairs, but that determined vigor and optimism has continued throughout a dire 2-term Bush presidency in much of Ed’s, and Pearl Jam’s work, as if the silver lining to an increasingly Orwellian world is an eventual wake-up call, and pendulum swing back towards sanity and rationalism. “Undone” is breezy yet focused, definitely west coast, with e-bowed and wah-wah guitars, sighing background vocals, and an explosive outtro that ranks among the band’s best.