Material for the 13-track set took shape in the wake of President George W. Bush's re-election as well as the United States' invasion of Iraq, the third anniversary of which is quickly approaching.

Pearl Jam wears its emotions on its sleeve on its self-titled eighth album, which, as previously reported, will be released May 2 via J Records. Material for the 13-track set took shape in the wake of President George W. Bush's re-election as well as the United States' invasion of Iraq, the third anniversary of which is quickly approaching.

"It's understandable why someone would like their entertainment to provide an escape from modern day worries and the reality of war," Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder tells Billboard.com. "We feel this record creates a healthy opportunity to process some of these emotions rather than deny them."

"It's like we took our aggressions and shaped something positive from them in a very direct manner," Vedder adds in a message on Pearl Jam's Web site, noting that after more than 15 years together, Pearl Jam feels re-energized by the new album. "Our band is like an old car, and this record is our new engine."

Two tracks have already been debuted live: "Comatose," which was previously known as "Crapshoot Rapture," is a fast, punkish rocker in the vein of "Spin the Black Circle," while Vedder's "Gone" was unveiled last fall during a show in Atlantic City, N.J. His solo demo of the song was recently included on Pearl Jam's annual holiday single for members of its Ten Club fan organization.

In a move that is unprecedented for a band of its stature, Pearl Jam is giving away a free MP3 of first single "World Wide Suicide" via its Web site, simultaneous with its Tuesday (March 8) release to U.S. rock radio outlets. Also expected in the next week is an announcement about Pearl Jam's 2006 touring plans.

Here is the track list for "Pearl Jam":

"Life Wasted"
"World Wide Suicide"
"Comatose"
"Severed Hand"
"Marker in the Sand"
"Parachutes"
"Unemployable"
"Big Wave"
"Gone"
"Wasted Reprise"
"Army Reserve"
"Come Back"
"Inside Job"

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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