CD Review: Jimmy Eat World

Published in Drum Media (WA) | 04.07.13 | Issue # 345




4 July, 2013

There’s no finer way to sooth a broken heart than cranking Jimmy Eat World. It’s music to drown out everything else and think about the past. Much like the vague assumptions of a horoscope, vocalist Jim Adkins’ lyrics can apply to almost anyone.

The album that put this band on the map was 2001’s Bleed American, and it was arguably a perfect album. Everything seemed to flow perfectly, right down to the milliseconds between tracks. Since then, Jim & co have been striving for another release every bit as groundbreaking. But, like most with an album as remarkable as Bleed American, they’ve come up short ever since. The intention is there, but for whatever reason, they haven’t seemed to recreate their masterpiece.

The ten songs on Damage, the band’s eighth studio album, have potential; they’re just not executed with the vitality one would expect from the band. In older hits such as 1999’s Blister, 2001’s Bleed American and 2004’s Pain, the energy flowing between band members is unremarkable. Track seven, How’d You Have Me, is the only upbeat, angst-filled number on the record, with other tunes, mainly the album’s lead single, I Will Steal You Back, failing to present any real hook.

With one of the tightest live acts going around, Jimmy Eat World’s new record will surely translate well to the stage, but at full volume on your iPod or car stereo, it’s disappointing. It seems Bleed American was the tipping point, and as the years go by and Adkins’s acoustic guitar appears more than his gritty and angst-filled telecaster, they’re moving further away from their classic sound.

Daniel Cribb