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Jimmy Eat World
Chase This Light
Interscope Records
www.jimmyeatworld.com


The Mesa, Arizona band who acquired their name from a poster on which the little brother (Ed Linton) of the band's guitarist - Tom Linton - made exclaiming Jimmy Eat World, expressing some hard feelings in the most protesting manner he could think of towards the Linton's other brother Jim, has been a moniker that has outlasted those hard feelings with the band's newly released fifth studio album Chase This Light. The foursome of Jimmy Eat World spearheaded the emo-rock movement with the support of a number of bands like themselves back in the late '90s. Their songs still have an emo-rock fleshiness but the album also shows the band branching out even further than their debut album Static Prevail, or their sophomore outing Clarity, or their third effort their self-titled/Bleed American LP, or their fourth installment Futures had done. There are healthy doses of pop punk, orchestral pop, and acoustic rock in the mix. The album has a familiar Jimmy Eat World sound and yet the songs have once again taken the band to another level.

The opening tracks "Big Casino" and "Let It Happen" are charging rock melodies that nudge the listener forward in a typical Jimmy Eat World mentor-ish fashion with pop punk-induced rhythms by bassist Rick Burch and drummer Zach Lind, and an inspiring vocal from lead singer/guitarist Jim Adkins, who is joined by Amy Ross of Nowhere Man And A Whiskey Girl on the song "Let It Happen" singing some softly haloed harmony vocals. The lyrics push as vigorously as the music with phrases like "There's still some living left when your prime comes and goes/ Get Up!/ Get Up!/ Dance on the ceiling" from "Big Casino." The dance-punk rhythmic beats of "Electable (Give It Up)" persuade the stiffest in the audience to move to the music with gang vocals supplied by Finn Adkins, Jackson Adkins, and Ava Lind. The following track "Gotta Be Somebody's Blues" is adorned with slinky vocal motions, firmly steady drumming, and seeping riptides of violins arranged by David Campbell. It's a number that will surprise you and totally entrap you in its sleek rolling cylinders.

Another tune that is sure to satisfy is "Here It Goes", with funk-rock grooves and segments of engaging gang vocals that converge with an impounding effect. Jimmy Eat World's charm lies in their motivating rhythms which make such fundamental emo-rock melodies as "Chase This Light" and "Firefight" take claim of their listeners. But to say that Jimmy Eat World's music is their greatest asset would be narrow minded. They write lyrics that fit with what their generation is going through as well as being relatable to those before and after them. Like in the song "Always Be" where Adkins states, "It's going to get harder still before it gets easy/ You can't keep safe what wants to break/ I'm alone in this/ I'm as I've always been/ Right behind what's happening." They write lyrics that people just get without an in depth explanation of their words, and even for their more cryptic lyrics like in "Electable" when Adkins philosophizes, "There's no higher ground to stand than bottom of the pile," there is something practical in the words that people can relate to on an emotional level.

It is too early to tell if Chase This Light will have the impact that their self titled album/Bleed American or the follow-up Futures did, but tracks from Chase This Light , like the band's single "The Middle" - which is still frequently being requested by radio listeners today - certainly will. The band may have sold out on certain points but have not lost the significance in their songs. Produced by Jimmy Eat World, the album was co-produced by John Fields with Butch Vig overseeing the project as Executive Producer.

-Susan Frances


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