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
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
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.
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