For the longest time, I had always thought Jimmy Eat World was called Jimmy Eat Worm. In fact, I was only enlightened a couple months ago, when I first got Bleed American Why? I don't know. But I'd venture to guess that is the reason I could never find any of the band's music or lyrics. Durrr. Now, before sitting down to listen to a full length release from the American rock band, I had previously heard two of their songs. The Middle, which everybody and their grandmother has had to have heard at least a dozen times, and Sweetness, which appeared on NHL 2003. When I had first heard both songs (a good three, four years ago, I think) grew rather fond of them rather quickly but due to their overplaying either on the radio or on my part both tracks began to draw my ire. As it often seems to occur when I pick up the music of the more mainstream bands I used to enjoy back in the day, I enjoyed this album. Quite a bit.
The music found on Jimmy Eat World's fourth album is not really the most original you'll ever hear. But with that said, Bleed American is nothing short of enjoyable. As can be heard in tracks like Bleed American and Sweetness, the music is a delicate combination of alternative rock and pop-punk, and unsurprisingly such a combination works out exceedingly well. The music is anything but groundbreaking, anything but technical, anything but, well, special. But it still works, and rather effectively at that. Sweetness is an excellent example of Jimmy Eat World's song writing talent. A driving riff follows vocalist/guitarist Jim Atkins' brief, somewhat pop sounding "If you're listening / whoa-oh oh-oh-oh," a driving riff which dominates rhythmic aspect of the song throughout the entirety of the song, and really sets the emotional tone for the track. Get it Faster is another song which incorporates driving rhythm guitars, however in this case, the band makes use of softer sections to go with the hard hitting power chord driven riff. Most of the songs heard on Bleed American of up-beat affairs which manage to stay fresh and listenable (as long as you don't listen to it 24/7, obviously. I can't promise anything there).
The real highlight on Bleed American, however, is the vocal performance of Jim Atkins. Consistent throughout the entire length of the album, this aspect is probably the album's strongest point. While it likely gains the band detractors for being too "emo" or whiny, I really enjoyed his efforts. Jim's somewhat unoriginal, yet emotional vocal lines definitely contribute to the catchiness of the album. This characteristic can be heard on pretty much every one of the album's eleven tracks, and is particularly successful on the likes of Sweetness, Bleed American, and The Praise Chorus. Jim's distinctively pop-punk sounding vocal approach might not be your cup of tea, but it still manages to be an effective part of Jimmy Eat World's musical arsenal.
When I first listened to Jimmy Eat World's fourth album, I wasn't really expecting anything other than an average mainstream rock album. What I got was an enjoyable, catchy mainstream rock album. Combining alternative rock with a catchy pop-punk influence, Jimmy Eat World utilizes powerful song writing, emotional vocals, and driving interludes to carve their niche into the music scene. As long as you don't seriously over do it like I did (but what 12 year old doesn't latch onto two or three songs and not listen to anything else?), Bleed American should have plenty of replay value, especially the stronger tracks such as Sweetness, Get it Faster, and the title track. Definitely check this album out if you already haven't. Just remember to look for Jimmy Eat World and not Jimmy Eat Worm.
Get It Faster
The Praise Chorus
You underestimate this album, it means a lot more to a lot of people than you indicate and is a lot more than a pop punk album. It might not be complex or technical but no other bands really sound much like them, which counts for something.
Its not a bad review by any means but i just think that you underestimate the importance of this album in terms of its influence and impact on the scene of which it belongs.
Its like reviewing OK Computer and saying, "This is song is kinda fun, nice riff there, that song has a catchy chorus." If you get my meaning.
Good review Mikesn. As a metal head, I can even admit that this album was catchy and has some damn impressive songs.
lunchforthesky: I think you overestimate this album a bit too much in terms of influence. It wasnt spectacular and I think Mikesn summed it up perfectly. It is one of those albums that is catchy and fun.This Message Edited On 03.10.07
Sam, please shut up. You are just constantly making lame attempts at ridiculing other people, and end up looking like a dumbass yourself.
Regardless, excellent review Mike, whether or not you mentioned that this album is really influential (which it is, although most bands were influenced by Jawbreaker/HWM before this band anyway). I love Get it Faster, A Praise Chorus, Bleed American, and Hear You Me alot, but there isn't really much to complain about with this album anyway,
I too feel a special connection to this album. I first bought the CD when I was about 13, I'm 19 now. I haven't listened to it for years, but the emotional undercurrents that I caught then still ring true now. And of course, now I can fully appreciate the songwriting.
I'm listening to it right now in my school's library. I wanted to see what other people thought of this one. I'm really glad this one resurfaced for me, it's very special to me.