Review Summary: A solid album for another band, but for Jimmy Eat World, it lacks that certain epic feeling we have come to expect
This album is a bit hard to review, to be quite honest. Until this point, for my money, it doesn't get any better than Jimmy Eat World. Clarity, specifically, might be one of my favorite albums of all time. Absolutely flawless. It's sad, that Clarity came out in the early part of their careers, because nothing they do again will compare. But the releases that followed were all good in their own repsect, and didn't make me love the band any less.
This is the case with JEW's latest release, Chase This Light. What we have here is an album that many other pop rock bands might consider their greatest moment. However, for Jimmy Eat World, it doesn't quite live up to previous releases. The classic sound remains. The title track, as well as the tracks 2,3, and 4 will have you singing along and tapping your toes by the second chorus. The weakest track on the album, "Gotta Be Somebody's Blues", really does not stand up to the bands previous balladesque tracks, and I was really looking forward to the next "For Me This Is Heaven", but unfortunately this is nowhere to be found.
A recurring complaint of many bands is that they haven't changed their sound over their careers, and many will put this label on Jimmy Eat World. But why is this a problem? They have a good style. They write original songs that don't all sound the same. But you still know it's Jimmy Eat World. And this is what you get with this album. A Jimmy Eat World album.
So it may seem like I have mostly rave reviews for this album. Not the case. When reviewing albums, epsecially by established groups, it is my philosophy that the album should be compared to the bands previous work, not the overall music scene. Why CTL may hold up compared to the rest of the genre, there is definitely something lacking when compared to, say, Clarity. It's something you can't quite put your finger on. An intangible. It's that feeling you get when you pop an album in and from the first note to the last the hair on the back of your neck stands up. That is the feeling I get with Clarity. That I am listening to something special. That doesn't happen here. I think fans will agree with me.
With the exception of a few standout tracks, the rest of the album, at worst, seems to be over before it started. There are a lot of seemingly incomplete thoughts, like entering a conversation 5 minutes into the fact, and leaving before it over. That is my best attempt to sum up Chase This Light. I walk away slightly disappointed. I've been waiting this for so long, and I kind of get a "Thats It?" feeling by the end. However, as previously alluded to, that is only in comparison to previous work. Perhaps thats not fair, but thats the way I operate. The album overall still has a fun feeling, and it is still JEW. Hopefully it will grow on me, as albums tend to do. But for now, it's just missing that certain something.
Let It Happen
Here It Goes
Chase This Light