Review Summary: After Bleed American, a great mainstream success for Jimmy Eat World, with the singles 'Sweetness' and 'The Middle' faring well in the charts, Jimmy Eat World released their next album, 'Futures.' It reached Gold Status selling over 600,000 units.
First of all, just in case you didn't know. the members of Jimmy Eat World are::
Jim Adkins: Vocals and Guitar
Tom Linton: Lead Guitar and Backing Vocals
Rick Burch: Bass
Zach Lind: Percussion
So, the year is 2004, Jimmy Eat World had released their most successful album (sales-wise), Bleed American, which was very pop/rock-sounding compared to their classic and more emo-driven album Clarity. The band could have built on their pop-rock image, or gone back to their roots to make another emo album. Judging by how this album sounds they have mixed them both together, and have done it very smoothly with the product being 'Futures.' Futures is darker than BA and also is their best effort to date in my opinion.
So, what are the good points of this album i hear you ask? First and foremost, Jim's vocals, they are just brilliant to say the least and seem to fit every song with ease, he never seems to struggle for a note yet never sounds dull. All the instruments are pretty solid during the album and it contains those extremely catchy hooks from Tom and Jim's guitars that are present in every Jimmy Eat World release. Rick Burch plays the roots well enough and Zach Lind compliments the songs nicely with solid percussion.
The album starts off with Futures and it starts the album with an extremely poppy feel, Futures doesn't give it the same kick-start that Bleed American gave to its' album of the same name, but Futures still passes as a very catchy song with one of the better choruses that just gets stuck in your head over and over again. Work was the album's second single, is once again very catchy and poppy with the female backing vocals (courtesy of Liz Phair) and the repeated 'oh-oh-oh-oh's, it's one of the more simple, yet brilliant songs on the album.
For me, however, the crown jewel of this record is Kill. Kill is one of those songs... first time you hear it, it just seems to pass by unnoticed yet you hear it after a couple of times and everything just clicks so well together. The lyrics are sublime and it tells of how the singer falls in love far too easily and considers himself 'the easy kill' in relationships. The person he is having a relationship with is just manipulating him and it's cutting him to shreds. The song gets stronger after every verse and chorus and has its' strongest line in "I loved you, and i should have said it, but tell me just what has it ever meant?"
It's very easy to tell why Pain was the lead single from Futures, it just sounds so... "Radio-Ready." It's quite easy to tell the song is about drugs, and it's about a friend battling an addiction to the 'white pills, that take my pain away!' I'll leave you to guess what they are. Pain also boasts by far and away the best chorus on the album, using some nice metaphors to sum up his predicament ('It's a lie, a kiss with open eyes, and she's not breathing back, anything but bother me').
Now, some of the things robbing the album of a 'classic' rating are first of all; Nothingwrong and The World You Love. Nothingwrong is a song I've heard a million times before, only in different clothing. It's basically the same story with TWYL. If you listen to commercial radio then you've basically heard these songs. Also, Rick Burch's bass work is nothing too creative and you can never hear it at all- with exception to Kill- unless you chuck the bass booster on to full blast that is.
Barring those defects, this is one of the best purchases I've ever made when it comes to CDs. All the instruments blend together well and nothing really sounds out of place. I highly recommend you head down to JB (if you live in Australia, like yours truly) or wherever you Englishmen or Americans buy music (some Virgin shop, i'm guessing... he owns everything else) and buy this record, because it's nothing short of brilliant.