With their debut, Static Prevails
behind them, Jimmy Eat World entered the the studio with a newfound maturity in songwriting. The result was an album full of clever songs with a unique sound.
Jimmy Eat Word
Jim Adkins - Vocals, Guitar
Tom Linton - Guitar, Vocals
Rick Burch - Bass
Zach Lind - Drums
If there is one word that can sum up Clarity
, it is 'sensible'. Everything about the album is sensible. The production has a nice clean sound that allows the instruments to come through, but it is dirty enough to not sound too polished. The vocals are emotional but never sound insincere or wimpy. The lyrics are clever and emotive but never stray into "teen angst" territory. There are numerous extra instruments throughout the record (tuned percussion, strings, synthesisers, electronics and drum machines to name a few), but they are never used to make the album sound epic, they simply add to the rest of the music. Vocal harmonies are evenly spread through the record and they are expertly crafted and always in exactly the right spot. The song order is perfect with the tracks always balancing each other out. Nothing is overdone, yet Jimmy Eat World are sensible enough to use whatever resources they have to make the songs as good as they can get. Indeed, even the length is sensible, clocking in at 1 hour, enough music to make the album long and replayable, yet not too long to the point of being a mess. To put it simply, on Clarity
, Jimmy Eat World do everything right.
To start off Clarity
, Jimmy Eat World do exactly what you would expect them not. Opening the album with one of the most mellow tracks on the album, "Table For Glasses" sets the tone of the rest of the record. After it's last note dies away, we experience one brilliant pop song after another. The album's single, "Lucky Denver Mint" was featured on the Drew Barrymore film "Never Been Kissed", along with numerous college radio stations in the US. The rest of the album, however, was just as worthy. Every song on the album is well thought out and deserves to be there. There is great contrast between all of the songs. Some are soft and mellow and others are hard hitting and aggressive. Most songs are both. Musically, the band are excellent. The drumming is sophisticated and original and the use of two guitars is a great addition to the band. The aforementioned range of added instruments adds immensely to the arrangements of the songs. Not only are the songs well executed, but they are good songs.Jim Adkins' songwriting is incredible, as well as consistant. Amusingly, most of the songs on the album are in the same one or two keys. Clarity
is an album full of sensible pop songs, replay value and a diverse range of instruments and sounds. Truly one of the best albums of the 90s.
Brilliantly written songs, not a single bad track
Great use and range of extra instruments
Some listeners may not enjoy the long and progressive closing track
Lucky Denver Mint
Just Watch The Fireworks