Jimmy Eat World
Futures


5.0
classic

Review

by toxin USER (20 Reviews)
January 30th, 2013 | 217 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The soundtrack to my... something.

I must confess something that likely will shock anyone who is passionate enough about music to be reading a user review on Sputnikmusic: I have never connected with an album. No piece of music has ever linked itself to any point of my oscillations between occasions of unadulterated euphoria and of inconsolable sorrow. I’d estimate that there’s approximately a one hundred percent chance this is because the vast majority of music relates to some stage of a romantic relationship, which, through only the fault of my own, I've impressively managed to avoid. Instead, I live in some sort of emotional bubble which manages to resist nearly every record out there. The only album that has ever managed to come close is Jimmy Eat World's Futures.

To me, one defense of overprotective tiger parents who deny their children the escapist fantasies of television programs, films, and video games holds any water: the criminally understated influence of Hollywood tropes poisoning the youth with themes of underdog victory, Hollywood romantic endings, and other tropes that specifically appeal to the masses because reality tends not to play out that way. For every movie that breaks the mold, another ten mend it. And so our youth grow up with naive, parochial views of how life works, and they ignore well-intentioned advice that states otherwise. And only through life experience do these misconceptions shatter, in an instant that starts around puberty and ends years later, the pieces leaving behind a new world to be built with its own beauty, a harsher beauty but a more resplendent one as well.

Along with the occasional film like 500 Days of Summer, Futures is one of the few media that straddles the line between Hollywood and reality in a manner that presents itself as easily digestible for this young audience while maintaining its thoughtful poignancy. Futures is an eclectic, atmospheric work full of complex emotions boiled to their essence---emotions that are transcribed beautifully, poignantly, and simply for the target audience. It touches upon topics as serious as drug abuse both with the dizzying frenzy of emotions in ‘Pain’ as a friend is being lost and with fragile urging in ‘Drugs or Me’ that only comes with perspective. But perhaps the topic it tackles most astutely is teenage romance. The infectious ‘Work’ nails the rhythm of a back-and-forth relationship through a description of what seems to be high school prom. With little snippets that alternate between wisdom and folly masquerading as teenagers' wisdom, ‘Work’ perhaps best exemplifies the digestible yet precise musicianship and lyricism of Futures.

If 500 Days of Summer ultimately ends with hope for the future, Futures leaves no such sentiment. The closest I have ever connected with any song is an honor shared by the two most precise and quotable tracks---’Kill’ and ‘23.’ The former is an acoustic ballad with the slightest twinkling of piano, but Jim Adkins takes the spotlight. The song contains no refrain beyond the occasionally repeated line “I know what I should do but I just can't walk away,” and it is an apt summary for the lyrical topic. The idea of the unattainable woman, idealized to perfection, too good for anyone---no, too good for you---for whom your feelings seem never to fade is a feeling I’m quite intimate with.

Yet recently, I’ve found myself drifting closer to the closer ‘23,’ which has been a catalyst in getting me closure. With lines like “You’ll sit alone forever/ if you wait for the right time/ what are you hoping for?”, ‘23’ seems almost the perfect rebuttal to ‘Kill.’ It's vocalist Jim Adkins grabbing and violently shaking me out of my complacent idealism, demanding me to understand the fact that no scripted movie ending will magically cause things fall in place, that each perceived setback I'm facing isn't just another obstacle that I'll inevitably overcome to reach my guaranteed happy ending. This is a tough concept to swallow, that there is no symmetry in life, that things don’t work out like in a Hollywood film, that you can think yourself perfect for somebody and not wind up with her. It almost seems preferable to have avoided these tropes completely, to never have watched a Disney movie and vicariously shared in the joy of achieving the elusive ‘true love.’

But then, you play ‘Night Drive,’ with an unremarkable yet thoroughly intimate tale of losing one’s virginity accompanied by almost tribal “oohing.” And you realize, life is what you make of it. So what if your life does not match a fairy tale script ad verbatim? You are free to write your own miserable script, and, more importantly, free to create your own meaning and happiness in the uncaring randomness of its lines. I realize that because of Futures, and honestly I wouldn't have it any other way.



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user ratings (1133)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
toxin.
January 30th 2013


12605 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I tried something different with this review, since there are already a bunch of reviews that describe song after song ad nauseum.
I 5'ed this recently and so the review explains what pushed it over the top.

minty901
January 30th 2013


2067 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

rating is correct. will read now.


minty901
January 30th 2013


2067 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

so this is one of my favourite ever reviews, for one of my favourite ever albums. opening paragraph was heartbreaking. you articulated your sentiments with this album so eloquently. pos.

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2013


9049 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is the only kind of retrospective review worth writing. Excellent job toxin, I'm sorry you've never connected with an album before. I think I overuse the term but I can say it's happened a few times with me and it rules.

wacknizzle
January 30th 2013


13474 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Awesome review man, you summed up my feelings about this album and especially '23' perfectly.

Digging: This Gift Is A Curse - I, Gvilt Bearer

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2013


50545 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Need to hear this more

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2013


19918 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fucking fantastic review. I used to also really connect with 'Kill' and '23'.

Digging: Transit - Joyride

InfamousGrouse
January 30th 2013


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i pick up put down the phone
like your favorite heatmiser song goes
it's just like being alone

toxin.
January 30th 2013


12605 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@minty901
I appreciate the high praise! : )

@FromDaHood
Thank you, for both your praise and your sympathy. I'm still optimistic it'll happen one day. One day... But when it does, I'm sure it'll be amazing.

@wacknizzle
Thanks. If you really can relate this review (and particularly '23'), then I'm sorry!

@Trebor
Yes, yes you do.

@Atari
Thanks bud. Good to hear it's in the past for you, although I suppose at 26(?) I'd sure hope that's the case!

@InfamousGrouse
I swear every line in that song is quotable. It's almost absurd.


Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2013


19918 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i'm actually almost 28 now.

still love the album too.

Cygnatti
January 30th 2013


21353 Comments


hmm...tempting.

patman1001
January 30th 2013


1012 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

awesome review and album.

toxin.
January 30th 2013


12605 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Damn, sorry. Haha, I'll remember it for next time. And I'd imagine this could have a lot of nostalgic appeal, even if on an emotional level you might have outgrown it. (Or maybe you haven't outgrown it; I have no idea how the album here connects to a 28 year old!)
Besides, the music itself is pretty kickass too. I barely got to talk about how awesome the actual music here is.

toxin.
January 30th 2013


12605 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks, patman. It is indeed an awesome album.
And Cyg, man get your rating up! lol

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2013


19918 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

so 28 year olds can't connect to pop punk albums? lol fuck man i'm not that old not even married yet.

toxin.
January 30th 2013


12605 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"so 28 year olds can't connect to pop punk albums? lol fuck man i'm not that old not even married
yet."
not sure man, not sure.
I always figure at some point, you just sort of outgrow it, as relationships start getting deeper than
how pop punk describes it. I mean, I'd consider 'Work' to be a "deeper" pop punk song than, say,
'Ocean Avenue' or something, but even then, I'd imagine a 28 year old perhaps gently shaking his head
in disapproval at "Don't think we're not serious/ When's it ever not?" because hey, he knows better.


But maybe not; it's not like I would know.

patman1001
January 30th 2013


1012 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

im only 22 but i hope i never outgrow pop punk. but who knows, cause ive outgrown a lot of music already.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2013


19918 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i'll always be a kid inside. used to just skateboard around listening to MXPX and Blink-182.

Also Jimmy Eat World doesn't just write songs about relationships with girls lol

toxin.
January 30th 2013


12605 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"Also Jimmy Eat World doesn't just write songs about relationships with girls lol"
true but you said pop punk as a whole. like 85% of any given pop punk album is about girls, though yes I see your point. Only like 50% of this album is about girls comes to think about it.

"i'll always be a kid inside. used to just skateboard around listening to MXPX and Blink-182."

Sweet, I guess it's true what they say... you don't grow up; you just grow old.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2013


19918 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah i mean my taste has changed and i'm really digging metal now but i'll always like pop punk.



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