Jimmy Eat World
Damage


3.5
great

Review

by Aaron Arneson CONTRIBUTOR (109 Reviews)
June 11th, 2013 | 32 replies | 1,653 views


Release Date: 06/11/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Back to the basics.

Most fans already know what to expect with the release of each new Jimmy Eat World album. Sure, the band tweaks their formula a little each time, but fans can always rely on a batch of emotional and uplifting alt-rock tracks to scratch their JEW itch. With their newest album Damage the band ditches the creative direction of Invented and just goes back to the basics. The album is, quite simply, JEW being JEW. While this might seem like an obvious statement, there’s a lot of truth behind it. It doesn’t set out to be the next big thing, it’s just Jim Adkins and his heartfelt vocals sung over simple, but beautiful rock tunes. In a way, it’s a culmination of everything the band has done over the last two decades. It doesn’t sound like any of their albums in particular, but bits and pieces sound like they could be borrowed from the band’s entire discography. It actually makes for quite the refreshing listen as there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy this time around.

Upon hearing the opening track ‘Appreciation’ one thing becomes apparent -the guitars are back. Adkins uses them to reel the listener in before delivering one of the better performances of his career. While Invented focused on the softer, more experimental side of JEW, Damage finds the band returning to the sound they developed on the highly acclaimed Bleed American or the often underappreciated Chase This Light. Although the album contains many slow burners, most of them are surrounded by tasteful guitars. ‘I Will Steal You Back’ is a track that takes its time, but due to some crunchy guitar-work and Adkins' top-notch performance, it manages to have quite the impact despite its mid tempo pace. ‘No, Never’ is no different, as it slowly builds up to a big sing-a-long chorus which is surrounded by top-notch instrumentation.

With every JEW album there seems to be a track that really hits home with its audience. The poignant album closer ‘You Were Good’ is likely to be one of those tracks as it’s one the band’s most effective ballads in years as Adkins spills raw emotion over an acoustic guitar. Although everybody may not interpret the lyrics the same way, to me the stripped-down number is about how short life is, and a reminder to appreciate what you have when you have it. One moment you’re wrapped up in something beautiful and the next it’s gone. It’s a fantastic way to close the album and stands proud as one of the most impacting songs the band has written in years. It’s also a testament that JEW doesn’t have to inject their music with the most potent lyrics they can muster, sometimes simple is okay, and even more effective for that matter.

Not every track works so well , however, as some are just lacking that special something that’s usually present in the band’s music. ‘Damage’ seems like a solid and catchy track at first, but it’s so over simplistic that it loses much of its magic after repeated listens. The following songs ‘Lean’ and ‘Book of Love’ aren’t necessarily bad, but are underwhelming when compared to the album as a whole. Some may think ‘Byebyelove’ fits into this category, but at least it has the creativity to set it apart from the other tracks. However, there are more than enough exciting moments to make up for the boring ones. ‘Please Say No’ is another hard-hitting ballad much like the album closer that is highlighted by some of the most meaningful lyrics on the album and the energetic ’How’d You Have Me’ sounds like something that could have been on Bleed American with its vintage JEW vibe.

While some may think Damage is a safe record, it feels more like a return to form for the band. Jim Adkins’ vocals are as sharp as ever, the guitars make a triumphant return, and there’s a healthy mix of fast and slow. It may not surpass their best work but people shouldn’t expect it to. It’s another collection of upbeat, heartfelt songs by the band that continues to prove they’re incapable of making a bad record. But perhaps more importantly, it proves they don’t have to push the envelope for the genre or make another magnum-opus like Futures to make an impact on the listener.



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user ratings (219)
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2013



19672 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Originally posted here: http://meltingalbumreviews.com/2013/06/11/jimmy-eat-world-damage/

please don't compare to Jom's review : /

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2013



19672 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

lol thanks skeletor.

I had trouble putting my thoughts into words for this album so any constructive feedback is welcome too.

YoYoMancuso
June 11th 2013



11026 Comments


to scratch their JEW itch.


nah but really awesome review

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2013



19672 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

lol thanks jack is that statement too much?

YoYoMancuso
June 11th 2013



11026 Comments


nah i just thought it was funny

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2013



19672 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

yeah i don't like abbreviating band names too often but it's so much more fun to do with JEW lol

ViperAces
June 11th 2013



12407 Comments


jom's was better

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2013



19672 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I agree lol

Gyromania
June 11th 2013



15503 Comments


good summary and good review

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2013



19672 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

thanks man I appreciate it!

Jom
Staff Reviewer
June 11th 2013



2669 Comments


Good review, I think. I'm about to pull an Omaha and just caution you on some of the coding (see: first sentence, last paragraph, unless that italicizing was done stylistically on purpose) and grammatical/syntactical hiccups (e.g. " ‘I Will Still You Back’ is a track that takes its time, but due to some crunchy guitar-work and Adkins top-notch performance, it manages to have quite the impact despite its mid tempo pace" - swap 'Still' for 'Steal', show possession for Adkins' performance, etc.).

For whatever reason, it's easier for me to spot stuff like this than in my own reviews. Having that careful eye will help you in your other writing (like with school or what-have-you along with your other reviews). Whenever I write, I get sick of seeing my same sentences over and over, so it's a welcome look for me to see something different.

Always a plus to see consistent output, too. Keep up the good work.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2013



19672 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

thanks Jom it means a lot that you took the time to read through it. I only meant to italicize the word damage in the last sentence good catch and i'll fix up those other spots you mentioned too. Don't know how I miss these things when I proofread : /

Jom
Staff Reviewer
June 11th 2013



2669 Comments


>> Don't know how I miss these things when I proofread : /


We all have a hard time with it (that's what she said). We get sick of reading the same stuff over and over or you feel like you've proofread as you've gone along to the point that you kinda chug along on auto-pilot. It's all good.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2013



19672 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

you da man Jom!

I know what you mean but even if I read over it 10 times I feel like I still miss something. No matter, as long as people continue to be supportive I'm gonna continue to write : )

toxin.
June 11th 2013



12319 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You didn't mention the best song, How'd You Have Me !

Ecnalzen
June 12th 2013



6500 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nice write up, Atari. Put this in at work and it's not too shabby, but a bit boring in spots. I haven't quite attached song names to the tracks yet, but I think I really like Steal You Back and Appreciation.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
June 12th 2013



19672 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

thanks buddy! yeah some songs are a little on the slower side but even those ones grew on me for the most part

minty901
June 12th 2013



1982 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

great review

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
June 12th 2013



19672 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

thanks minty ;) it kind of got overshadowed by jom's much better review lol

Ecnalzen
June 12th 2013



6500 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Ha ha, give yourself some credit, man. Jom even came in here himself to tell you he thought you did a good job and made a 'that's what she said joke' in the process. Sounds like a win to me, lol.



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