Jimmy Eat World
Damage


2.5
average

Review

by Mike Denison USER (13 Reviews)
June 24th, 2013 | 20 replies | 832 views


Release Date: 06/11/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The heart is hard to find.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Considering that their self-titled debut came out nearly two decades ago, it's not surprising that Jimmy Eat World have some aspects of their sound down to a science. Their formula of simple, exuberant pop/rock choruses and pedestrian but nearly universal lyrics has worked well, and while there have been tweaks over the years, there really hasn't been a reason to change anything drastically. But Damage represents a change that few fans could have expected -- a JEW album that isn't overflowing with emotion.

Most of that emotion is pooled up in album opener "Appreciation." There's nothing about it that longtime fans couldn't see coming from a mile away (aside from its relatively somber mood for a first track), but the plucky verses and the delicate yet massive chorus leave the best kind of first impression -- it's the kind of chorus that doesn't get old despite making up about 60% of the song. Jim Adkins's cries of "Strange we come to find ourselves not knowing we're lost" seem to set the stage for an album of palatably deep thoughts about love and relationships, much like most of this band's work.

But something goes wrong. The choruses fall flat. The lyrics cross the line from universally relatable to trite ("Say anything but no, and I'll go, I'll go, I'll go" in "Please Say No, for instance). Songs zip by, most of them pleasant and inoffensive, but none of them as grabbing. Nothing steals attention like "Mixtape" and "Cut," from Invented, and no choruses induce manic grins and toe-tapping like "Sweetness" from Bleed American. Oh, sure, "I Will Steal You Back" has just enough grit and energy to deserve a little radio play, and "No, Never" has a catchy chorus fueled by some uncharacteristically fuzzy guitars.

But then there's "Lean" and "How'd You Have Me," both extremely forgettable, and "Please Say No," which feels like an eternity despite running under 5 minutes. All of the albums' failures, though, pale in comparison to the abysmal "Byebyelove," in which the title is repeated ad nauseum at an excruciatingly slow tempo, with appropriately dull droning guitar melodies and the most elementary background vocals for "flavor."

Aside from that black mark on their record, though, Jimmy Eat World's worst work is still listenable, if only begrudgingly so. And there's a good chance that an album about breakups by a man closing in on 40 years of age is lost on this 20-something who's temporally closer to the debut of Bleed American and its youthful energy than the age Adkins seems to be targeting. But then again, being universally relatable was something JEW seemed to pride itself on; Damage finds themselves forgetting that charisma means nothing when it's buried by mediocre songwriting. JEW can write a Top 40 single in their sleep -- granted. But that doesn't mean I'm thrilled when this album has song after song that sounds only half-awake.



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user ratings (192)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
ProjectFreak
June 24th 2013



1160 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I also reviewed this album in video form (and no, it's not me reading this review verbatim, though obviously some things are consistent between the two).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lr7UP2tLVM

minty901
June 24th 2013



1914 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

nah.

at least it's well-written. pos.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
June 24th 2013



18631 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

this is such a divisive album lol

Digging: Somos - Temple of Plenty

ProjectFreak
June 24th 2013



1160 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

atari i just realized that your avatar is one of the most underrated games of all time
so props for that

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
June 24th 2013



18631 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

haha yeah man sonic spinball was the shit back in the day. I loved how they had crazy cool boss fights and levels just like the other sonic games but all done in pinball style.

also pos by the way review was well-written

ashcrash9
June 24th 2013



352 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review, agreed with a lot of it. I figured this would grow on me, but it feels really uninspired and uninteresting.
The summary is brilliant too. Pos'd.

ProjectFreak
June 24th 2013



1160 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

thanks dude

and yeah i don't think I ever actually managed to beat that game...I think i got to like the second-last level once and i was shocked, but when i was playing I was like 6 or 7 so i thought every game was super hard

BigPleb
June 24th 2013



28762 Comments


Lol, the avg for this has plummeted.

Digging: Killer Be Killed - Killer Be Killed

ashcrash9
June 24th 2013



352 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Rightfully so, it's lame.

skoopy48
June 24th 2013



1308 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Except its not, just not close to their best

ProjectFreak
June 24th 2013



1160 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

what confuses me is how Invented is only .2 higher than this

skoopy48
June 24th 2013



1308 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Because Invented is weak

ashcrash9
June 24th 2013



352 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Invented is definitely more solid than this.

minty901
June 24th 2013



1914 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this website is starting to make me sad.

ProjectFreak
June 24th 2013



1160 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I HAVE BEEN FOUND OUT
should've known, no one else on this site knows Owel

ProjectFreak
June 24th 2013



1160 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yeah you did
good stuff for sure, idk if it's AOTY material but i'll probably review it here, looking like a solid 4/5

ProjectFreak
June 24th 2013



1160 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

but vinyl is for people with money and space

SowingSeason
Emeritus
June 25th 2013



14513 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

while there have been tweaks over there years

fix that

Good review overall, I agree with a lot of your points. 'I Will Steal You Back' is definitely the best song, and 'Appreciation'/'Damage' is an excellent opening 1-2 punch.

I seem to appreciate 'Lean' more than most people, I just love the lyrics I suppose. I think the most underrated song is 'No, Never'...it's plenty catchy, decent lyrics, and a lot of fun.

ProjectFreak
June 25th 2013



1160 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Fixed, thanks Sowing!

And now that an account mysteriously disappeared, I've now had a conversation with myself...

My top three would be Appreciation > Steal > No, Never, personally; for some reason Appreciation just really resonated with me.

SowingSeason
Emeritus
June 25th 2013



14513 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah it's a quality opener. I like it for the melody, even if the lyrics haven't "connected with me"



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