Review Summary: Chase This Light is a mixed bag filled with tracks that are typically brilliant along with some that are absurdly familiar.
This band always has a way of delivering genuinely relatable emotions through their music. Jimmy Eat World had a fantastic streak of albums in which all three of them capitalized on this aspect. 'Clarity' has the amazingly talented songwriting, 'Bleed American' has the catchiest songs imaginable, and 'Futures' has the hollowing, hard hitting side of the band. So where does that leave 'Chase This Light?' This record definitely lays somewhere in the middle ground because it's basically combination of all three. 'Chase This Light' ultimately lacks what made these albums super special and memorable, but it's still an incredibly fun ride that any fan is sure to enjoy.
As a whole this album doesn’t have the layers of complexity that its predecessors have, but all of that complexity is crammed into one song and that song is “Gotta Be Somebody’s Blues.” This is the most hauntingly ominous song the band has ever done. It is driven by chilling strings, brooding acoustic guitars, and strong metaphorical lyrics. The song is a masterpiece and it really makes the listener wonder how this is really the same band that wrote “The Middle.” As amazing as this song is, it unfortunately is also one of the album’s biggest pitfalls. The song is placed at the most unusual spot imaginable. “Electable” and “Feeling Lucky” are both songs that are driven by extremely upbeat guitar riffs and rhythms. However, we have “Gotta Be Somebody’s Blues” placed right in between there and it really kills the flow of the record. It is really more suited for an album like ‘Futures.’
Songs like “Let It Happen” and “Carry You” are also overly familiar and material that the band has before. Both songs bring to mind “Kill” from ‘Futures.’ Despite these gripes, most of the songs on ‘Chase This Light’ are incredibly fun listens. “Big Casino” kicks off the album with a catchy guitar riff and infectious lyrics about fate and living for today. Though this song is undeniably catchy, there is no other song on this record as infectiously catchy as “Always Be.” The song showcases some excellent gentle guitar work and a top notch climax with Jim singing “Maybe something else I’m missing/Something good and you’re the reason/It’s a dream, but there’s a real world waiting.”
The last half of the album is also boasts a fantastic trio of closing tracks all of which are equally as emotional. The title track is a lovely ballad with strong lyrics. While “Firefight” doesn’t showcase great lyrics like the title track, it is nonetheless an incredibly high energy song and the guitar feedback in the intro is a nice touch. “Dizzy” is the song that tops all three of them and if it’s one thing all fans of Jimmy Eat World could count on is great closers. This is yet another fantastic closer filled with masterful performance from the band as a whole and every texture mashes together perfectly.
This certainly isn’t one of Jimmy Eat World’s best albums because it is frequently very familiar and let’s face it: “Here It Goes” is an extremely laughable track that is almost a parody of themselves. Despite these gripes and some pacing issues, ‘Chase This Light’ also has its fair share of gems that often outweigh the lackluster tracks. Rest assured, this is another solid entry into the generally brilliant Jimmy Eat World discography and certainly a very enjoyable ride as a whole.