After listening to their latest album Futures
, I decided I wanted to hear what else Jimmy Eat World
had to offer by listening to their past albums. I got this one after Futures and I'm pretty d*mn sure I liked what I heard.
Jimmy Eat World is mostly known for their lyrics and the weight they hold from the emotion the songs carry. While this is true, and incredibly addicting, that is not the only plus to this band. Their lead singer, Jim Adkins, has great ability to hit those high notes, sing strong and of course, his strong lyric writing. Their guitarists, Jim and Tom Linton, have a hidden talent for playing fast parts, but they also make addicting guitar riffs and don't always play simple power chords. I can't really hear the bass, Rick Burch, but there are some signs of life by him in some songs, and it's not half bad. Their drummer, Zach Lind, can be experimental, fast, strong or all three. This is what makes a good band like JEW. Great band overall, and they make great albums. On to the review.
While some bands like to put filler-like songs as an intro, JEW don't. The album starts with Bleed American
, and it is anything but filler. From the start you know it's gonna be in a minor key with heavy guitars. It is. The palm muted guitar and bass line in the verse flows into the chorus, which is very minor and when it stops every few seconds, a little guitar riff is heard. Undeniably catchy, one of the best on the album. The backing vocals are very noticeable and strong, and the lead singing is good too. A "Lives" sung by Jim at the end of the second chorus leads into a bridge that seems like it's going to a major key. Do not be fooled. It does turn major for a few seconds, but then Jim bellows out "Greed from my arm/Won't they give it a rest now"" which really shows off his singing talent. This flows into a guitar solo, simple, but sweet and it fits beautifully with the song. They repeat the chorus again, but they only do it once so it doesn't wear off its welcome. Fantastic opener.
After that kind of heavy opener, the scene completely changes for A Praise Chorus
. A quick-paced drum part to start on the high hats, followed by the major guitar riff makes sure that you know what this is gonna be like. Happy mood, catchy drums and good song. Exactly what you get. There's very catchy drumming with lots of hits on the crashes, a happy mood set by the guitars and a very catchy song overall. It's not one of the top songs on the album, as it does get rather old after repeated listening, which I did, but it's still a very solid song. It's a good break from Bleed American
's heaviness and it's refreshing. The song is about getting on with your life:
Are you gonna live your life wonderin', standing in the back lookin' around"
Are you gonna waste your time thinkin' how you've grown up or how you missed out"
Things are never gonna be the way you want.
Where's it gonna get you acting serious"
Things are never gonna be quite what you want.
Or even at 25, you gotta start sometime.
And we get to The Middle
. You MUST know this song; everyone does. And almost everyone loves it. A quick palm muted guitar part leads into the shouting power chords and catchy chorus. They cut it short though, as if they try to tease you and make you long for so much more. The second verse finally gets to the chorus, full length, with Jim singing inspriational lyrics: "It just takes some time, little girl you're in the middle of the ride, everything will be alright." The song sends a good message to not care about outsiders' opinions and to just be yourself, which is always the best. This leads into a great solo, fun, quick as hell and great to listen to. Lots of hammer-ons and pull-offs, the highlight of the song, even above the chorus.
This all flows into the acoustic Your House
. It's a love song about how she rips his heart out and he asks her to not let go. If you've ever been in love and been in this situation (if you've been in love you've probably been in this situation), this is a sweet little song you can listen to and relate to. The drums come in at about the 1:50 mark, just as the acoustic was gonna get a BIT old. It leads to an inspirational sounding bridge with great backing vocals and what I believe is an electric guitar riff. The chorus is repeated and gets a little old, but the rest of the song sounds good enough for me to like the song.
The start of Sweetness
may sound like a poppy song that you'll hate. The guitars kick in two seconds later and prove you dead wrong. They're minor and stop every few seconds for a few seconds to a drum roll and singing...just addicting. The chorus is very catchy with lots and lots of "Whoas" by Jim. Strong background vocals showing his range are very obvious. There's a bit of keyboard here, but they're just smacking the keys over and over. Even though this song is 3 and a half minutes long, it does seem short as it cuts some parts out, although I can't really put my finger on it. Good song nonetheless, very catchy.
Very slow drumming and guitars start Hear You Me
, indicating a slow song loaded with emotion. Spot on, spot on. The lyrics filled with emotion, the keyboards much gentler and beautiful, while the quiet guitars and slow slow drumming set the mood. It's a beautiful song, although the lyrics may get a little repeptitive. Even so, they're wonderful.
I never said thank you for that.
I thought I might get one more chance.
What would you think of me now,
so lucky, so strong, so proud"
I never said thank you for that,
now I'll never have a chance.
May angels lead you in.
Hear you me my friends.
On sleepless roads the sleepless go.
May angels lead you in.
There's a female voice singing a little in the bridge and she adds some more emotion and beauty. She has a really nice voice. A little guitar solo flows seamlessly after that and leads to silence only broken by very soft singing on the part of Jim. Most emotional song shown by JEW here, beautifully written, brilliant song.
If You Don't, Don't
completely disrupts the mood set by Hear You Me
because it's poppier and less beautiful. Or so you think, at the start at least. A strong bassline is laid out in front of you throughout much of the song, always welcome. The verse isn't all that catchy or good at all, but the pre-chorus changes it. It hints a bit more at sadness: "I would write to you from a museum mile, toast to you, your whisper, your smile. Up the stairs at the Weatherford, a ghost each place I hide." I really like the background singing, for it is loud, clear and in tune, as usual of course. The guitar solo features both the guitars and I like that because both guitars can show off :p. It's not the catchiest or the most touching, but it's acceptable.
Get It Faster
creeps in slowly, taking it 33 seconds for an incredibly soft palm muted guitar to come in. The riff is repeated over and over and at 1:04 Jim sings, with that one riff and opening beat. The chorus comes out of nowhere and starts rocking, surprising the crap out of me. The backing vocals are stronger and more apparant than ever. It's short lived, however, because the first chorus is short and the verse comes in again. Singing is lower pitched here, especially in the chorus, for both Jim and Tom. There's a very catchy bridge with alternating guitars. The lyrics depress me a little, with "I should've thought things through. I'm holding out, but not getting an answer. I wanna do right by you. I'm finding out, cheating gets it faster." The chorus makes the song worthwhile; very worthwhile.
starts off with strange drumming (not the drumming itself, but the way it sounds). There's an effect added on to it, which sounds pretty interesting. The beat continues throughout the song, and it's actually doesn't sound half bad. It's slow and emotional and not all that loud at all. The guitars are very soft, as is the drumming and singing. The whole song is quiet and really doesn't get to anything while you expect it to build into a loud chorus. It really sounds like it would build into an inspirational and overpowering one, but it never does. It's disappointing I guess, and not the best song on the album for that reason. It's the quietest song on the CD that isn't exactly a ballad.
Wow, The Authority Song
is poppy as freakin hell. During the verse, there are breaks in the verses for "ahhs" by random voices, which pisses me off. The backing vocals are actually rather strong, but that's only when it is sung directly under the main vocals. The guitars are poppy, the singing is poppy, heck even the drumming has gotten a little bit poppy, which is a stretch for me. Easily the most annoying song on the album, hands down. The one song I can't stand, especially the chorus. :eek:
Finally we get to My Sundown
. Very soft and acoustic-based, the singing is soft, the guitars try to play softer, almost daring each other to, and the drum only hits the bass drum in the song. You can't really sing much quieter than Jim is here, and it fits the mood flawlessly. The finger-snapping that comes in may seem cheesy when you read about it, but it seems like a sin to think that while listening to it; that's how beautiful it is. The singing is clearly the strongest part here, throughout the song. He doesn't sing loud, it just blends in with the song, especially with the quiet but slightly inspirational guitars. The keyboard comes in at around the bridge, adding more of a sweet touch. A female voice mixes in with Jim, Tom and some other singers to end it. It sounds amazing, a wonderful way to end the song and album.
I see it around me, I see it in everything.
I could be so much more than this.
I said my goodbye's this is my sundown.
I'm gonna be so much more than this.
With one hand high, you'll show them your progress.
You'll take your time, but no one cares.
No one cares.
I need you to show me the way from crazy.
I wanna be so much more than this.
+Some great ballads [Hear You Me, My Sundown] mix in with some great pop- punk songs [Bleed American, The Middle]
+Great lyric writing by Jim
+Strong singing, background singing
-Lack of bass presence
-The Authority Song