Jimmy Eat World

Chase the Light | Interscope
By MATT ASHARE  |  October 30, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars
After two tortured, aching-to-be-grown-up albums that found Arizona’s Jimmy Eat World doing their best to distance themselves from the youthful, open-hearted emo of 1999’s Clarity, singer/guitarist Jim Adkins appears to have found a comfortable middle ground. There are still hints of the dark political overtones and the despair over the state of our decaying culture that colored 2001’s Bleed American (retitled Jimmy Eat World after 9/11) and 2004’s Futures. The sneering, punkish “Electable (Give It Up)” is a primary-season salvo aimed at “talking points from talking heads with automated smiles.” But that’s the exception to what rules on this their sixth album, a Butch Vig–produced modern-rock warhorse full of inward-looking songs and all kinds of musical embellishments, from the uneasy strings that accent the paranoid love song “Gotta Be Somebody’s Blues” to the synths that support the muscular guitars on the self-questioning “Big Casino,” a big single with smarting couplets like “I’m the one who gets away/I’m a New Jersey success story” and “Well there’s lots of smart ideas in books I’ve never read/When the girls come talk to me I wish to hell I had.” Adkins hasn’t shaken his skepticism altogether — he can’t help repeating “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha/I can laugh it off” in the hard-driving “Let It Happen.” But Jimmy Eat World go to great lengths to recapture the anthemic thrills of Clarity — and give or take a few bouts of brooding cynicism, they’ve succeeded.

Jimmy Eat World | Orpheum Theatre, 1 Hamilton Place, Boston | November 7 | 617.931.2000
Related: Stasis prevails, WFNX's top 101 songs of the decade, Slideshow: Jimmy Eat World at House of Blues, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Butch Vig, Jimmy Eat World, Jimmy Eat World,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   SEND IN THE CLOWNS  |  July 02, 2009
    The New York Post got to resurrect its priceless "Wacko Jacko" headline. Barbara Walters scored Super Bowl-level ratings without having to lift a pretty little finger. And Michael Jackson, well, no matter how you slice it, he got screwed royally.
  •   ARRESTING DEVELOPMENTS  |  September 16, 2008
    Lack of talent, charisma, and/or personality can prevent a good band from achieving greatness — but too much of a good thing can also be a problem.
  •   ROCK THERAPIES  |  July 22, 2008
    A little over four years ago, the Boston music scene lost one of its cuter couples when singer-songwriter Blake Hazard and guitarist/producer John Dragonetti left town for LA.
  •   FORTUNATE ONE  |  July 07, 2008
    It was no surprise to find Chris Brokaw in Hawaii last week, just two Saturdays before he’s due back in Cambridge to pull a double shift upstairs at the Middle East.
  •   BOSTON MUSIC NEWS: JULY 11, 2008  |  July 08, 2008
    The New Year, a band the Kadanes started with Chris Brokaw on drums a decade ago, are still a going concern.

 See all articles by: MATT ASHARE