Fifteen years later, Jimmy Eat World brings new rock sound

Back to Article
Back to Article

Fifteen years later, Jimmy Eat World brings new rock sound

Brianne Saab, secretary

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

The quintessential song of the 2000s, the anthem of every high school special about awkward kids finding their way in life, was a song called “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World. Fifteen years later, the band has released another album, titled “Integrity Blues.”

Their new album does not live up to the excitement I felt hearing about it. “The Middle” is infinitely better than this album, but that does not mean the album is a waste of time.

Some songs are very enjoyable, though the album lacks a coherent sound, meaning some are most definitely not enjoyable. The band is a rock band, and yet some of the songs sound more like pop than rock, especially the first.

The album starts off with a song called “You with Me,” a sort of almost rock song harkening to the indie genre, dealing with the incredibly relatable topic of love that just will not work. The song is not the strongest opener to an album, but it is an entertaining song to listen to and certainly hooked me enough to listen to the rest of the album.

“The guitar that opens ‘You With Me’ is almost comically opulent, like a harp strung with liquid crystal and wrapped in icicle lights,” said Ian Cohen in his review for Pitchfork. “Falsetto harmonies channel an ultralight beam through stained glass, sounding closer to the synth-prog hosannahs of Mew or Passion Pit.”

The next song, “Sure and Certain,” changes the sound. This song was much better and made me glad I had stayed to listen. It was more of a song to jam along to, definitely more fun, and closer to the rock sound that I loved in “The Middle.” It captures a feeling of freedom and the possibility that life holds.

Later in the album, “Pass the Baby” takes a strange yet not unpleasant turn for the slow, dark, and gritty. There comes a surprising guitar solo near the end, not super fast or complicated but still interesting to hear. This tone continues in “Get Right,” a more epic indie rock song.

The title track is horribly disappointing. The sound shifts dramatically, even from the last two songs, which were slower and more tired sounding. “Integrity Blues” takes it down even lower and slower, sounding like a sort of mournful church choir, completely out of place in the album.

Luckily, “Pol Roger” picks up so the album does not end on a completely awful note. Though still slow, the pace picks up. The guitar is understated yet a steady driving force, and it is definitely a good song to end on, a very compelling song about not giving up.

Ultimately, the album is an interesting example of how a band’s sound can change over time while staying true to who they are. There are hits and misses on the tracklist, but it is definitely worth a listen for anyone who enjoys indie rock and the sounds of youth.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email