Jimmy Eat World have come a long way from the band that created the pop-rock masterpiece, ‘Bleed American’, back in 2001. As much as churning out similar music over the years would’ve pleased fans, this band took a different direction in 2010 with ‘Invented’ and have kept to this new style with latest release, ‘Damage’. It’s a record that focuses more on songwriting than on catchy hooks, but still manages to be a great record.
Opening track, ‘Appreciation’, shows Jimmy Eat World‘s current direction, instrumentally a lot calmer with Jim Adkins vocals drifting over the top. Album highlight, ‘Book Of Love’ has just an acoustic guitar with poignant lyrics, such as “The Book of Love is fiction / Written by the loneliest to sing / Thinking their doing their best / Learning things they should forget / Until the end”. It’s this songwriting ability that is Jimmy Eat World‘s greatest strength across this record.
The closest this band get to their roots is with first single ‘I Will Steal You Back’ and later track ‘How’d You Have Me’ boasting choruses that don’t have a huge vocal performance, but have enough to them to really stick in your memory. Ballad ‘Please Say No’ sees the band at their most emotional, with perfect delivery of the lyrics from Adkins showing that they don’t need the huge hits of old to deliver show-stopping performances.
Jimmy Eat World have been part of the music scene for over 15 years now, so obviously their sound will progress with them. They can’t still be making the pop-punk hits of old, but thankfully their new tracks such as the title-track of this record shows that they’re confident enough in their songs to not rely on those infectious rhythms and a stripped back approach works well for them. This new direction may not set the world on fire, but it still creates great songs. It’s a different Jimmy Eat World, but it’s still a successful one.
Written by Jonathon Barlow