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For many years, Jimmy Eat World were considered to be alternative trailblazers, firstly through the 1-2 of 'Static Prevails' and 'Clarity' and then onto a larger canvas thanks to the radio friendly sounds of their self titled effort. Since that S/T release, each Jimmy Eat World album has found it's rough edges smoothed off, reducing their once squally sound to a purring smooth sheen.
There are a few moments of abrasion within 'Invented', the redundant sounding 'Action needs an Ambulance; and the much more successful 'Evidence' exist on both ends of the scale, but much of the songs here rest into a mid-paced lull.
The first single 'My Best Theory' is one of the most striking tracks, referencing 80's style stomp with an insistent riff and memorable melody. The uptempo 'Higher Devotion' is probably the poppiest thing the band has ever recorded, and it works here, an almost guilty pleasure forcing the listener to sing along. It is the run of tracks following this that is the main problem with 'Invented'.
Starting with 'Movielike' the album never really goes anywhere. All of the melodies are nice and the sentiment is pleasant enough, but 'Stop', 'Littlething' and 'Cut' all amble past without ever really making an impression. The album ends strongly though, with the title track exploding into life midway through, and whilst an interesting listen, to these ears it sounds like an attempt to recreate the magic of the bands best song, '23' from the 'Futures' album.
So what do we learn about Jimmy Eat World from this album? They remain a band that can craft intelligent songs, with pleasant melodies and emotive lyrics, although sadly, the spark that once existed (especially during the time of 'Clarity') has long been extinguished.
Jimmy Eat World started as a punk band back in 1993; with their name reflecting their religious beliefs when abbreviated (JEW). Their early albums formed a more heavy punk-style sound and as the band progressed they've taken on a more alternative rock sound with softer songs playing a heavier part on their later albums.
Jimmy Eat World have been one of my favourite bands since I was 14. I love the idea of being able to look back through their albums and being able to pin point exactly where I was and what I was doing when their album came out; like a dose of nostalgia on a disc. Needless to say, I was more than excited when they realised their latest album "Invented" (2010). Over the years they've come to be a reliable band for producing great albums year after year. They also manage to keep up with the never-ending musical trends without destroying their roots; They can make an album seem current but at the same time their will be songs that echo their earlier works. A lot of their lyrics centre around love/heartbreak/drugs and anger; I guess this is possibly the reason I fell in love with this band in my early teens and really connected with the lyrics (he says whilst trying to remain mainly). I almost feel I have matured as the band have...crazy!
Their previous release Chase This Light (2007) was a bit hit and miss for me personally and didn't rank well among the band's previous triumphs of "Bleed American" (2001) and "Futures" (2004). I was looking for a Jimmy eat world classic with their latest release; something that would make me happy/sad and want to bounce off the walls in one go; luckily their new album gave me everything I wanted.
The album kicks off with the soft melodic tones of "The Heart Is Hard To Find"; a song that romances you both lyrically and musically; the band have added orchestral pieces in this song to make the overall tone grander. The album then picks up the tempo with the punchy/catchy lyrics from "My Best Theory" and Higher "Devotion". Jim Adkins vocals really soar on "My Best Theory"; the chorus really rocks and vocals remind me of their earlier work (it's a song you really want to turn up loud). The guitar rifts in this song are excellent, for those of you that play guitar, you'll want to learn how to play it and for those of you that don't you'll be practising your air guitar throughout the whole song.
The album gets heavy in sections with the song "Evidence", this a track where the quality of guitars/bass/and percussion really over shadow the vocals; possibly a moment for the rest of the band to leave their mark on the album. The guitars and rhythm then kick back in with "Coffee and Cigarettes", a song that it probably one of the most crowd pleasing and well produced songs on the album. Although the lyrics aren't incredible on this song and their aren't many of them, it certainly gets stuck in your head without any hesitation; many a morning I have woken up singing these lyrics.
"Stop", "Littlething" and "Cut" bring the album back down in tempo and provides a perfect atmospheric backdrop for those summer nights; with emotion felt throughout every second of the songs, i'm not sure what emotion i'm feeling in this song, but i'm definitely feeling something!! You really notice "JIm Adkins" vocal range in the song "Cut"; he manages to just sing any way he wants and it sounds good, the perfect song to hear at a festival.
"Action Needs An Audience" provides you with one last gasp of raw Jimmy Eat World" chaos for old times sake, the kind of chaos you may have come to love in their first two albums; this song has the punk edge that none of the other songs have (fans of millencolin and Goldfinger may like this track)
My favourite and one of the final songs on the album is "Invented", the female vocals on this track really add an extra edge to the song and creates a greater sense of emotion when the lyrics are sung accompanied with the soft melody. It's the perfect song to be listening to when you're with your girlfriend/boyfriend. I really love the lyrics in this song, in particular : "Any dick can roll up in a suit, but only I will ever know what really moves you", it's a bit soppy but amazing!
The final song "Mix-tape" is the perfect ending to the album. The lyrics create this sense that something is ending and the intense musical arrangement really hammers the song back home.
One thing I love about Jimmy Eat World is the way they lay out their tracks in an album; they normally have the softer songs at the begging and end, to gently ease you into their cd and the punchy higher tempo songs are scattered around the middle to keep you going until the end. Lyrically their an awesome band; I have yet to find a band that constantly writes such excellent lyrics for nearly ever song they create.
The best songs from "Invented" 2010(in my opinion)
My Best Theory
Action Needs An Audience
1. Heart Is Hard To Find
2. My Best Theory
4. Higher Devotion
6. Coffe And Cigarettes
10. Action Needs An Audience
Jim Adkins- Vocals, Guitar
Tom Linton- Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
Rick Burch- Drums
Zach Lind- Guitar, Backing Vocals
If you're looking for a new band to listen to then I would recommend Jimmy Eat World, and if you've never listened to them before I would suggest listening to a couple of tracks from the album "Bleed American" (2001).
There is no band I recommend more than Jimmy Eat World. You may not fall in love with them straight away, and some people won't like them at all. But i guarantee there's at least one song on every album that will have you tapping your feet, dancing around and singing like there's no-one watching your. I was also lucky enough to see them live last November, and after years of waiting for the moment, I can truly say it was one of the best experiences of my life; they sound exactly the same if not better live! This album may not be as raw and chaotic as their earlier work, but bands can't produce the same albums year after year; no matter how their sound progresses they still manage to retain their quality
Long live Jimmy!!
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Heart Is Hard To Find
2 My Best Theory
4 Higher Devotion
6 Coffee And Cigarettes
10 Action Needs An Audience