Friday, October 22, 2010

Music Review: Jimmy Eat World - Invented

Arizona's alternative rock/power pop legends Jimmy Eat World do not make throwaway albums. They are one of those bands who always records more repeat-worthy songs than not, but who set a new standard in rock that is so high, any future records will be judged by it for as long as they keep making them.

1999's Clarity is the group's masterpiece and always will be, as songs like "Crush" and "Ten" set the stage for the commercial emo movement (i.e. Fall Out Boy) in the decade that followed. But other, more pop punk groups (i.e. The Ataris) also followed in the footsteps of the band's near perfect power pop/post-punk follow-up, 2001's Bleed American, which featured hits "The Middle" and "Sweetness," among others. Those two records were the peak of Jimmy Eat World's creative powers.

And what they, along with its notably more aggressive, emocore-based major label debut Static Prevails (1996) have in common with its recently released seventh LP Invented is producer Mark Trombino (who also drummed for Drive Like Jehu). Can he help bring back the magic of any of those early records (not including the band's out-of-print self-titled 1994 debut record)?

There are indeed shades of J.E.W.'s 1999 masterpiece throughout the new record, for starters. For example, closer "Mixtape" has a cappella parts somewhat reminiscent of Clarity's closer "Goodbye Sky Harbor." But as singable as its chorus is, the slow-moving tune doesn't come close to the powerful and intense "Dizzy" (from its previous and sixth album, 2007's Chase This Light), which has to go down as the best album closer in the Jimmy Eat World catalog since the aforementioned "Goodbye Sky Harbor."

That said, there are quite a few hummable, memorable and rockin' tracks on Invented.  "Heart Is Hard To Find" opens the sound barriers up with heavy acoustics and a warm touch that makes one think the song would fit right in with the Bleed American record. (End of review excerpt)
This article was first published IN FULL earlier this evening at Blogcritics Magazine.

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