Jimmy Eat World – Damage
June 11th 2013
Recommended if you like: Yellowcard, Third Eye Blind, Taking Back Sunday
When a recognizable artist releases a new album, it doesn’t take much to get everyone’s attention. Occasionally though, we tend to just look at the press releases, the interviews, and the liner notes at surface level. We write our review, post it online, and you click and skim through it all to get a general idea of whether or not we liked the album. But we’re not just talking about another recognizable artist today, we’re talking about Jimmy Eat World.
So what’s so special about Jimmy Eat World? If you want to look at accolades, you’d be hard pressed to believe they’re the spokesmen of a generation. Only one single out of a dozen released has reached number one on the Billboard charts, and their highest charting album only reached number five. If you talk to a fan of Jimmy Eat World and ask them why they’re such an important band in their life, the answers you’ll get will all sound just about the same. For the fans, it’s the way that the music and the lyrics get past that first layer and reach you in a way a song never has before. If you ask them their favorite song, they probably won’t tell you “The Middle.” For most, they’ll tell you about “23,” “Goodbye Sky Harbor,” or “Dizzy,” and would be able to recount where they were the first time they listened to it. Only a band with relentless fans would be able to do a ten date national tour playing a ten year old record from front to back and sell out every date. This, among countless other reasons, is why a band like Jimmy Eat World releasing a new record is a great thing for rock music.
From the strumming of the first riff of “Appreciation,” you get a goofy little smile on your face and say to yourself, “Yeah, this is going to be a great record.” With producer Alain Johannes behind the wheel, the album provides the familiar feel of past records. Growth can definitely been seen lyrically for the band, as Adkins’ songwriting has seen tremendous development. The lead single “I Will Steal You Back” offers a look back at love lost with the chorus crying out, “How slowly we built the walls/years they pile up/I will steal you back/Funny how the smallest lie/might live a million times/I will steal you back.”
The standout ballad from the album is the heartbreaking song “Please Say No.” Told from a lover in the middle of an affair, the song tells of the destruction the act has done not only on the ones being cheated on but also the ones doing the cheating and their relationship. The lyrics say, “If all you’re really hoping for is peace of mind/Don’t come to me with questions, you’ll just waste your time/exactly what you’re looking for is what you’ll find/All I see around me is a losing battle.”
The overall feel of the album emits a very nostalgic emotion, taking you back to the good old days where guitars and lyrics reigned supreme and production took a back seat. For people who have an love for raw rock and roll, this album will feel like home. For those who prefer the more polished sound, odds are you’ll have a hard time with this one. If you can get past that fact, Jim and company offer up one of their most poignant and honest album in their career.