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Invented (Deluxe Version)

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Album Review

The massive success of Jimmy Eat World's 2001 Bleed American propelled the band into the mass-culture spotlight, with the hit single "The Middle" seemingly popping up in every third movie released and the group turning in an energized performance on Saturday Night Live. Many, many groups followed in their wake, crafting a similar blend of melodic, anguished punk-pop and leaving Jimmy Eat World in the position of crafting a follow-up that set them apart from their acolytes. Futures gets around this dilemma in two ways. First, with the help of producer Gil Norton, the band polishes its sound until it shines like a slick '70s arena rock record. The guitars are stacked like thick diamonds, the vocals are way out front and buttressed by sweet harmonies in the choruses, the drums sound large, and the mix is loaded with sweetening from acoustic guitars, keyboards, and female vocals. In the process, they sacrificed the immediacy of the previous record, but they gained an epic and weighty feel. Secondly, the lyrics are much darker and more mature, including themes that revolve around politics, drugs, and despair. The piano-and-feedback ballad "Drugs or Me" and the bittersweet love song "Night Drive" are the products of age and experience the band lacked until now. The best song on the record, the very Disintegration-era Cure-sounding "23," sounds like it was recorded by a different group entirely. Some things have remained the same, however. Jim Adkins' vocals are as intense and heart-tugging as ever, and the band still writes hooks that will have you singing along before the song is half over. "Just Tonight," "Futures," and the AC/DC-sampling "Pain" are all trademark Jimmy Eat World punky pop/rockers with anthemic choruses, while "The World You Love" and "Work" display the sweetly melodic side of the band. There are a couple of stumbles (the decision to replace Petra Haden's charming vocals with Liz Phair's, the generic "Nothingwrong"), but they don't detract from the overall power of the record. Futures will most likely not be the sensation that Bleed American was — it is too dark and inwardly focused for that — but it shows a progression of sound and emotion that fans of the band should embrace. [Limited quantities of the record came with a second disc made up of demos of all the songs on the album. Less polished and more immediate, the disc makes an interesting companion to the official release and is well worth seeking out.]

Customer Reviews

A scrapbook.

Just as Jim Adkins imagined the life behind photographs of strangers to conjure the hearts and souls behind Invented's narrators, it helps to turn these songs, for a short moment, into reflections of the band he so confidently conducts. For instance: where Bleed American and Chase This Light exploded into life straight out of the traps with crunching riffs and anthemic shouts, Invented opens with musical striptease 'Heart Is Hard To Find,' which builds without ever climaxing and eases the album into flow with an admirable swagger. Quite why this comes as a surprise is anybody's guess, but I'll say this: Invented doesn't give itself up easy. Several of its songs are Futures-standard infectious, but it takes more than a few listens to appreciate what a remoulded Jimmy Eat World has to offer, if only to discard prior misconceptions.

In fact, that's the word; Invented is such a welcoming album that the brief emergence of lead female vocals on the breathtaking 'Coffee And Cigarettes' doesn't raise an eyebrow even first time around; it's par for the course. And because it's so welcoming, it's also deceptive; deceptively different, deceptively catchy, deceptively excellent. It was so easy to throw away 'My Best Theory' and assert that the band had lost their flair for good, but the truth is that Jimmy Eat World have grown up, and I don't mean to imply that they've sold out or undergone some radical reform; no, like actually growing up, Invented is the first Jimmy Eat World album since Clarity which frequently defers the instant high for a much more subtle impression, and like actually growing up, they haven't changed at all on the inside except for a small cut-and-paste job. They still marry emotion and melody like no other band; they still know how to rock, how to whisper, how to celebrate and how to worry. This is just Jimmy Eat World proving they can do them all in one place, and asking you to invest enough to join in.

Not great, certainly not bad!

I adore jimmy eat world, they could serve me up s@&t on a plate and I'd lap it up! But for anyone to give this record one star knows nothing about music! Is Invented a classic? No. Is it rubbish? Not even close! I love this band for their earlier work I have to admit! Clarity set the standard, Bleed American heightened it and Futures maintained it! There was a time back around 2005 where Jimmy Eat World had the potential to become one of rocks heavyweights! Unfortunately their two most recent offerings haven't lived up to expectations, both Chase This Light and Invented haven't really continued their earlier promise! But by absolutely no stretch of the imagination is this record poor! There are a half dozen gems on here like heart is hard to find, my best theory and cut which wouldn't be out of place on any of their earlier records! It's the filler tracks that are below par and there isn't a stand alone classic like the middle, fireworks or pain to add to a best of when it eventually comes in the next five years or so. What you do get for your money here tho is a good solid addition to your Jimmy Eat World catalogue without the excitement we've got from past albums!

JEW are back!!!

JEW are back people. 'Invented' is a new direction for the band and that direction is leading to bigger and better things they may be more poppy nowadays compared to 'futures' but they are back in true form, with ballads and heartfelt lyrics, you can hear the pure emotion reveal itself within the songs. Stand out tracks for me are 'cut' 'invented' and 'mixtape' they all show the true talent of a very talented band, i don't dislike any of the songs if i'm honest, i've had this album 2 days now and i'm already singing along with each song. Buy this album now, you will not regret it


Formed: 1994 in Mesa, AZ

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Once a trailblazing name in the mid-'90s emocore scene, Jimmy Eat World eventually found a larger audience by embracing a blend of alternative rock and power pop that targeted the heart as well as the head. The band's influence widened considerably with 1999's Clarity -- an album that has since emerged as a landmark of the emo genre -- it was the band's follow-up (specifically the infectious single "The Middle") that crowned them as major figures in commercial rock. The emo label proved difficult...
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