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Chase This Light

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iTunes Review

Jimmy Eat World mark more than a decade of music-making with their sixth studio release, Chase This Light, hiring producer Butch Vig to give the record some spit and polish. Some fans may whine there is more polish than spit here, as the band hangs on to their original post-punk aspirations with a dangerously thin thread. The first single, “Big Casino,” is built on a solid J.E.W. foundation, with energetic, buzzing guitars pushing Jim Adkins’ vocals to their emotional brink, a sticky chorus thrown out there just often enough to keep you hooked. A strong contender for single treatment, “Let it Happen,” follows, with a clever and acerbic lyrical lashing (“I can laugh it off… heh heh heh heh…”), and even the third track is readymade for radio play. The best moment here is a real stylistic diversion, and shows what the band is capable of: “Gotta Be Somebody’s Blues” starts off with creeping, atonal guitar strumming that gets swept up into a yowling, warped phalanx of strings, and Adkins’ quiet vocal delivery nails the somber mood.  It feels experimental and dramatic, and is completely satisfying.

Customer Reviews

Nearly reached their full potential

Jimmy Eat World has come a long way since getting dropped by Capitol, having to sell the singles they made independently that they then recorded into a single independent album called "Singles" so they could sell these CDs in order to raise enough money to pay for making the ever-famous "Bleed American," otherwise known as the CD "Jimmy Eat World." So I will say that first, I have an enormous amount of respect for these guys for the very hard work they had to do before "making it," and obviously I have an enormous amount of respect for their musical talent. I think their talent showed through the most in "Jimmy Eat World" and in a # of spots on this CD. I've listened to the album nearly four times now and they have songs that shine through. I'll give you the perfect example of what I'm talking about. Listen to "Dizzy" acoustic, then listen to "Dizzy" with full-throttle guitars, synthesizers going, and all the other digital toys to play with in a full-scale, modern, state-of-the-art recording studio today. It's unbelievable the things they can do to your voice for example, to make iit sound better; just an example. Anyway my point on listening to the two songs, is yes they're using electric guitars, the drums, and maybe even a little synth in there, but when you listen to the acoustic, you can hear a completely different melody, you can pick up on the emotion in his voice. That's a big one. Listen to the "in-studio" version and you don't hear any emotion at all from his voice as he sings and that's because it's exactly the way they (the producers) wanted it to sound. And finally, that's another major difference between "Bleed American" and "Chase the Light." The story above explains it perfectly. They had just been cut by Capitol Records before making "Bleed American," and they've even been quoted as saying it freed them in a way, because by making first their independent CD to sell in order to raise the money to record "Bleed American," ... once they finally got to record "Bleed America" they had the opportunity to do it however they wanted. They had the liberty of not having somebody telling them they need to make it sound a certain way. And on "Chase the Light" I feel on certain songs, things were over-polished, over-produced, the producers almost made it sound too clean in certain areas, and had JEW had that same freedom they had on "Bleed American" I believe that they (the band) would have given us a better album because I think they would have made it a little more mainstream rock and would've given the music a chance to sound the way it would if it weren't so "cleaned-up". Bravo to JEW, they did an awesome job getting back to that "old feeling" and no good for the producers, no matter what their names were or what other albums they've produced in the past. Great job JEW.

From a JEW fan: "Chase" explores a new tone (over and over); solid, but disappointing.

First off - I am a HUGE Jimmy Eat World fan. They are by far my favorite band. That's why "Chase This Light" was a bit of a disappointment. The new album definitely seems to reflect JEW's new sound: shiny, polished, and over-produced. The reverb/self-harmonizing vocal effects featured in Future's "Kill" are used here to the point of overkill. I love Jim's voice, but by the album's midpoint, I was desperate for some un-digitized vocals. The same could be said, to a lesser extent, about the guitars' sound. Previous albums have shown off JEW's ability to balance two guitars into one delicious sound ("Goodbye Sky Harbor"; "Cautioners"). Many points in "Chase This Light" indicate that they have exchanged that subtle interplay for a high-pitched, shiny Coldplay-ish flavor. None of these elements are bad in themselves; I simply feel like they are overused in "Chase This Light". The album does not exhibit the lyrical, tonal or rhythmic range of JEW's previous albums. In addition, many of the songs (particularly in the second half of the album) don't really seem to "go" anywhere - intro, chorus, bridge, breakdown, chorus, end. The songs came and went but I didn't feel like I was involved in the ride. Perhaps I am only focusing on the negatives because "Chase" does not reach the same heights as the band's previous three albums. Don't misunderstand - for a JEW fan, this album is still a completely worthwhile purchase. At times, it progresses the band's range into new places and is, on the whole, enjoyable. At other times, it treads the same ground repeatedly. It is entirely possible that "Chase This Light" will grow on me (I was similarly disappointed with "Futures" at first taste but quickly grew to appreciate it). But for the time being, this new album does not quite reach the same depths or achieve the same variety as "Clarity", "Bleed American", or "Futures". Noteworthy Tracks: Big Casino - the album's single; an anthemic toe-tapper that could be described as a mix between "Pain", "Sweetness" and "Work" Let It Happen - a rocking, slightly dark song that would fit in on Futures; a fun hook ("ha ha ha", the sound of laughing) Always Be - a bittersweet ballad with an 80's pop tone Here It Goes - a surprising, entertaining piece with strong disco influences - (sizzling hi-hats, Jackson Five-ish guitar strums; pulsing bass, etc.)

An Absolute Triumph

After three long years, Jimmy Eat World returns with “Chase this Light” and absolutely triumphs. The album is clean and polished, yet remarkably unique in sound and content. From start to finish, this album pleases. Older J.E.W. fans will appreciate the raw sounding hits like “Dizzy”, “Carry You”, and “Gotta Be Somebody’s Blues”. Newer fans can rock out to catchy songs like “Like She'll Always Be” and “Electable”. All in all, this album covers all the bases Jimmy Eat World is known for…passionate emotional ballads, catchy up-beat songs, and inquisitive, introspective, slower songs. While this album is not “Clarity”, it certainly combines all that is awesome from “Bleed American” and “Futures”. This album is unbelievably solid, through and through. Best Songs: 1) Dizzy – 10/10 – In the same vein as 23, this song is full of emotion and passion. Truly awesome 2) Carry You – 10/10 – A song that was supposedly written many years ago, this song has the raw feel of an older J.E.W. song. It balances a mellow verse with a passionate, upbeat chorus 3) Like She'll Always Be – 9.5/10 – This song is the new “The Middle”…its super-catchy, upbeat, and awesome. 4) Big Casino – 9.5/10 – The new single definitely rocks. With heavy, thick guitar riffs and a unique sound, this song is an instant hit 5) Let it Happen – 9.0/10 – A fast paced song in the same vein as “Pain” from Futures 6) Feeling Lucky – 9.0/10 – A more poppy J.E.W. song that sounds a good deal like “Sweetness” from Bleed American The entire album is awesome and there is not a bad song to be found. If you are looking for a slower song that sounds like something from “Clarity”, check out “Gotta Be Somebody’s Blues”.


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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