CD Review of Chase This Light by Jimmy Eat World
Recommended if you like
Nada Surf, Third Eye Blind, Weezer
Label
Interscope
Jimmy Eat World:
Chase This Light

Reviewed by Mike Farley

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J
immy Eat World used to be indie darlings, riding the wave of emo music at its height of popularity, yet remaining cool as can be in the process. But recent releases have skewed this band toward commercial radio-friendly pop. After peaking with 2001’s Bleed American, which was just balls out R-O-C-K, the band released Futures in 2004 and now Chase This Light on Interscope Records. The latest is more or less a continuation of the pop bent of Futures, something that is going to keep radio programmers and music supervisors very happy, but might chase hardcore fans of the band away for good. It’s not quite selling out, but at times it’s a bit too much of trying to make the wrong people happy. Still, the songs are solid enough for many of us not to care.

“Always Be” and “Carry Me” have the kind of melody that you may think you’ve heard before, and that’s sometimes the mark of a band that can write hooky material in its sleep. “Big Casino” sounds like it was left over from Futures, and the title track is tailor made for the soundtrack so some MTV-generation film. “Dizzy” is the best track of all—a mid-tempo, acoustic-tinged song with a powerful chorus that is loaded with walls of guitars. And “Gotta Be Somebody’s Blues” has a nice creepy feel just in time for Halloween. But cuts like “Electable (Give It Up)” and “Firefight” sound too much like a band that is trying to hard to conform, and that’s going to make more than a few people sad.

The music business is overloaded with major label and indie artists these days, so bands like Jimmy Eat World can pat themselves on the back for their longevity (the band’s first record was released in 1996). And whether or not you want to deem them as a sellout with a more commercial sound, you can’t ever knock their basic songwriting skills. They’ve got the formula down, and they’re going with it—whether you like it or not.

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