With apologies to Seinfeld: If 2001’s Bleed American was Jimmy’s plyometric leap, then 2004’s Futures was the album that sidelined Jimmy. The swampy departure from their feel-good formula took the bread out of Jimmy’s mouth. So unsurprisingly, Chase This Light—a shoddily disguised attempt at slate-cleaning—finds Jimmy Eat World stalling.
The revisiting of old tricks yields a predictable product: the constant ringing of background noise, the harmonizing of Jim Adkins’ reverb, the jack-in-the-box jumping of fifths. But the album’s dearth of energy listens like an uninspired, commercially driven crack at recapturing a pre-Futures past. Other than the standout track “Electable (Give It Up)” (a political piece with capricious instrumentation which proves that Jimmy is neither musically nor lyrically comatose) and the facepalm dud “Gotta Be Somebody’s Blues” (a last-ditch attempt at interesting fans in their Futures fare), Chase This Light sounds exactly like Bleed American, were it sold out to soundtrack a Target commercial.
It’s difficult to fully discredit Jimmy Eat World when, melodically speaking, they’re still churning out some of the better riffs on the scene, but this recycled, soulless album sounds like it was phoned in on a bad day. Chase This Light is just Bleed American bled dry.
JIMMY EAT WORLD
Chase This Light