Musings on music delivered when I dig myself out.

Jimmy gets full of adult emotions, cries a little bit

Or "Pain," the first single from Jimmy Eat World's newest LP, Futures

I remember it like it was yesterday. For two consecutive summers I would bop along I-55 in my convertible Cavalier, my long blond hair flowing in the wind, singing at the top of my lungs, "IT JUST TAKES SOME TIME, LITTLE MUMBLE MUMBLE MUMBLE THE RHYME, EVERYTHING EVERYTHING WILL BE JUST FINE!!" What's that? That wasn't me? Shocker. Well ok, I guess I heard that it happened a lot, and it didn't surprise me. "The Middle" was easily the most popular song off Bleed American (and every teen movie made those two years) and gave the band a certain reputation. Jimmy Eat World was a band about going out there and achieving your dreams, and maybe about dancing around in your underwear if you're good looking.

Three whole years after Jimmy ate the world, the group has come back with a new, angst-y album. "Pain," the first single, is fairly indicative of the rest of the record: the topic is kind of serious, the sound more beefed up (Gil Norton in the house!), and musically, nothing much has changed. If you were to change the key a bit and swap in some lyrics from an inspirational/guidance counselor poster, you'd have something like "Sweetness" or "The Middle." In some respects this demands kudos. Scrapping their melodic rock aesthetic for shitloads of synthesizers or laptop beats could have been disastrous and capable of turning off an entire audience. At the same time, the band gets a finger-wagging for sticking so closely to the game-plan. Jimmy Eat World has evolved a great deal since its inception, so to plateau at pop rock is bit of a let down. Some might point out that they've added an added element of "more mature" subject matter; but has everyone forgotten Static Prevails and Clarity, or even darker moments of Bleed American? "Pain" is far from disaster or classic, but as the flagship song it's nothing to marvel at. Let's all just go back to our happy places where we're blond and own convertibles, eh?

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