+chase this light+

Jimmy Eat World - Chase This Light

After being lukewarm about the band Jimmy Eat World, and then falling in love with their Futures album over the summer, it was with much anticipation that I picked up their newest effort, Chase This Light, yesterday. While everyone else has been oohing and ahhing over the new Radiohead, I’ve been looking forward to this new release far more. Then again, I’m a sucker for emo bands, and nobody does emo better than JEW.

I’ve already listened to the new album a couple times because it clocks in at just over 40 minutes. I like JEW especially for their poignant lyrics and shiny harmonies, both of which seem to be lacking on the new record, but it’s not entirely a bad listen. So…here’s my song by song review of sorts.

1. “Big Casino”
So apparently this is the lead single. Hmm. With the New Jersey references and emo atmosphere, all I can really think of when I listen to this song is My Chemical Romance. Not that that’s a bad thing, but this song doesn’t hold a candle to the catchiness of “Sweetness” or “Pain.”

2. “Let It Happen”
When this song starts, it sounds just like “Intravenous Agnostic” by the Manic Street Preachers. It then becomes rather boring, and I’m left with a strong craving to listen to Know Your Enemy.

3. “Always Be”
Catchy fingersnaps at the beginning of this one, but that’s the only catchy thing about the record so far. It’s at this point in the album that I’m really hoping to finally hear something special in the lyrics or music. I don’t.

4. “Carry You”
Four songs in and things are already getting tedious and uncreative. And I mean, I really like this band. But where is the harmony? Why are these lyrics so lame? These first four songs sound like they should have been b-sides to Futures.

5. “Electable (Give It Up)”
This song is more old style JEW. Extremely catchy chorus, but the lyrics are rubbish, as my boyfriend would say. I was originally under the impression that this was the lead single. Maybe it was? If not, it probably should have been.

6. “Gotta Be Somebody’s Blues”
Musically, I find this to be the most creative song on the record. It starts off with a sexy groove and presents a nice change of pace from the first half of the album. But again, the lyrics are total trash. “Let the fat man drop / She’s the sweetest honey pot.” What? *sigh* They could have done so much more with this tune.

7. “Feeling Lucky”
More awkward lyrics. “Suck that lucky feeling right out of me.” *shudder*

8. “Here It Goes”
At this point I start to fall asleep and skip to the end.

9. “Chase This Light”
I like this one. The lyrics seem to try a little harder, the music gets a little more interesting, and Jim Adkins sounds pleasant. That’s all I wanted on this album, really. They could have built up to the end of the song more dramatically, but this song still stands out compared to the rest.

10. “Firefight”
Ten songs in and JEW are finally starting to sound emo in the best possible way. The chorus sounds solid and the lyrics follow a continuous thread. Yay.

11. “Dizzy”
Every time I’ve listened to this record, I’m pretty well bored with it by this last song. “Dizzy” is a bleeding little emo heart of a song, though, and I’m sure I’ll quite love it to death after listening to it about 10 more times.

So there it is. My immediate, 24 hours with this album impression of Chase This Light. It took me two and a half years to warm up to their last record, so I’m sure I’ll warm up more to this one. Perhaps I’m missing some subtleties in the first few songs where things seem to run together, but what can I say? I miss the harmonies, and I miss the picturesque lyrics of “Kill” and “Polaris.” Where are the ballads? Where is that one song radio will overplay because it’s so good? Where is the obscure Phoenix reference? So. Overall, a solid effort, but a little on the ‘we didn’t challenge ourselves enough’ side for me.


~ by Jennifer Cunningham on October 17, 2007.

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