Jimmy Eat World - Chase This Light
Record Label: Interscope Records
Release Date: October 16, 2007
October was a massive month of releases. From the new Thrice release to Radiohead’s In Rainbows, I find myself overwhelmed with the amount of new music I have, most of which I haven’t even listened to yet. However, in the midst of what seems like musical chaos, Jimmy Eat World have quietly released Chase This Light, one of their best records to date.
For those who downloaded the band's first single, “Big Casino,” via iTunes prior to Chase This Light's release, you probably have an idea of what the album sounds like. Much less a departure from their formulaic rock-meets-pop, but more of a refining, Chase This Light exhibits some of today's catchiest and most well written tunes. From the finger-lickin’ good “Here It Goes” to the clean “Always Be,” Jimmy Eat World seem to have brushed up on the squeaky clean catchiness of pop music in their time between their rock riddled previous release, Futures, to Chase This Light. However, just because the band may have lent themselves to what some may call “the brighter side of music,” that doesn’t mean they still can’t bring the rock. Although scorchers like Bleed American’s “Bleed American” and Future’s “Nothingwrong” may be missing from Chase This Light, the band hasn’t forgotten to hit the distortion pedal, especially with songs like the 90’s punk inspired track “Electable (Give It Up)” and the Futures b-side “Firefight.” Although Jimmy Eat World can still call themselves a band that has the swagger to play rock, their real talent shows with their ability to write ballads.
With songs like the like the acoustic heavy, Clarity throwback “Carry You” and the piano laden final track “Dizzy,” the band has solidified their standing in the modern music scene as the masters of pop inspired rock. That’s not to say I would call Chase This Light a pop rock record. Jimmy Eat World's mature songwriting should not be confused (nor compared) with today’s sugar coated, lollipop sucking scene bands that have watched one to many episodes of TRL. Instead, the band shies away from overproduction and power chords and instead focuses on writing spectacular background vocals (“Carry You,” “Feeling Lucky”) and finding the perfect guitar tonality, an element that is obvious on every track.
Although Chase This Light may sound different than Clarity, which was released in 1999, Jimmy Eat World are a band that doesn’t reinvent itself with every record. But at the same time, each release can still be classified as “different” from the previous one. Through gradual progression and making small changes to each record, Jimmy Eat World stick to their formula of writing straightforward rock songs that don’t try to grab the audience with technical guitars and drum playing, but instead capture them with hooks.
Calling Jimmy Eat World one of the best rock artists of the new millennium is not unjustified. It seems nowadays that almost every band out there that isn’t screaming or playing a mandolin cites Jimmy Eat World as an influence - high praise for a band that has only been around since the late 90’s. Even if the band has brought clarity to the scene, they have also undeniably brought the fusion of rock and pop to both MTV and Alternative Press. And although some may argue that Chase This Light may not be Jimmy Eat World's best release of all time, I won’t hesitate to say that it’s close.
i think to say it's nowhere near as good as Clarity is an insult to the band, i know for me if someone said "nothing you have done since four albums ago is better than that" it would be a huge slap in the face, and i think they're better song writers now...not so much experimentation but they do what's needed for the songs
this is a great review. this is my favorite jimmy eat world album. i'm sure someone will bash me because there is some unspoken rule that clarity has to be your favorite album or you can't like jimmy adn you lose all your street cred, but FOR ME, this is my favorite. its not that its better than clarity, its that the songs just do something different for me. i love this album and this is a great review. keep it up
Everything Jimmy Eat World has done since Clarity has been golden.
I'd like to add to this and say that everything Jimmy Eat World has done is golden. That could be because they're my favourite band, or because they're incredibly talented.
I looked forward to the release of Chase This Light for such a long time. I was stupidly excited when they first put Big Casino up on their site, and I remember listening to the first few notes, and this shiver going down my spine.
Jimmy always give me shivers, and I hope they never stop.