Follow Us on Twitter

Jimmy Eat World - Chase This Light

Jimmy Eat World, Chase This Light

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

JIMMY Eat World release their sixth studio album in the wake of a storming double set at Reading and Leeds earlier this year and the result is a big, emphatic record that’s been produced with the help of Butch Vig (of Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and Sonic Youth fame).

As impressive as the scope of the album is, however, it’s a fairly generic rock offering that prevents me from raving about a successful return too impetuously.

Album opener and forthcoming single Big Casino is a classic case in point, exploding into life and featuring a genuinely life-affirming vocal performance from Jim Adkins (proclaiming he’s a “New Jersey success story”). But even as your toes tap along, your head nods and you find yourself singing along with the anthemic chorus, you realise you’ve been here before. Not just with Jimmy Eat World, but countless American gigantic rock bands.

There are some sharp guitar melodies running in and out of Let It Happen, another boisterous offering, while the finger clicking intro of Always Be puts an easy smile on the face but neither track particularly realises their early potential. When Adkins laments “I was just a boy like any other”, you tend to reflect on the sad fact that he’s singing a song just like countless others.

And so the rest of the album follows a similarly predictable path with the odd notable exception. Carry You is a melody-strewn mid-tempo favourite that actually benefits from slowing things down a little, while there’s an epic sensibility to the shimmering Gotta Be Somebody’s Blues that finds Jimmy Eat World at their most mature, intense and brooding. The instrumentation, especially, lends the song that epic sprawl that had been missing from some of the more straightforward efforts.

Feeling Lucky is fun but throwaway, Here It Goes seems to flirt with some ’80s influences and includes some cheesy vocal melodising, and title track Chase This Light attempts to uplift amid some gigantic, skyscraping choruses. But none of that trio really registers as strongly as they might.

Indeed, the lasting impression from the album is best summed up by the final track Dizzy, which is steeped in big song values and an earnest approach that eventually becomes stifling. Of the bonus tracks, Be Sensible is a slow-burner built around some lush acoustics, but it’s not enough to elevate the album above the average for this kind of songwriting.

Chase This Light contains some bright moments but it fails to add up to an entirely satisfying whole.

Download picks: Big Casino, Carry You, Gotta Be Somebody’s Blues, Chase This Light, Be Sensible

Track listing:

  1. Big Casino
  2. Let It Happen
  3. Always Be
  4. Carry You
  5. Electable (Give It Up)
  6. Gotta Be Somebody’s Blues
  7. Feeling Lucky
  8. Here It Goes
  9. Chase This Light
  10. Firefight
  11. Dizzy
  12. Be Sensible
  13. Distraction