Release Date: Sep 28, 2010
Record label: Interscope
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Emo-Pop
Jimmy Eat World's seventh record is charming and tender Prepare yourself – the first thing you notice about JEW’s seventh record is how polished and shiny it is. Bad news for fans hoping for a return to the rawness of their earlier output, but the game plan soon becomes evident. ‘Cut’, ‘Littlething’ and ‘Evidence’ are as charming and tender as anything they’ve done before, but varnished with long-time cohort Mark Trombino’s production they become rather hard to fall in love with until repeated listens unleash their true charms.
Let’s get one thing straight: Jimmy Eat World isn’t playing make believe. Like recent efforts, the quartet’s seventh album doesn’t really cater to Jimmy Eat World purists. And that’s OK. The band is content with being labeled pop rock’s orgasmic ear candy. Invented finds the foursome ….
The sincere, reverential brand of pop songwriting brilliance that Jimmy Eat World deals in is not the sort that wins respect from high-minded critics or hipsters. When the band first brought its sound to the masses in the summer of 2001 with Bleed American, the gatekeepers of cool were in thrall of the garage rock traditionalism of the Strokes and the White Stripes, compared to which the shimmer and polish of Jimmy Eat World’s class of guitar pop must have registered as the enemy. Helping matters even less was the band’s status (established on 1996’s major label debut Static Prevails and solidified on 1999’s beloved Clarity) as emo prototypes, inhabiting the genre’s middle period in the ‘90s between its underground punk roots and eventual ascension to Hot Topic fashion statement.
Review Summary: Jimmy Eat World rein themselves in, but they're still a lot of fun.Perhaps Chase This Light was a little too upbeat for Jimmy Eat World. They'd done fun, optimistic tunes before, of course (and rather well at that), but Chase This Light took the theme and ran with it. In and of itself, this isn't a bad really thing; the record features a number of slick pop songs, and it's wonderful if Jim Adkins is as happy as he sounds in "Big Casino".
You’ll struggle to find any friend or foe of Jimmy Eat World who ever thought their appeal came from big, dumb choruses and sappy ballads. People didn’t connect with Bleed American because of a song like 'The Middle', even if that was what sparked their interest in the album in the first place. They kept listening for the same reason that any teenager listens to a rock album – because it spoke with a voice that resonated with their own frustration, sadness and angst, but still somehow filled them with hope.
On Invented, Jimmy Eat World, now 16 years into their career, sounds like they've started to outgrow emo. For most teenagers, that stepping stone along the road to greater maturity and insight is a good thing, but it's problematic for a band that was a key player in legitimizing emo as an entire genre of modern rock. Growing up is simply anathema to emo, and Invented finds Jimmy Eat World, a band of guys now well into their 30s, struggling to move forward after a protracted adolescence.
The problem with Invented isn’t the band’s attempt to sound young. The problem is that these songs consciously reflect Jimmy Eat World’s age, and emo music doesn’t really support that kind of content. Bleed American, Futures, and Chase This Light were all anthemic records, filled with carpe diem platitudes that targeted a teenage audience, but Invented is older, wiser, and perhaps more midtempo than it needs to be.
Jimmy Eat World's sixth album presents an interesting issue. On the one hand, the album represents the band's continual attempts at addressing the issue of how an emo band grows old, something not often explored in the genre. The emo fad was ultimately short-lived (although it didn't particularly feel it back in the early 2000s), and many of the bands faded away, making records that people started caring less and less about as both artist and fan base grew older.
If there’s one thing that this Arizonan four-piece have been masters of since their inception in the early ’90s, it’s consistently possessing the over-bearing sentimentality of a teenage girl. Their seventh studio album certainly doesn’t veer very far from their past emotional sensibilities. But, thankfully, there is the odd stylistic anomaly to be found here, not least on ‘[b]Higher Devotion[/b]’, a song so ravaged by synths and singer and guitarist [b]Jim Adkins[/b]’ best [a]Prince[/a] impression that you wonder why it sits among tracks such as ‘[b]Movielike[/b]’, ‘[b]Stop[/b]’ and ‘[b]Coffee And Cigarettes[/b]’, which are so reminiscent of their past, embracing the comforting clichés of [a]Jimmy Eat World[/a]’s ‘[b]Bleed American[/b]’-era.
An enjoyable seventh album from one of the emo originals. Mike Haydock 2010 Jimmy Eat World are pioneers of emo – that melodious, sentimental brand of American indie rock that has swept the globe in the past decade. You may well resent them for it. Certainly emo has become a tainted word, conjuring up images of over-emotional teens who wear too much black eyeliner.