Sound — 9
I'm not that familiar with Jimmy Eat World's overall sound; I was only aware of a few songs like The Middle, Bleed American, The Sweetness and Pain. So, I thought I'd have a look at this album! I have to say, judging from the singles, I was not expecting what I heard on the album, they seem to be a lot softer than I imagined them to be, I'm not sure if this is a development from a previous sound, this is something I will look into! That said, I think it's got a good share of some fast up beat, to hard rock and sweet little acoustic numbers that I love. My only problem was that the opening track Bleed American (later re-christened as Salt, Sweat, Sugar) is fast, it's got some meat to it and it's just awesome. After that, there aren't any other songs that share that kind of drive that this song gives and an opening track is usually the song that sets an impression for me and it was a downer that it was all you were given in that respect. On the other hand, I've learned that they're not always about fast, loud tunes and I supposed it's better to try and divert yourself from one song to the next in terms of style etc. I like the sound; it's mature, simple and despite being classed as emo, they just appear as a straight forward Rock band to me, why complicate it anymore than that?
Lyrics — 8
Lyrics is always a hard one to judge. I wright songs and lyrics are always a pain in backside, I don't want to beat around the bush with what I'm saying so I just wright what comes...Then it just sounds like I'm beating round the bush with stuff, you try and simplify and you sound like an idiot. I think the lyrics are just straight up simple and honest, there the kind of lyrics that I feel just rolled off the tongue and the guys said "..Yeah that's cool, I like it!". Like I said before, the sound isn't too complicated, it's nice and simple and I think the lyrics act as a nice icing on the cake, it's too sweet and it's a nice cake, you like this cake. Or maybe I can describe it with other foods. Let's say you like cheese and tomato Pizza and you have a Pepperoni topping, it's a lot more simple compared to your friend's "Texas spicy BBQ chicken americano hot sticky flaming disc of whatever" but it's nice and it's not got too much... Now I'm complicating things. Jim Adkins voice isn't one to rave about, but the overall tonal quality is nice, he almost has a kind of suttle whisper in his voice a lot of the time and her certainly loves his vibrato. I'm not sure if it's these features of his voice, but something about the singing gives you more of a live feel than most bands albums.
Overall Impression — 9
I personally feel that Jimmy Eat World sit in a league of their own, not as glamorous as the music we hear too much on the radio today and I have a lot of respect for the guys! Most impressive songs? Like I said, the opening track Bleed American/Salt,Sweat,Sugar is great, it's powerful and gritty and I love the kick that it has. The song seems wild a lot of the time and I bet it's awesome live! The Middle is a song that a lot of people like me are familiar with and it was most likely the first song we really new by them! Despite the fact I've heard it so many times, it's still a great track to play on my stereo. Sweetness is a personal favourite, I remember a few years ago when a few friends were jamming this out as we were trying to start a band, the rhythm guitarist introduced me to this song. It's fast, it's active and it's upbeat and I love it! Your House was an interesting track, it was almost cheeky the way the vocals and drums were performing. The overall texture was quite smooth and it has nice gradual build throughout the song. Hear You Me was a nice little ballad, and judging by the vocals and lyrics, there's got to be something quite personal going on in this song. A Praise Chorus is a nice upbeat and simple tune, got some vocals from Tom on guitar here too! Some interesting guitar sound on the verse in Cautioners, almost like a super soft post hardcore breakdown over some soft biright timbres! The one thing I truly hate about this album is the last song "My Sundown". It's so boring and it doesn't leave me feeling like I want more, it just drags and it doesn't really go anywhere, besides that every other song is just brilliance that you can hear! I highly recommend this album to anyone who's not all familiar with Jimmy Eat World like I was. Or maybe you'd prefer to start from the beginning it's up to you, I just think this is a good starting point! All the best! Daniel