Chase This Light review by Jimmy Eat World

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  • Released: Oct 16, 2007
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (74 votes)
Jimmy Eat World: Chase This Light
2

Sound — 8
In a world where it's hard not to be leery of bands that seem to write radio hit after radio hit, Jimmy Eat World is a guilty pleasure. You can't really consider the band part of the rock genre, and at times it's music even touches upon a more distinct pop sound. Perhaps the most crucial thing on the band's side is that it's songs instantly get stuck in your head -- and this case, it's not such a bad thing. It has more to do with pleasing melodies than just annoyance, and underneath it all, the quartet has some surprisingly unique approaches to songwriting. Jimmy Eat World's latest album Chase This Light is one of the best examples of their refreshing musical approach. What will immediately draw attention to the latest album is the name behind it: Butch Vig. The producer responsible for Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream and Nirvana's Nevermind (not to mention his role as drummer in Garbage) is at the helm of Chase This Light, but you wouldn't necessarily guess that right off the bat. There are some more innovative tunes that feel like Vig might have had his hand in things a little bit more, but in general Jimmy Eat World has continued with the solid sound they have had for years. With vocalist Jim Adkins leading the way, the band once again delivers layered melodies and harmonies that intertwine to carry song after song. The first single Big Casino doesn't immediately jump out at first, primarily because the verses are a little bit low-key. But the band balances out the anti-climactic verses by delivering a big chorus that immediately multiples the energy. While the verses might not jump out musically, there is a charming storytelling aspect about that section thanks to Adkins' attention-grabbing vocal delivery. Jimmy Eat World does like to build up to a punchy chorus, and it does work for them pretty well in Big Casino and another track called Firefight. There are times when you wish there was a little bit more involved within the verses, whether it be a nice hook or just a little bit more energy in general, but at least there is a payoff at the end. The best track on the album is also the biggest musical leap for the band. Gotta Be Somebody's Blues thrives on an eerie, moody vibe the entire song, and it's nothing like the fun, poppy numbers that Jimmy Eat World has put out in the past. You hear just a simple, steady guitar strum at first, but then you get the addition of a very elaborate string section. Between the heavily pronounced bass line and the cello almost sounding like lap steel, Gotta Be Somebody's Blues is the one track that makes you immediately want to listen from beginning to end. The track is pretty atypical for the band and it shows exactly what Jimmy Eat World is capable of writing.

Lyrics — 8
The songs on Chase This Light bounce between your typical pop lyrics and more in-depth reflection. Making an even greater impression than the deep lyrics are the unexpected lines that show Jimmy Eat World isn't afraid to take a few lyrical chances -- even if it might look cheesy on paper. Listeners get plenty of oohs, ahs, and even has on the album, which are best showcased in the tracks Let It Happen and Electable (Give It Up). Let It Happen is the standout of the two with lines like Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha, I can laugh it off in Let It Happen, and it surprisingly doesn't get annoying, either. Adkins softens his vocals during that section and makes it work well.

Overall Impression — 8
Jimmy Eat World's 6th studio album does not stray too far from its usual sound, but the band has proven in the past it has a knack for melodies. The guitars, although subtle, hearken back to an early '80s rock sound (bands like The Outfield, at least), and it's the similar use of effects that really drive that comparison. Guitarist Tom Linton even tries out some similar techniques to U2's The Edge at times, adding more texture to the song rather than coming straight out and playing a riff. The new album doesn't necessarily come across as a Butch Vig album, but the sound quality is amazing and the harmonies are flawless. It would be great to see the band take another stab at a track like Gotta Be Somebody's Blues, which just surpasses everything they've done. Jimmy Eat World shouldn't be afraid of taking a few risks on its next album, especially considering they approach near perfection when they do take a chance.

37 comments sorted by best / new / date

    TheCoffinRobber
    I don't feel it's quite as good as Futures or Bleed American, but it's a solid album. 8.0 seems fair.
    jables48
    I feel like Chase This Light is a great mixture of Clarity and Futures, the result is an album that has got to be one of my favorites of the year. As for the albums: Static Prevails Clarity Singles Bleed American Futures Chase This Light and that doesn't include their originial album (chase the light is their 7th full legnth) or all the EPs.
    jables48
    Jimmy Eat World (1994) Static Prevails Clarity Bleed American Futures Chase This Light that doesn't include their 6 Eps, or their 8 split 7". Their singles from the 7"s were compiled on the full legnth compilation album "Singles" They've got a lot of great stuff out there. That being said, modern-day JEW began with a few songs on Static Prevails, but mostly with Clarity.
    Jester.Race
    I love Jimmy Eat World. Love, love love them. I can't express how awesome of a pop punk/alt rock band they are.
    Punkguitar07
    Am I the only one who listens to Jimmy enough to notice that "gotta be somebody's blues" isn't that unusual of a song for them? I keep reading reviews that say its just totally different, but the first time i heard the song, when it started, I was like "is this the same as "my sundown" (track 11 on Bleed American)" After hearing the whole song, I can tell it's basically just "my sundown" combined with "drugs or me." It's a good song, but JImmy has written stuff like that for years. People who listen to whole albums and not just radio singles can attest to that.
    capo-incender
    oki dokey first off im a massive j.e.w fan nd i love da new album got it da day it came out i wudv seen dem in concert by now but dey never cum 2 da u.k which is a massive shame cos dey have a massive fan base over here i do love da new album and personally i feel da best songs on der r let it happen (im sorry but how can u not love da chorus?) nd elctable(give it up) (its such an amazing song)gotta be somebodys blues is a great song but soooo different nd it did sound lik my sundown(1 of my personal favorites) nd drugs or me. nd dnt get me wrong futures was a fantastic album nd its a shame it didnt sell as well as bleed american( haha i still laff at y dey had 2 change da name of da album and song)but bleed american is still my fav album of theirs its fantastic nd u may say dat im comercial because of da fact dat alot of da songs of dat album r well nown but i love the lesser nown songs just as much or even more den da famous 1s im jim has a amazingly simple lyrics dat every1 can relate 2 in sumway. ive been a mahusive fan 4 years nd da new album didnt dissapoint me at all as 4 da fags hu say deyr emo den **** u get a life any music can b classed as emo if shows any state of emotion but then again dats wot song writings about emoption nd feelings. nd just 4 sum additional info dat has nothing 2 do wid anyting if u dont dont is my fav song ever i never stop listening 2 it nd if u havent heard it den listen 2 it such an amazing song (its on bleed american btw) peace out dudes nd dudettes thanks 4 reading xxx
    iStrato
    Jimmy Eat World Is great. Bleed American is a great album, and Chase This Light lets me down a bit. I'm Looking for the energy and the listen-to-it-over-and-over-beginning-to-end feeling that bleed american gave me. But over all it's a good album.
    -stratomaster-
    Punkguitar07 wrote: Am I the only one who listens to Jimmy enough to notice that "gotta be somebody's blues" isn't that unusual of a song for them? I keep reading reviews that say its just totally different, but the first time i heard the song, when it started, I was like "is this the same as "my sundown" (track 11 on Bleed American)" After hearing the whole song, I can tell it's basically just "my sundown" combined with "drugs or me." It's a good song, but JImmy has written stuff like that for years. People who listen to whole albums and not just radio singles can attest to that.
    I agree wholeheartedly, although in my case it reminded me of My Sundown and Disintegration, fantastic song though. I'm still tying to figure out if I like the new album that much, it doesn't really seem as deep as say Clarity (my personal favourite album) but it does have a lot of catchy tunes. And the bonus track Be Sensible is amazing. But personally I feel it has a bit too many pop songs.
    ViviEatWorld
    i believe Gotta Be Somebody's Blues is not the best track of this album. And yeah, it's similar to Disintegration. Maybe the first part hears like My Sundown, but that's all. My Sundown is much deeper and beautiful. I love Chase This Light. It's the 2 album of JEW that makes me feel so good! I can't get tired of listening to it. It's such a pity that they'd come to South America in... the next 30 years?
    pigmaggots
    This album is amazing, you have the more immediate songs like the first single and then you just have beautiful songs. Alot of it is bordering on pop and some of it touches on the ground they covered with Futures and Bleed American, theres even some typical Clarity touches on it...but everything about it oozes a band that are comfortable with their song writing in a good way. My album of 2007 easily.
    HurricaneSG
    first im im a huge fan of JEW but personally this album is a let down for me.. im not saying it sux but I prefer any other previous album of em to this..
    -stratomaster-
    pigmaggots wrote: theres even some typical Clarity touches on it
    Where, may I ask? It seems a lot more BA to me.
    bbsbass
    6th studio album? Clarity, self-titled (bleed american), futures, chase this light what else is there?
    burndttoast
    The songs on Chase This Light bounce between your typical pop lyrics and more in-depth reflection.
    I agree. But I think it leans more on the in-depth reflection side. This album seems more slow-paced and have more mellow beats than their other stuff, which is making it kind of hard for me to really get into it.
    KaiserX
    Covin, this album is more Futures type stuff... except with really simplistic/bad lyrics it seems. For some reason, his lyrics seemed very amateur this time around.
    greenpic
    Gotta Be Somebodys Blues is my favourtie song on there its truely amazing great album
    Covin
    Did not like Futures at all, but will probably buy this anyway. If it sucks, then I know their prime is past.
    punk_metal
    I still think i like Futures more than this album, but Chase this light is starting to grow on me. Chase this light is sounding more pop to me, than previous emo-ish depressive sound.
    1000cleverlines
    i really enjoyed this album. it was easy to listen to if you are a fan of anything alternative or rock.
    FacingUsAll
    Just thinking about how some of these songs will sound live with the crowd singing along already gives me the chills.
    MXNAD348
    Like the author said, J.E.W. is a guilty pleasure... I want to dislike them, I should dislike them, bands with as much radio play or recognition shouldn't be such a pleasure to listen to... But they are. I will get this album, hope it's good.
    JEW-Rock
    "Guilty pleasure"!!?!?!?! Nothing of the sort, listen to clarity, static prevails, etc and it's pretty clear they don't simply entertain the idea of poppy songs, although admittedly it seems 'Chase This Light' is the closest thing they've done towards finding a "formula" towards writing songs (It's still an amazing album though). Futures is my favourite album, but Chase This Light is a pretty good follow up. Most importantly.... I've met Jim!!!!!
    AvrilFanUK
    Guilty pleasure? This is the most underrated band on the planet. Mastodon suck cock and the Arctic Monkeys are talentless.
    jpast
    aaabbcd : More like Jimmy eat cock. Wow! you are very educated, Ivy League I presume..... anyway I havent heard the new album but look forward to hearing it, big fan of Clarity. Rush has also been labeled a guilty pleasure and they are great too. Love both.
    ajsuk
    Loving the album, manages to remind me of all their previous work, which is cool, considering how diff Futures is, say, to clarity. By the way a fan of it all! haha.
    j23
    This is nothing like Futures. It's more upbeat. They are not emo and hate when people call them that. They are really great guys and if you get the chance to talk to them, do it. on a side note, i'm seeing them tonight at the wiltern.
    -stratomaster-
    Always Be is the next single from this album. A weak choice in my opinion. Here It Goes has such potential as a single...