Sound — 9
For long-time Jimmy Eat World fans this album will be both refreshing and familiar. The opening song, Heart is Hard to Find, begins with a persistent acoustic guitar strum and accompanying hand-claps that eventually leads into an epic orchestrated conclusion, serving as an exceptional beginning to the album. Right away the listener can recognize the signature JEW style on the album such as the balance of softer (Cut, Mixtape, Heart is Hard to Find) and heavier tracks (My Best Theory, Action Needs An Audience). While Invented features some decent guitar work, it does not however, pack quite the punch that tracks off of earlier albums did (see Bleed American or Futures). Nonetheless, the musicianship of guitarists Jim Adkins and Tom Linton is still top notch as expected. Some tracks do have intricate musicianship though, and in Movielike there is some really nice guitar work interwoven with a vocal break after the solo. The first single, My Best Theor, also features a catch main guitar riff and a short but sweet solo.
Lyrics — 8
The vocals on the album are very well-done and a lot of background vocals are used to add creative additions and also work well with Jim Adkins' voice. There are a lot of female back up vocals (from Courtney Marie Andrews and Rachel Haden)and on tracks like Stop, it works really well. The lyrics on this album are nothing too revolutionary in respect to JEW's other material and the same nostalgia and emotional outbursts can be found here. Some clever lyrics include those from the opening track Heart Is Hard to Find: "I can't compete with your new-found religion The good word seems everywhere But good words only" Overall the vocals and lyrics are what one would expect from Jimmy Eat World.
Overall Impression — 8
The overall atmosphere of the album shows many signs of the Clarity album (which is arguably their best work) especially with the title track and songs like Cut and Mixtape. The most impressive song on the album is the title track. It starts off with a slow acoustic riff and drum beat that escalates into one of the most explosive sections in any JEW song and then back to the slower outro, making a near perfect song that any fan of Clarity will appreciate. The other most notable tracks are Heart is Hard to Find, Mixtape, Coffee and Cigarettes, and Movielike. This album is everything that most JEW fans would expect from them, and though it is no Clarity or Bleed American, it still deserves a listen.