Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Jimmy Eat World, Chase This Light

Jimmy Eat World is a quartet out of Arizona and “Chase This Light” is their fifth full-length album.  If you’ve heard either of their previous two CDs, “Jimmy Eat World” (originally titled “Bleed American” jimmy eat worldbut changed after 9/11) and “Futures”, you’ve heard “Chase the Light”.  This is a band that hit on a successful formula and has been making the same album over and over again ever since.

It’s a good formula.  Jimmy Eat World do strongly rock oriented guitar power pop with a decided knack for both musical hooks and songwriting that tightly melds music and lyrics.  I enjoyed both “Jimmy Eat World” and “Futures” but three albums composed of basically the same songs with different lyrics is too much.  It used to be fun, now it’s just boring.  

The feeling of listening to the same thing over and over again isn’t helped by the band’s drummer who almost seems constitutionally incapable of playing a rhythm that doesn’t involve hammering with equal emphasis on the backbeat, one, TWO, three FOUR.  Fast tempo, one, TWO, three FOUR; mid tempo, one, TWO, three FOUR; slow tempo, one, TWO, three FOUR.  Over and over and over again.  Sometimes he breaks it up with equal emphasis hammering on all four beats ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR.  The TWO and the FOUR are still there but now they don’t stand out.  He will occasionally shift away from this unrelenting pounding on the backbeat but not often and never for very long.  On the chorus of the title track he shifts to one, TWO, three AND four and it feels like a light coming on in a dark place.  But then the next track comes on and it’s right back to one, TWO, three FOUR. It’s mind-numbinglingly monotonous.

If you aren’t familiar with Jimmy Eat World’s previous albums, “Chase This Light” is as good a place to start as any.  If you want to hear their last two albums again with different lyrics you may like the new CD.  If you liked the prior work but think it’s time to move on, save your money.  Jimmy Eat World has done some very good work in the past but at this point they’re a band desperately in need of some new ideas.  A more sophisticated drummer wouldn’t hurt either.

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11/10/2007 - Posted by | CD reviews, music, music reviews

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