You may best remember Jimmy Eat World from their huge hit earlier this decade, The Middle. Unfortunately fore some that will be your only memory of Jimmy Eat World even though they are one of the great rock bands of the past ten years. Unlike the fellow emo bands they get lumped in, they are not as uber-depressing enough for the shoe gazers that are into that scene, but haven’t recorded something that has been as accessible to the soccer moms as The Middle.
With their fifth album, Chase This Light, it looks like the group is doing their best to open themselves up to a wider audience by bringing in Butch Vig, who produce some of the biggest alternative albums of the early nineties before becoming the drummer for Garbage, to polish their latest album. And more polished it does sound. The opening song Big Casino is the loudest song on the album with a layered guitar crunch, but doesn’t come close to the bombast of previous rocker like Pain from the last album.
That is followed by Let it Happen which features the head scratching chorus, “I can laugh it off. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.” Jim Adkins has written some deep, introspective, and uplifting lyrics on the previous albums so certainly he could have come up with something better than laughing through a chorus. Luckily that is the only misstep on the album. The finger snapping intro of Always Be and the power pop of all of two and a half minutes of Feeling Lucky could get them back on Adult Contemporary radio stations that made The Middle a hit.
Elsewhere the haunting bassline, the soft vocals, and strings at the end of Gotta Be Somebody’s Blues makes it a stand out track and adds some depth to the album. Here it Goes almost has an underlining techno beat over the guitars and hand claps that could actually make the song danceable. But it is the title track that seems like all their great songs crammed into one song with its driving bass that builds the song into a great uplifting song for any occasion. Then the album closes out with the emotional punch of Dizzy. If you have forgotten about Jimmy Eat World after The Middle faded from the radio, it is time to pick up Chase This Light to get reintroduced.
Song to Download - Chase This Light
Chase This Light gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.