In the turbulent world of rock music, emo veterans Jimmy Eat World are a reassuring constant, with the same line-up sustained for nearly 20 years now and a new album arriving more or less every three years.
For their eighth studio album, the Arizona quartet has gone back to basics, recording on analog tape in producer Alain Johannes’ Los Angeles home.
Former Nine Inch Nails collaborator James Brown was brought into digitally mix the record, but Trent Reznor-inspired grunge this certainly ain’t.
The result is a fuzzier, rougher edge but with the same warming centre, particularly on opening track ‘Appreciation’ and standout song ‘How’d You Have Me’, which both chime nicely with their 1999 album ‘Clarity’.
That said the band have not completely turned their backs on the atmospheric rock sound curated on 2010’s ‘Invented’.
‘Byebyelove’ builds to a distortion-drenched finale, before ‘You Were Good’ strikes a mature, peaceful and reconciliatory note at the close of the record.
As always, there’s something strangely comforting about the sound of lead singer Jim Adkins‘ brave optimism against a backdrop of melancholy…
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