Integrity Blues: Jimmy Eat World (album review)

Album: Integrity Blues
Band:  Jimmy Eat World
Label: RCA records (Sony)
Length: 11 songs, 47 minutes
Summary: Deep and thoughtful, dark-edged alt-rock from the fan favourites

Jimmy Eat World is an American alt-rock band hailing from Arizona. Darlings of the alt-rock and indie scene, they are have previously released eight studio albums. Their newest release, Integrity Blues, is a continuation of their polished and radio-ready, alt-rock/pop sound. The album manages to re-capture the feel of previous releases, whilst delivering material with a darker edge.

You with Me kicks off the album with sparse acoustic guitars and ethereal harmonies, before bursting into a poignant tale of failing love that bounces around like the catchy pop tune it is.

Sure and Certain, It Matters and You are Free are radio friendly pop hits in the making, but lyrically delve deeper than traditional boy-loves-girl pop ditties, covering aging, one-sided love, and freedom of choice.

The minimalist Pass the Baby is perhaps the boldest and darkest song Jimmy Eat World have ever attempted, with its commentary on the state of the music industry and social media-driven pop stars. It breaks into a super heavy, almost prog rock, odd time outro, that shows the boys are more than capable musicians. Perhaps they’re demonstrating to up and coming YouTubers what it’s really all about.

Get Right is an ode to the short attention span. It’s heavier than the other tracks, with throbbing bass and guitars, pulsing along to a Zeppelin-style groove.

The End is Beautiful waltzes in ¾ time to the beat of a graceful break up. Through rocks on through a less than graceful break up. The title track is a sparsely orchestrated tale of empty longing. Pol Roger closes the album with a ballad about touring in England and the incumbent loneliness of the road.

The current line up of Jimmy Eat World includes Jim Adkins on lead vocals and guitar, Zach Lind on drums, guitarist/vocalist Tom Linton, and Rick Burch on Bass. The band co-produced the album with Justin Meldal-Johnsen, best known for his work with Beck and Nine Inch Nails.  Jimmy Eat World have always been known for their deep and engaging lyrics, pop sensibility and tight harmonies, and Integrity Blues continues the trend. The band is in top form, both musically and lyrically, and shows no sign of becoming jaded or wearing out its welcome.

This is an album that starts out well and improves with consecutive listens. It’s an album for fans, both old and new.

 

This is an album review I did for a uni assignment. The album has been out about a year now.

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