Belfast Telegraph

Monday 26 January 2015

Jimmy Eat World

Chase This Light (Interscope)

They were at the forefront of the so-called emo (emotional hardcore) genre back in the early 1990s?

But the brilliantly-named US band Jimmy Eat World have come a long way since their dire eponymous debut.







Thirteen years on they've undergone an intense course of musical etiquette.







Where you once had a poor man's Metallica, you now have a more refined sound not unlike Scotland's finest, Teenage Fan Club.







New album ? their sixth since 1994 ? features a whole bunch of superb three-minute-long brittle guitar pop tunes.







Outstanding tracks such as Always Be, Carry You, Feeling Lucky and especially the exquisite reverie that is Gotta Be Somebody's Blues, include huge chunks of text-book pop ? and are consequently laden with sugared melodies, harmonies and honeyed arrangements.







For JEW's dedicated followers, there's more than enough guitar-driven thrills ? and swirling musical solos.







But this album is all about charm ? and each song is gorgeously crafted rather than the straight-edged punk of old.







If the wide-eyed skewed pop of last album Bleed American from 2001 and indeed 2004's decent Futures were big signs of things to come, Chase This Light is full proof of the band's final departure from their melodic post-grunge roots.







The bonus is Jim Adkins' voice ? a revelation particularly on Here It Goes and Chase This Light.







Emo fans may struggle with the simplicity of the material ? especially if Static Prevails is their favourite album.







For the rest of us, though, pop prevails ? and Jimmy Eat World have made their most complete pop album ever.

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