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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Jimmy Eat World - Damage - ALBUM REVIEW

GENRES: Alternative Rock / Rock / Light Rock


Jimmy Eat World are a rock band from Phoenix, Arizona. Damaged is the eighth album on their discography. Despite the fact that they sound pretty new, Jimmy Eat World were one of the first groups to come around during the mainstream emo rock / alt rock wave of the late 1990's and early 2000's. The band established many fans with their breakthrough album in 2001, Bleed American. Singles like "The Middle" and "Sweetness" received a fair amount of radio play and frankly still do. However, Jimmy Eat World's more recent albums were not received as well as Bleed American. For example Futures and 2010's Invented seemed more mellow and less passionate overall.

Because of this the band has a lost a lot following. And by the looks of this album, they will lose even more. Damaged is not a very complicated album so this review will be relatively short. Plain and simple this thing has absolutely no drive at all. The rock songs don't rock and the emotional songs don't connect with the listener. This album is dispassionate and quite frankly boring.

For example, "Please Say No" is a soft ballad where lead singer, Jim Adkins tries way too hard to be sincere. This almost comes off as cheesy. The emotion is very artificial and frankly the songwriting of is very weak. When the band tries to take things up a notch with "I Will Steal You Back" they sound too unmotivated and undriven. The song lulls through and the parts where it is supposed to rock have absolutely no horns whatsoever.

This album struggles to convey a clear message. What do Jimmy Eat World want to accomplish with their sound? To me, it doesn't take more than 1 or 2 listens to realize that Jimmy Eat World have played it INCREDIBLY safe with Damaged. In fact, this album is incredibly pedestrian. It doesn't connect to anyone except the die-hard fans and because of that I am sure it will suffer on the charts.

It's a shame that a band with creative integrity lowered their own standards of music to fit the mould. Damaged is a huge disappointment for me and I think this may be the final strike for Jimmy Eat World. After a number of mediocre albums in a row, I find it hard to believe that these guys will make a comeback. Real shame.