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On opening track Surviving Jimmy Eat World’s enigmatic, iconic frontman Jim Adkins professes, “In a lot of ways, you’re still that lost kid”.
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It’s confronting, spine tingling and immediately cuts to the core of why, ten albums into their illustrious career, Jimmy Eat World continue to rattle the at times dull, impersonal cages of mainstream rock.
There aren’t many bands who conquered the early-00s emo boom after confessional lyricism, heart-string panging guitars and eyeliner fell out of MTV’s vogue. Jimmy Eat World are a hallmark of the era, with classic albums like Bleed American and Futures solidifying their DNA in every band who’ve branded themselves with the brave title of “emo” since.
It’s undeniable, that since then they’ve cemented their status as not only one of emo’s, but one of the wider rock community’s most consistent acts. On Surviving, the band prove that in 2019, as the world descends into further disarray, the heartfelt, affecting musings of Jimmy Eat World are still vital.
26 years into their career, the band have entered a state of total confidence, realised in their universal songwriting abilities and continue to conjure strength and prowess in their heartland-leaning, generation defining emo sound.
Blanketed in slick, all encompassing production stylings, opening title track Surviving, explodes in a life affirming firestorm driven by the track’s centrepiece chord progression and soaring leads. Driven by jaunty, classic-rock leaning leads, Criminal Energy allows just enough space for Adkin’s soulful voice to swell, whilst Delivery leans into the band’s well crafted ability to embrace their softer side. Fit with festival-ready bubbling synths, 555’s layered R’n’B leaning vocals harken to the sounds of modern alt-pop luminaries like The 1975 and LANY, flavoured tastefully with glistening dream-pop chords and a chorus that’d sit comfortably at home on a post-hiatus Fall Out Boy track.
Lead single All The Way (Stay) is a prime example of the band’s perfect power pop craft, leaning into a pulsating chorus groove, with self-help anthem Diamond proving to be the emotional apex of the album. Its exuberant bridge embraces the wonders of pop structure with the aplomb only a band as well versed in songwriting could pull off. Congratulations ends the album in a state of dizzying triumph, fitting for the trailblazers that refuse to rest on their laurels.
With a discography packed with as much rocket-power, Jimmy Eat World’s, Surviving is simply excellent, as expected. 26 years into their career, the band have entered a state of total confidence, realised in their universal songwriting abilities and continue to conjure strength and prowess in their heartland-leaning, generation defining emo sound.
STANDOUT TRACKS: All The Way (Stay), Diamond, Criminal Energy
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