Review: Jimmy Eat World – 'Integrity Blues'

‘, was announced, but does the album live up to the hype? The first track, ‘You With Me’, is an impeccable opener for the album. Adkins’ unique vocals, coupled with harmonies and an infectious beat, culminate to form a catchy song, and one that I definitely may have been caught singing to myself a few times! Whilst in many cases, the drummer of a pop punk band can be lost or forgotten in the haze, Lind’s incredibly clean work means that he remains firmly in the foreground, and is unequivocally a firm favourite of mine. Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because the song is catchy it doesn’t explore anything important though. Jimmy Eat World’s growth lyrically is as evident here as it is throughout the whole album; the idea of two people being pulled together ‘like magnets’ was one that was infinitely appealing to me. Concepts that are perhaps a little more complex are also explored by the band. The song later goes on to say that ‘fear and comfort are…the same’. The paradox of human emotion is one that is all too familiar to many, and may highlight the fear of vulnerability we experience when we open up to someone, as well as the sense of comfort we feel at the very same time. ‘You With Me’ is undoubtedly a very self-reflective song, and I assure you the album starts as it means to go on in this sense. Simply captivating. ‘Get Right’ is another standout track. From the offset, you can feel the kick drum hitting you right in the chest. This, coupled with a heavy riff, builds into something extraordinary throughout the entirety of the song; I can appreciate just how gritty and dirty this one would sound live. This track is also a perfect example of how, building on previous tracks, ‘Integrity Blues’ is patently one for the lyrically passionate, as well as those who just appreciate a masterful sound. The stand out lyric  is, without doubt, ‘I’m destination addicted / I just gotta be someplace else’. It’s resonance lies in the indicated a sense of restlessness, and you cannot help but to wonder what exactly ‘destination’ refers to. Whether it is geographical, financial, romantic, or emotional, Jimmy Eat World have given us a tantalizing ambiguity to play with. Overall, the song has a much darker and heavier sound, compared to much of the album, and so it would be fitting to finish the song suddenly, with a real bang. They definitely know how to leave us craving more. Evocative of ‘Hear You Me’ and ‘Cautioners’, my favourite of the album is ‘The End Is Beautiful’. It’s an exquisite, delicate song that, whilst evocative of the past, also reflects the band as they stand now. The stripped-down lyric adds to this vibe. While we sometimes try to ‘bend love to the picture we [have] in our heads’, it’s wrong to do so, and sometimes life and love just don’t work out the way that we want them to. It just presents a wholly different approach to the end of a relationship, and shows us that the end of something can be just as beautiful as what came before. The idea that ‘the truth is what you believe it is’, placed at the song’s musical crescendo, is also one that is inherently interesting. It’s such an abstract concept, and yet one that is so poetic. The masterful instrumentals leave the listener room to contemplate these complex concepts. ‘Integrity Blues serves as a reminder of why Jimmy Eat World have dominated, and continue to dominate, the alternative music scene. Listening to it was like a religious experience. Filled with exciting textures and sounds, it showcases a balance between the signature sound that gained them traction and fame, whilst also highlighting a new growth in the band; a balance that few are able to master so beautifully. Jimmy Eat World’s upcoming UK tour, beginning in November, is shaping up to be unmissable, with two dates already sold out! From my own previous experience, they have an impeccable live sound, and the shows have an amazing, welcoming atmosphere – so if you haven’t already, you should probably snag yourself a ticket! ‘Integrity Blues’ is out now via RCA Records.   Review: Amy Jefferies]]>

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