Album Review: Jimmy Eat World - Damage

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Damage is the eighth studio album by alternative rock four piece, Jimmy Eat World, a band who most probably held an existence in the soundtrack to much of your youth. It's been almost twenty years since the release of their self-titled début album and impressively they still have something to offer.

 

Continuing to feed the emo within us, Damage presents the usual slew of lively, angst-filled and emotive tracks that Jimmy Eat World are known for. That's not to say that is necessarily a good or a bad thing for this record. Eight albums on and Jimmy Eat World are still succeeding to create a decent record for its fan base but that's as far as it goes. Decent. Damage is exactly what fans would expect with all of the band's records being almost impossible to differentiate, but the album lacks the spark that their earlier albums possessed and contains fewer great tracks than it's predecessor, Invented.

 

Still, as a long-standing fan, Damage is an enjoyable album that leaves Jimmy Eat World in a comfortable and mature place; with lead vocalist Jim Adkins calling it "an adult breakup album". No longer are they at the peak of their musical career and attracting widespread attention, but instead of making this their ultimate concern, they are simply making honest music for their loyal and dedicated fans who have grown up with them; and they aren't letting them down.

 

An album full of such heartache-fuelled honesty and sensitivity could easily come off poorly by many indie rock bands but for Jimmy Eat World it's what they do best. Album opener 'Appreciation' is arguably the highlight of the record and could undoubtedly be mistaken for one of the group's much earlier tracks. This along with the likes of 'Lean', 'I Will Steal You Back' and 'How'd You Have Me' are ideal infectious, Jimmy guitar-driven rock anthems. Then there is the pop-swaying, 'Book of Love' and 'Please Say No' and the ones that sit comfortably in between and can't help but command your affection, 'Damage' and 'No, Never'. As you reach the end of the record you'll encounter the weaker tracks of Damage: the delicate, slightly repetitive and lacklustre, 'Byebyelove' and 'You Were Good'.

 

Overall, whilst the record would struggle to stand up against earlier Jimmy records such as Bleed American or Futures, Damage stands as a predictable yet pleasant burst of new Jimmy Eat World to be added to their tremendous discography which - after all this time - is perfectly good enough.

Emma Lomax

A second year Communications student at University of Leeds. I'm from London/the South East and I spend a significant amount of my time discovering new artists/music. I like writing, reading, taking pictures, American TV, going to gigs and drinking wine.

Website: https://twitter.com/emmamarielomax

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