Jimmy Eat World has been great for a long time.

Both before and after breaking out with “The Middle” in 2001, Jimmy Eat World has somewhat quietly been making a lot of really good music. Over the years, I’ve slowly acquired a handful of their songs, off of friends’ recommendations and what I’ve heard on the radio. But a few weeks ago I went all out and downloaded their entire discography. It does not disappoint.

While the band’s musical style ranges from driving, drum-pounding rock (i.e. “Pain”) to mellow, melodic, nigh emo (i.e. “For Me This Is Heaven”), one thing that remains constant is the energy and passion wrapped into every line of frontman Jim Adkins’ lyrics.

From their 2001 album Bleed American, “A Praise Chorus” is a really cool song, but I also love it for what it is: A literal praise chorus. This song is how the band tips their collective cap to some of their favorite groups and songs that inspired them to make music in the first place. The first two verses contain a great message (as always) about living in the moment rather than worrying about missing out, and I think the stuttered lines are a pretty neat effect too. Then, starting with the line “Crimson and clover/over and over”, they allude to seven different songs of inspiration (Wikipedia has a cool breakdown here) before it ends with a repetition of the chorus. Really love what they do here, and furthermore, the song is endlessly catchy by its own merit.

For something a little more chill, “Movielike” (Invented, 2010) is sweet, sweet ear candy. The way the chorus ends, with vocals blending into big guitar splashes, makes me smile every time. And the lyrics are so relatable, describing that realization that real life doesn’t always go the way it does in movies. I’ve been walking around singing that “Ohhh” as the song ends for days.

One more upbeat one, for good measure: “Big Casino” (Chase This Light, 2007) is definitely one of my favorites. Seriously, how great is the line, “There’s lots of smart ideas in books I’ve never read/When the girls come talk to me I wish to hell I had”? I love the big booming bass line throughout the song and just how happy it sounds. This one definitely gets me bobbing my head along as I listen.

These are just a few highlights, and with a new album, Damage, in the works (to be released next month!) I’m pretty excited to keep listening. Even though some of their music is 10 and 15 years old, it’s always fun to discover a band like this as if they’re brand new.

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~ by Marcus on 05/20/2013.

Come at me, bro.

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