I hope you didn’t forget about Jimmy Eat World. I know it’s hard to dismiss a band when they only have a couple of hit singles, but listen to the band’s 1999 forget-all-preconceptions-and-just-buy-it-masterpiece Clarity and you’ll realize that the Arizona four-piece have far more talent then you might have expected. The underground entirely recognized the Hasidic acronym’s potential for stardom; no one expected that it would come with the sun-kissed power-pop of Bleed American.
Futures, the band’s follow-up to Bleed American, sees the band following a similar path with Death Cab for Cutie’s Transatlanticism, finding an effective way to coalesce all the various strength’s of previous recordings—Clarity‘s gut-wrenching orchestration and arrangements, Bleed American‘s anthemic sing-a-long quality, Static Prevails skewed chaos—into a cohesive whole. Futures is radically darker than anything the band has previously done before and denser too—longtime Jimmy producer Mark Trombino finds new methods of fleshing out the sonic entirety of the band’s sound.
Jim Adkins still laces his songs with enough hooks to make Dr. J proud, but whereas Bleed American was almost entirely optimistic, Futures is absorbed by melancholic sentiments—laments on drug addiction, loss of hope, and failed attempts at finding oneself.
With their new brand of arena-ready stadium-stoppers, Jimmy Eat World prove once again capable of pulling the best elements from mainstream music and transcending all of its flaws. Futures is good—don’t let the big, clear sound scare you.