Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Requested Review: "Bleed American" by Jimmy Eat World

"World's Most Obnoxiously Emotive" Trophies! Hah. Nice one, Sean.

Tonight's review was humbly requested by Mr. Dan Yepes, who was kind enough to lend me a two-gig flash drive chock-full of music I've never listened to! Ahoy! In all honesty, Mr. Yepes did not specifically request Bleed American - he just knew I liked "The Middle," and threw it on the drive as a lark. I think maybe he wanted me to review some hot-to-trot bands like TV On The Radio or Interpol, but man! Jimmy Eat World are apparently a so-called "EMO" band! I can't pass up an opportunity to review one of those!

Well, OK. There's two simple reasons why I've decided to review a JEW album (god that is an awkward acronym):

1) Like I said, I like "The Middle."
2) It's a Jimmy Eat World album. When would I EVER be compelled to review Jimmy Eat World in this blog? Do they even record albums anymore?? Interpol and TV On The Radio, they're still relevant. Reviewing them would just be redundant, now wouldn't it?

Yeah. It would. (Yes.)

I have to admit, though, that after listening to Bleed American I am indeed a little upset. I was hoping I would, despite all the "emo" labeling and all that, discover Jimmy Eat World as a fine 2000s pop band. I mean, "The Middle," that's such a fun little ditty! I mean, I'm not asking for an entire album full of "Middle"s. That would get disgusting after a while. But you know, I was expecting something a little fun! Instead Bleed American is kind of a generic 2000s rock-pop album with a bunch of acoustic-sensitive numbers thrown in there for good measure. A downer, I must admit. The moment the opening track "Salt Sweat Sugar" popped on, my immediate thought was "Jeez, this is just not my kind of music." Generick punk-pop guitar, "emotional" (read: over-enunciated) vocals, y'know the drill. Kind of sounds like a less-annoying Fall Out Boy, but that's not saying much. And upon hearing this song - the first track, mind you - I suddenly came to the realization that, hey, maybe I have no business reviewing a Jimmy Eat World album! Hot damn.

But really, what can I say? This music isn't aimed at me. I am not part of Jimmy Eat World's demographic. Only a few thoughts pop into mind when I listen to most of Bleed American: "Eh." "Alright, whatever." "Not my sort of thing." "Ehhhhh." "I wish I were 15 again." And that's it! Who wants to read that?? Nobody, my friends. So let us amicably end the review here, to save all of you from one long "mehhhhhhh" session.

Okay? Okay.

...oh. No wait. There IS some stuff I don't regard with complete indifference on here! There's "The Middle," for one, which I know I've mentioned before like twenty times. But for over five years - before I ever heard Bleed American, that is - it was the only Jimmy Eat World song I had ever heard, and I was very happy with that. I didn't care for it much when I was a freshman in highschool, but now I dig it (I guess it suffered from "MMMBop syndrome", eh? You know what I mean). It's poppy, catchy, cute, and has a really nifty solo during the bridge. There's a lot to like! Only one other song approaches similar poppiness, "Authority Song," which honestly sounds like modern-day Hanson for whatever reason. So of COURSE I like it. And then you have a number of slower, semi-acoustic, gentle little pretties like "Your House," "Hear You Me," "Cautioners" and "My Sundown," which are all actually very nice but generally interchangeable. I get their melodies mixed up often. But they are a nice reprieve from all the "Salt Sweat Sugar"s and "Sweetness"es littered all over the album. Oh, also there's "Get It Faster," which starts off with an almost-whispered vocal and a brooding guitar before BLASTING out into a semi-cool vocal/guitar incantation. I mean, it's not wonderful, but it's neat and very different from every other song on the album!! Hey hey.

So those are the songs I like. Which are, apparently, the bulk of the album. As such, I apparently enjoy Bleed American and I don't even realize it.

Well, okay, "like" is a loose term. I am OK with most of the songs on this album. But that is not necessarily a positive review, is it? Bleed American does not compel me to listen to anything else Jimmy Eat World has recorded, so I guess in that regard I don't like this album. Again, this is just not my sort of music! I'm not a "generic-emo-pop" sort of guy. But hey, if you dig the "Say Anything" and the "AFI" and maybe the "The Used," this stuff might be right up your alley! I am just not a big fan of obnoxiously over-emotional twenty-somethings who enunciate as much as possible so that everybody can hear their beautiful lyrics as clearly as is humanly possible. No thanks!

(Sorry for this review, Mr. Yepes. I know that you are clearly JEW's number one fan.)


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