Album Review: Jimmy Eat World - Damage (2013 LP)

jimmy eat world

The seventh record for Jimmy Eat World sees the band retread familiar ground - break up songs. The band that have cornered that topic with their bright poppy, emotion driven punk sound for the seventeen years now. What sets this record apart from previous releases is the maturity in lyrical content in broaching the subject of love lost and heartache, while managing to capture that youthful angst we have all felt in a break up situation. As vocalist Jim Adkins has described the album, “Its an adult break up record.”

The album is full of sweet harmonies and moments where you can close your eyes and get lost in the song. The mellow track ‘Please Say No’ being a great example of this with it’s female choral backing vocals and simple acoustic guitar chord progressions behind Adkins heart wrenching delivery. Opening cut ‘Appreciation’ has that classic Jimmy Eat World sound that propelled them into popularity with 2001’s Bleed American record, as does the track ‘Lean’ with its strong melody and catchiness. It’s big rock number that will surely have their fans singing along at shows.

The only sour point to the record is the slow decline in song quality as we go down the track list. the album really starts off strong but by track eight it starts to feel unfinished, like the band rushed the tracks onto the record and left some ideas on the cutting room floor per se. Last track ‘You Were Good’ comes across as a demo of a song that could be so much more and is certainly not strong enough to close out the record. In fact, last two songs are probably the weakest songs I’ve heard the band record and takes away from the quality of the first half of the record which is up there with some of their best work. If you buy the vinyl release, side A will get the most spins on the turntable.

Review Score: 7.0 out of 10

Damage is in stores on Friday, June 7th.

Stream the album now, here, and make up your own mind!