Jimmy Eat World – Invented

Posted on September 26, 2010

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You could be forgiven for having somewhat false expectations about this seventh album from the godfathers of college rock/ emo music. With the news that they were joined in the studio by producer Mark Trombino, who was last seen on the sleeve notes of the seminal Bleed Amercan album, and the release of the absolutely stonking teaser single My Best Theory, all signs pointed towards a fast and furious blast of angry introspection similar to Jimmy Eat World’s earlier days. Invented is not a ‘return to our roots’ album favoured by bands whose popularity is on the wane but neither is it in the optimistic prog-pop vein of 2007’s Chase This Light. In fact the Arizona four piece’s latest offering may be their least immediate to date, taking several listens for the hooks and harmonies to sink in but it is consistent, and arguably Jimmy Eat World’s most musically mature album to date.

The first hint that something is different this time round comes as soon as Invented starts spinning as an acoustic guitar and handclapped rhythm spirals out of the speakers. Jim Adkins still startling voice soon joins them in a lilting song which breaks new territory for a band who can verge on reliable rather than surprising. Violins come and go whilst Adkins’ vocal ascends ever higher until, all too soon, it’s over, and My Best Theory kicks off in a more traditional JEW style. It’s an exciting song made all the better by with the inclusion of a few subtle production tricks which serve to show why Trombino was brought back into the fold. Unfortunately My Best Theory’s brilliance really shows up how weak the following song, Evidence, is by comparison. Thankfully Higher Devotion soon arrives to blow away the looming cobwebs with a bizarrely infectious dance rock vibe which sounds like its crying out to played over the PA in the type of sweaty underground club which only exists in indie romance films. Tracks five and six, Movielike and Coffee And Cigarettes, are both excellent, with the latter sure to prove an energetic live favourite.

After an energetic but mixed first half, the latter end of Invented is where the album really digs in. The pace slows the delivery becomes more affecting and the emotion gets cranked up as the band provide a handful of the alternative rock ballads that nobody, but nobody can do better than Jimmy Eat World. Stop and album closer Mixtape are the standouts of Invented’s softer side but are nicely broken up by ballsier numbers like Action Needs An Audience, ensuring that the album never falls into a rut.

Invented may not be the furious return to the past album that it alluded to be, but it does re-establish all the reasons why Jimmy Eat World are so precious in an increasingly banal musical landscape, and when they’re still making albums and songs as good as these, why should they revisit the past?

4/5


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