Jimmy Eat World: Integrity Blues
Artist: Jimmy Eat World
Album: Integrity Blues
Released: October 21st, 2016
Though I could be considered late on reviewing this album as it was released nearly one year ago already, it’s enjoyable to review anything of any year and any genre. In fact, that is the purpose of this site in the first place: to be not be genre-specific and free. Following up from 2013’s “Damage” album, Jimmy Eat World released their ninth studio album in October of 2016 titled “Integrity Blues”.
The album was lead off by the first single, “Sure and Certain” in August 2016. The song exemplifies Jimmy Eat World’s patient and wonderful songwriting, which is what drew me to the band many years ago. It is more of a signature song from the band, laid back and very melodic but with great harmonies, well-constructed lyrics, and so forth. The video, though slightly reminding me of Aha’s “Take On Me” video in the 1980s, is otherwise very different and refreshing. Featuring a lot of unique animation and illustrations. It centers around our inevitable imperfections and, more occassionally, self-doubt.
“Get Right” eventually became the second single but began as a lyrical video made by the band. This is a song primarly seems to be aimed at the feeling of constantly feeling uncomfortable in the present. In my own mind at least, this is contrasts running way from a problem, but to always be on the move and always exploring destinations.
“I’m destination addicted
I just gotta be some place else
Never good time, never feel the space
To get it right, get right”
The song has a slightly heavier sound coming from Jim Adkins and Tim Linton playing a darker, grittier riff than Jimmy Eat World has sported in a short while. The chorus is signature of the band with a very stand-out showout including the lyrics else and is very melodic. Shortly after the lyrical video, Jimmy Eat World released a more traditional official video featuring live footage. Upon my first listen, this song grabbed me instantly, both for the simple but deep riff and also a personal connection to its message.
Other standout songs of course… “You With Me” opens the album with a refreshing slow strumming and female chorus followed up by interesting percussive patterns and fills from Zach Lind. The chorus is very energetic, melodic and gives me just a hint of “I wonder if there is some New Order influence to this”. Sidenote: New Order is known for such classics as “Bizarre Love Triangle”, “Blue Monday”, and later modern standouts such as “Krafty”, “Crystal”, and “Jetstream”.
“You Are Free”, seventh in the track listing, is a wonderfully inspiring song with some additional piano fills. It’s message is fairly clear, however, is still a calming and sonically beautiful reminder that we can push for change each and everyday. Also, “The End is Beautiful” is the perfect title as the song is much slower, reaching out to comfort, and very gentle with a sad but beautiful chorus repeating: “It doesn’t have to hurt anymore”.
Though the remaining songs are unmentioned, this is a very solid album start to finish with great songwriting. There are certainly fewer songs that were aimed at the “this is a rock hit” mentality. However, that hasn’t really seemed to be Jimmy Eat World’s path from the beginning.