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A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

June 11, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Album review: Jimmy Eat World, “Damage” (RCA)

Jimmy Eat World

Jimmy Eat World, from left: bassist Rick Burch, drummer Zach Lind, singer-guitarist Jim Adkins, guitarist Tom Linton. Photo by Michael Elins.

Jimmy Eat World’s eighth full-length “Damage,” out Tuesday, proves even-keeled bands can, and should, stay together.

Initially associated with the late-‘90s emo-core scene (anyone remember The Get Up Kids?), time and context have reserved a relevant place for the Mesa, Arizona foursome’s earnest guitar-pop.

While “Damage” might not have the immediacy or scope of 1996’s bracing “Static Prevails” and 2001’s platinum smash “Bleed American,” its ten songs feature crisp, stripped-down production and some of the group’s better melodies in years.

First single “I Will Steal You Back” (listen), in particular, effectively distills of all the band’s strengths — chiming arpeggios, crunchy power chords, rock-solid rhythms and, up front, Jim Adkins’ nice-guy vocals.

Those who pine for a full-fledged return to Jimmy Eat World’s punk-pop roots will have to keep waiting, however. Adkins’ lovelorn, irony-free lyrics can be a bit one-note, and the record’s track sequencing is noticeably top-heavy, its B-side fading fast into power-ballad oblivion.

With the group’s commercial zenith in its rear-view, “Damage” isn’t likely to make a huge bump in its audience, but ought to reconnect with fans who’ve lost touch.

Stream the whole album here.

0 Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Arizona, emo, rock

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