Jimmy Eat World presents a bright Futures

Oct. 15, 2004, midnight | By Rocky Hadadi | 17 years, 7 months ago

A world tour later and with a platinum-selling Bleed American under their belt, Jimmy Eat World returns from their two-year hiatus with the more earnest, less pop-centered Futures. A less frenzied, more sprawling album, Futures continues Jimmy Eat World's steady streak of positive, ambitious emo by incorporating new elements such as intricate vocal harmonies, epic ballads, and more prominent guitar solos.

From the first few tracks, Futures delivers with catchy, guitar-driven tunes that balance honest lyrics with strong melodies. "Pain," the album's first single, truthfully tells the tale of a trying breakup: "I never thought I'd walk away from you; I did/ But it's a false sense of accomplishment/ Every time I quit," sings front man Jim Adkins, in his trademark yearning shout. Openly frank lyrics continue throughout the album, especially in the slower, stunning "Work." Featuring Liz Phair on back-up vocals, the intricate track is reminiscent of Bleed American's "Sweetness," with lines like "Can we take a ride?/ Get out of this place/ While we still have time/ All the best DJs are saving/ The slowest song for last/ When the dance is through/ It's me and you."

Not only wrestling with issues such as love, life, and their respective repercussions, Jimmy Eat World also gives politics a chance to enter Futures' mix. In the title track, Adkins blatantly longs for a different world order: "I always believed in futures/ I hope for better/ In November," he sings. Not usually a political band, songs like the title track throw back to Jimmy Eat World's older singles such as "Bleed American," giving a welcome chance for another song not just about heartache, lost opportunities, and all other things emo.

In addition to matured, cohesive lyrics, Jimmy Eat World's musical development is also evident in Futures. More eclectic than any of their other works, their latest album exhibits added keyboards, complex strings, and a higher number of guitar solos, which not only add depth to the new material, but also add a greater sense of space. Songs such as "23" don't actually add vocals until a minute or so into the piece, allowing the tracks to – in a sense – breathe and expand.

With a revitalized but familiar sound, Jimmy Eat World puts forth a strong, innovative new album. Sincere lyrics and assorted musical growth help Futures center not on big pop hooks, but instead on an overall ambitious mood that carries the album from the first melodic song to the last.

Futures, Jimmy Eat World's fourth major-label album, hits every Hot Topic, Tower Records, and other music store near you on Oct. 19.

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Rocky Hadadi. So, Rocky Hadadi has a very small life. She likes Baz Luhrmann. She likes Rancid. She wants to have John Frusciante's lovechild of guitar solos. Her interests include: meaningful friendships with CAP girls, exceptional Magnet amigos, track suits, aquamarine, Chucks, velvet Docs, painting random crap … More »

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