CoS Exclusive FeaturesDissectedHot

Dissected: Jimmy Eat World (with Jim Adkins)

on June 14, 2013, 12:00am
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jimmyeatworld2013 Dissected: Jimmy Eat World (with Jim Adkins)

On multiple occasions during the anatomizing of this Dissected, I heard comments like, “Aren’t they just some band from the 90s?”, “Oh, are they making a comeback?”. It’s like non-fans are under the impression that Jimmy Eat World released one major hit song and record in 1999, and then stopped recording or touring. In reality, the quartet from Mesa, Arizona have just released their seventh full-length (eighth, if you count the first self-titled album, but we’ll get there), the mature and solid Damage.

“I was sitting around watching the Grammys,” frontman Jim Adkins says about the genesis of Damage. “And I was watching Adele just clean up. I was like, ‘You know what, she’s an Adkins. I can fucking do that.’ I was like, ‘Okay, well love songs. We’ll just start there.’ And the kind of love songs that always interest me, that I wanted to explore, is the stuff that’s more based in heartbreak and emotional injury. The ‘I’m so happy I’m in love’ song, I don’t feel like there’s a story there.”

Sentiment like that is why Jimmy Eat World has often been pegged with the easily maligned alternative sub-genre lovingly (not?) known as emo. At the onset of a nearly 20 year career, Adkins and crew laid the groundworks for the genre, even if both fans and the band cringe at the label. But it’s not that guy-liner, dark clothed, “I bleed my love for you out to the floor so you can watch as I slowly drown” emo; just the sincere confessionals of an openhearted songwriter (we’ll play devil’s advocate on that later).

Jimmy Eat World has never been satisfactorily explained with easy labeling, however. Power pop, alternative, emo, and so on have all been thrown at the band, but to fans there’s just the melodic guitar rock and emotional balladry of JEW. While not every album has been a smash (though their arguably worst album is also their current highest charter), their discography as a whole deserves to be counted, and that’s what we’re here to do.

In celebration of Damage, we’re not going to do it alone. We called up Jim Adkins himself to get his insight on the band’s catalog. Don’t call it a comeback; they’ve been here for years.

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May 20, 2014 at 3:00 am

Your opinions on Invented vs Chase This Light are pretty off-base and are not exactly supported well.

Ross CMR
July 15, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Can someone fill me in on how they are live? Im seeing them play the Crystal Ballroom in Portland on the 16th and i don t want to get my hopes up and then have them crushed later..

July 7, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Seriously looking forward to seeing these guys live. They’re coming to Minneapolis on the 8th and it should be a sweeeet show. Anyone else planning on seeing them at First Ave?

June 17, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Love the new album from these guys. Ever since first hearing “I Will Steal You Back”, I knew it was going to be great. Definitely pick up a copy if you haven’t yet!

June 15, 2013 at 12:45 am

Good read for the most part! Although Lucky Denver Mint lyrics are wrong (Clarity – “JEWish-ness”) and Jim’s last name is spelled wrong (multiple occurances of “Atkins”).

Alex Rice
June 14, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Thanks for this. I had a great time listening to JEW and reading it! One correction: It’s “My Best Theory,” not “My Higher Devotion.”

June 15, 2013 at 3:11 pm

There is a song called Higher Devotion on the album though. How do you know for sure they were referring to My Best Theory? I guess maybe it might be a little dancier.

Dan Masterson
June 14, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Hai Doggie!

Donald Adkins
June 14, 2013 at 6:03 pm

You think someone would proof read these things a little better, like, say, the band members names being correct. smh

H. Willie
June 14, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Linkton is now Linton. Thanks!

Donald Adkins
June 15, 2013 at 11:26 pm

There is/was also a few “Atkins” as well. Just pointing that one out, since Adkins is my last name too. hah.

Ben Cox
June 14, 2013 at 5:57 pm

I once tested the Sky Harbor theory mentioned in here (the plane was pretty much empty save for my family and a few others so JetBlue’s attendants seemed a bit lax that day) and indeed, it is very close to the time from takeoff to cruising altitude, but I reckon that’s just coincidence. It’s a lovely song, though!

June 14, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Yeesh, get your history of emo right…

June 14, 2013 at 11:36 am

I never did, and probably never will understand the dislike for Chase
this Light. It’s a tad over-produced and warm and fuzzy, but the songs
have so much flavor. In fact, the songwriting is way better than
anything on Damage, most of the stuff on Invented, and half of Bleed
American. And like you say, Jim sells every inch of it–the whole
record. And the cover? The cover art to Chase This Light is “dumb” but the cover of Damage is “beautiful” and “effective”? ‘the fuck? I feel like I am in the twilight zone when it comes to hearing/reading people talk about this album.

June 14, 2013 at 5:55 pm

I agree man. I love Chase This Light. Also, there are 5 years between 2001 and 2004? News to me.

H. Willie
June 14, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Fixed. Thanks for reading!

drew harrington
June 16, 2013 at 6:20 am

Agreed as well. Chase This Light is my favorite JEW album – track for track. (though my favorite few songs are on Bleed American). Let It Happen, Dizzy, the title track, plus obviously Carry You, and Always Be are stellar. Much better record than Invented or even Damage.


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