Review: Jimmy Eat World – Integrity Blues

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Jimmy Eat World are back at it again with their original (and renowned) emo aesthetic.

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Since forming in 1993, Jimmy Eat World have already made themselves comfortable in regards to their stature in the alternative rock scene. Hailing from Mesa, Arizona, Jimmy Eat World have been legends within the Emo genre since they first began. Not to be mistaken with the stereotypical media outlook of emo; this emo emerged as a style of the post-hardcore scene from the mid-1980s hardcore punk movement in Washington D.C. From that, Jawbreaker and Sunny Day Real Estate emerged, with Jimmy Eat World and Dashboard Confessional following close behind.

Since then, Jimmy Eat World have released eight studio albums, with their breakthrough being Bleed American in 2001 with their signature track ‘The Middle’ which has become their most recognizable feat in alternative music. Chase the Light in 2007 became their highest charting album, but their recent effort Integrity Blues met the success that was hoped to follow behind it. Produced by Justin Meldal-Johsen (known for collaborating with Paramore, M83 and Nine Inch Nails), Integrity Blues has become the band’s highest charting record in the UK (reaching number 21 on the UK Albums Chart) and become the tenth best-selling album of the week in the United States.

Perhaps Jimmy Eat World’s greatest record since Bleed AmericanIntegrity Blues brings forth a soul-searching, emotionally fueled album becoming one of those rarities that could easily become the soundtrack to your life. It hearkens back to their emo Godfathers Sunny Day Real Estate, and Jimmy Eat World’s own legacy. Tracks such as ‘You With Me’ draw a somewhat depressing picture – “what makes our love so hard to be/is it you or is that you with me?” – but still has the ability to transport your soul on a spiritual journey of being able to find yourself; which is something that only the emo genre can do.

Integrity Blues has also been accompanied by four lyric videos to the tracks ‘You Are Free’, ‘Sure & Certain’, ‘Get Right’ and ‘You With Me’. ‘Sure & Certain’ and ‘Get Right’ are the standout videos here, utilizing an 8mm camera with film burn and grainy text it makes you just want to break free and get away from yourself for a while. That seems to be the running theme of Integrity Blues; the need to be able to step outside yourself and envelop the world around you.

Stereotypically, the genre of emo is seen as being particularly emotional, sensitive, introverted and angst-ridden. These aspects certainly appear throughout Integrity Blues, but for all the right reasons. That’s what the genre is all about. Sunny Day Real Estate were one of the bands that began the tradition of seemingly depressing and emotionally fuelled music, whilst also being able to promote self-worth and happiness out of its listeners. Jimmy Eat World promote the ability to garner self-esteem rather than self-pity, which they’ve been doing since they began.

Integrity Blues is out now via RCA. 

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A film student stuck in a 90s timewarp of FBI agents, UFOs, conspiracy theories, alternative rock and grunge.

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