20 years after the release of Clarity, Jimmy Eat World return with their ninth studio album Integrity Blues. In their tenure they have been at the helm of the pop-punk and emo scenes which was undoubtedly fuelled by the massive success of their singles from 2001’s Bleed American (later renamed as Self Titled following the 9/11 terrorist attacks). This album is a far-cry from 15 years ago, but is it worth a listen? Well, I think so.
This review perhaps arrives a little later than some others, but I wasn’t ready to rush it through, because I simply couldn’t make up my mind about it. While there are some melodic similarities to their earlier material their sound has matured and they have again, struck out in a new direction however, I can’t say that overall, the ‘maturity’ exited me so much as their previous efforts. There are however, some elements that really stand out.
The beginning of the album has the general feel of moving on, getting on with life without dwelling on the past and yet, it has a very mellow rather than exited outlook. This to me is a little contradictory and so I can’t tell if it’s heartfelt, or if it lacks conviction. Things do pick up from the closing moments of the brooding Pass the Baby onwards where they go from depressed synth, through metal riffs into the excellent Get Right and then seemingly back to their earlier selves, sounding more exultant with You Are Free.
Overall the album is good, but for me it’s a just a bit of a slow starter even several listens in. It’s definitely one for hardcore fans and their new sound will attract listeners from neighbouring genres. They will undoubtedly have a good level of success with their existing fan base, but I hope their next offering is a little more exciting from start to finish.