I feel like there are two types of Jimmy Eat World fans. Fans who love Clarity and fans who love Bleed American. Both will agree that the band’s best work is behind them. And while both Futures and Chase the Light weren’t on par with either Clarity or Bleed American, Jimmy Eat World hasn’t lost the ability to write a great song. Futures is full of fantastic song after fantastic song and minus 2 or 3 tracks that record is near perfect. Chase The Light was more under my radar but I loved both singles from that album.
For the bands 6th full-length, Invented, they worked with former Drive Like Jehu drummer Mark Trombino, who produced the band’s first three records (Static Prevails, Clarity, and Bleed American). And while the album isn’t the next Clarity, it is a solid record full of great songs.
Invented doesn’t start off on the strongest foot. Heart Is Hard To Find, while a good song, isn’t the best choice for an album opener. It’s an acoustic track, that is a slightly new direction for JEW but reminds me of some of the weaker moments from Futures and not the ballads on Bleed American. Things do pick up as the albums lead single, My Best Theory, kicks in. Fans of Futures will enjoy this track. It’s more danceable than any song JEW has ever put out. Higher Devotion also has this weird 80’s dance vibe, that works really well.
Invented takes the elements that worked best on Futures (Evidence, Coffee and Cigarettes, Action Needs An Audience) and combines that with the best moments from Bleed American (Movielike, Stop, Littlething). Two tracks, Cut and Mixtape, feel like throwbacks to Clarity. and while it’s subtle, it’s there.
Invented doesn’t reinvent the wheel but it’s full of great songs and it’s easily Jimmy Eat World’s best album since Bleed American. This is one to pick up.