FDF Volume 4 Issue 311 - Jimmy Eat World - Clarity
Album - ClarityArtist – Jimmy Eat World
Key Players – Rick Burch – Bass. Tom Linton – Guitar. Zach Lind – Drums. Jim Adkins – Vocals, Guitar
Produced By – Mark Trombino and Jimmy Eat World
Release Date – February 23, 1999
Overview – This is the third studio album from Mesa Arizona band “Jimmy Eat World”. They were formed in 1993 and have remained largely intact as a band. At the time the album was released it wasn't a huge success, but over time it has become one of the most acclaimed records of the 90's. Praised for its lyrics and dynamic musical performance. At the time, the band was dropped from their label after this record. Their follow up would be “Bleed American” and it would contain their lone top 10 single to date “The Middle”. That album also went platinum in the states. Over the years Clarity continued to garner praise and in 2009 the band embarked on an anniversary tour for the album, It was also re-issued. It is considered a landmark record in the “emo” genre and inspired many past and present bands with the blend of alternative rock and pop punk.
Many may read this and say that with all its height praise how is it 'forgotten” Perhaps that is not a fair name, but it was ignored at the outset, losing the band their label, but it deserves a mention.
FDF Comments (aka the songs) – Thirteen songs that span 64:12 of play time. Opening with the slow build of “Table for Glasses” Adkins is singing in hushed voice as Lind slaps out single drum notes under the slow guitar progression. The band puts their lyrics right out there, little to dissect as they are clearly and strongly voiced. The harmonies slowly build as the band builds slowly with intensity but it never fully blows up, it has a moment where it cuts back to chimes and keyboard notes before the vocals return, but the song ends quickly. "Lucky Denver Mint" has Lind taking the lead on the drums before the melodic bass work of Burch comes in. The band seems a little more light and you can almost hear the smile in their harmonies. A solid stand out track. The intensity is there on
"Your New Aesthetic" with the heavy drums and chugging guitars that work towards a short burst, to fall back to let the vocals take over once more. “Believe in What you Want” is not what always comes to mind when you hear “pop punk”. Sure the guitars are there, and the driving beat, but the band really works to harmonize well, and the layers are complex and interesting. Tracks like “A Sunday” wear their lyrical heaviness right on their sleeve and is quickly offset with the blistering
"Crush" and then the lush melodies of “Ten”, this record really has something for all. “Just Watch the Fireworks” is the second longest cut on the record at just over seven minutes long and creates an intricate woven medley and with the false ending late in the track and the string section add such a massive feel. “Blister” is a appropriately names tune, just for its rocking speed. The title track is late on the record and the bass line of Burch is most notable as its up in the mix with the melodic fills. This is all a set up for the epic (16:11 long) “Goodbye Sky Harbor”. The repeated guitar lines over the basic drum and bass line seems to lull you, then drag you down some, but finally there are some vocals, albeit limited, that give you the sense it is changing some direction but it sits tight. There are some longer organ lines played as well and the same looping vocal and guitar portion remain. It gets taxing, but you also long to hear where its going to end up. The instruments are all but gone by the 12:30 mark and the looped and repeated vocals are sung long with a light percussion backup. 13:50 or so it gets all techno with electronic fills over the vocals and some additional percussion and chimes/vibes, that slowly then fades as well. Its a challenge to listen to, but somehow you don't mind the end result.
Where are they now? - The band is still together writing, recording and touring. They are currently on a tour to promote their 2013 album “Damage”.
FDF Overall Take - This is a record that lives up to the accolades. When you hear a track that was played as much as “The Middle” it may be hard to think of what came before. The complexity of the tracks both musically and lyrically should appeal to many fans. Its a record you can hear for the first time over and over it has so many layers. Well worth your time.
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