“Futures,” the follow-up to Jimmy Eat World’s wildly successful 2001 “Bleed American,” was one of 2004’s most anticipated albums. Who, or what, is Jimmy Eat World? The Arizona rock quartet spent years floundering in obscurity, quietly producing many excellent records. Then, in 2001 with the release of “Bleed American’s first single,” “The Middle,” Jimmy Eat World busted onto the main stage.
Fans, however, would have to spend the next three year waiting for a new album that should not disappoint many. Their infectious pop-rock is as addictive as ever, highly polished and complete with even tighter musicianship.
Beginning with the title track, a driving, guitar-heavy song that starts the album on a good note, the first six tracks are among the best Jimmy Eat World has ever written.
“Work,” the requisite looking-for-our-place-in-this-world anthem, is perhaps the band’s finest work to date. The lyrics resonate with youth, and, combined with the quartet’s excellent performance, produce a radio-ready, surefire hit.
The album’s first single, “Pain,” provides listeners with a high-quality stress reliever. A welcome alternative to the yelling and screaming that usually accompanies songs about anger and frustration, it offers the obligatory fury, yet combines with actual musical ability. Unlike many of their fellow rockers, Jimmy Eat World’s rant has a discernable melody, making a musically accomplished tune for the enraged teenager.
These two standard-bearers are nicely complemented by other exceptional tracks. The disc has surprisingly little filler; each seems carefully chosen to represent the evolution of the group into the first-rate, polished musicians they have become. “Futures” states the obvious: Jimmy Eat World is here for the long haul.
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