It's been about three years since Jimmy Eat World
released an original album, and in that time they've changed labels, released a rarities collection and shown up on the soundtrack of Never Been Kissed
. Yet with the return of the similarly emotional and power-poppy Weezer and the success of Jimmy's biggest fans, blink-182, the group couldn't have timed its re-emergence better -- or done it more powerfully. Bleed American
is Jimmy's strongest record yet; it's au courant
, and every song pulses with life.Jimmy has spent most of its career on major labels but never made any obvious effort to fit in. With its almost confessional honesty the group is considered by some the world's only major-label emo band. Given the lyrical content, the emo tag is understandable; however, when it comes to the music, it's also a bit simplistic. The band seems equally comfortable playing blistering rave-ups, ballads that could make Elliott Smith go mad with envy and jerky, funny new-wave tunes. Jimmy even does a pro-infidelity song called "Get It Faster" that's startlingly bold and angry for a group normally so nice. It's surprises such as these that will make this show exciting even for those who've never worn Buddy Holly glasses.