Jimmy Eat World – Surviving (Album Review)

Jimmy Eat World – Surviving
Released: October 18th 2019

Lineup:

Jim Adkins // vocals, guitars
Tom Linton // guitars, vocals
Rick Burch // bass
Zach Lind // drums

Online:

Official website
Facebook
Twitter

It’s hard to believe that Jimmy Eat World have released their 10th studio album, when the majority of us can only remember their fourth release, 2001’s Bleed American which fell right in the era where pop/punk was about to peak. So it’s no wonder we still hear songs like ‘Sweetness’ and ‘The Middle’ as a staple track in our favourite music venue. On their 10th release, Surviving, Jimmy Eat World are here to tell you that they’ve grown up (like we all have), in some ways musically, but they’re also here to show us that they can still write huge rock choruses to inspire a new generation.

Surviving begins with the title track of the album, and it’s a soaring stadium rock tune about growing up and “surviving” life. With lyrics like “in a lot of ways you’re still that lost kid / yeah, you can still survive”, it’ll put you in the most uplifting of spirits by the end of those guitar riffs. ‘Criminal Energy’ is a fast-paced tune that’s full of punk rock energy similar to that of Bleed American. I don’t know about you, but this song is pretty groovy, it’s probably my new favourite JEW song and makes me wanna throw my rock hands up. 

‘Delivery’ gave me some strong country feels, which I’m not really a huge fan on, but after a few more listens it also threw me back to 90’s pop/rock nostalgia eg. Matchbox Twenty. In contrast, ‘555’ sees the band venture into experimental pop territory and it feels very One Republic. I’m not opposed to this at all, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this song got mainstream radio airplay today, or even the track following this one. ‘One Mil’ begins with just a guitar and frontman Jim Adkins, then pumps straight into rockier riff territory that sounds catchy as fuck and is one of their most enjoyable tunes on this album. 

The band’s leading single for this album definitely threw me off a little. At first listen, ‘All The Way (Stay)’ sounds like a real cheesy tune you’d hear in an outback pub (note: this is going on my roadtrip playlist, for sure), but the more you listen to it , the more you start to hear Jimmy Eat World’s former pop/punk selves (whilst also realising that daaamn, I am/these guys are old AF now) and eventually feel your feet tapping to the beat. The gritty guitars on ‘Diamond’ continue that blues-country rock vibe throughout Surviving, and it’s songs like this that convince you that Jimmy Eat World still have the ability to write iconic rock choruses. ‘Love Never’ feels and sounds like that nostalgic emo-rock era we will never grow out of. I have a pretty strong feeling that this song is going to be enjoyed by the masses as the band’s next underrated hit. 

Like all the great early 2000’s pop/punk bands, they all must grow up eventually and Jimmy Eat World is no exception. ‘Recommit’ jumps on that slow, rock style and gives you a sense of reflection about… life. If you’re a sucker for an emo rock ballad, bump this on your playlist. The final track on Surviving features the most exciting riff on this whole album. ‘Congratulations’ felt hugely progressive for the band, and while it’s mostly instrumental, with some lyrical verse here and there, it showcases the band’s musical talent perfectly.

Surviving reminds us of a time when rock and punk was celebrated in a big way on mainstream airwaves. It brings us plenty of nostalgia for the good ol’ days, and they’re not really heading off in a completely different musical direction. Whilst they have definitely matured and grown up, Jimmy Eat World have still somewhat managed to keep their youthful spirit alive intact on this record, and it ends up being quite an enjoyable listen.

SURVIVING album

Jimmy Eat World – Surviving tracklisting:

1.    Surviving
2.    Criminal Energy
3.    Delivery
4.    555
5.    One Mil
6.    All The Way (Stay)
7.    Diamond
8.    Love Never
9.    Recommit
10.  Congratulations

Rating: 8.5 / 10
Surviving is out now through Sony Music. Purchase here!
Review by Tamara May @citylightsTAM

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