Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American (Cover Artwork)

Jimmy Eat World

Jimmy Eat World: Bleed AmericanBleed American (2001)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: AubinAubin
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It's sad that a band like Jimmy Eat World is best known for it's contributions to movie soundtracks. I mean, these guys seem to have more songs on more flicks than Aerosmith. (Though the movies aren't much better.) The brief history of the band goes like this. J.E.W. releases a bunch of great i.
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It's sad that a band like Jimmy Eat World is best known for it's contributions to movie soundtracks. I mean, these guys seem to have more songs on more flicks than Aerosmith. (Though the movies aren't much better.)

The brief history of the band goes like this. J.E.W. releases a bunch of great independent records, which are cool, but really follow the standard pop-punk sound, right down to the speedy drums, and whoah's. They release one last album in this vein, Static Prevails, which is very well recieved, and reviewer-types and music-types both seem to love it, even though it's on Capitol.

Fast forward a little to the release of the remarkable different, and, to scenesters everywhere, remarkably upsetting Clarity, which eschews the punk, and sticks with nothing by ear candy melodies, and pure pop, the likes of which we haven't heard since Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper plummetted to the ground, thus ending pop rock, and introducing the world to the overblown, self-indulgent music of the 70s.

And when I say, "remarkably upsetting," I'm not kidding. The cries of "sell out" went rampant. Of course, no one seems to see the irony of a band who was originally signed for their pop-punk stylings going into a new direction, almost definitely ignoring the wishes of their label, who were probably hoping for another Green Day.

Well, I really liked Clarity. It was one of the best all around pop records of 1999, and stuck in my head like a concussion. That is to say, like a bruise on my brain. It didn't leave for quite awhile, and even though it was at times uneven, the winners, were spectactular, and the less-than-classics were still pretty darn good.

So, after Clarity, they were unceremoniously dropped from Capitol, and recorded their next record, and coincedentally, the subject of this review, Bleed American on their own - using the completed record as a demo, I guess. And, I admit, in my haste to hear the first new material from J.E.W. in ages, I downloaded an MP3 bootleg of Bleed American, which was aptly titled Bleed American Demos. Man, was I impressed.

But I was soon in possession of the newly re-recorded, and apparently, final version of Bleed American, which it turns out, is probably the best thing these guys have ever put out. The album exudes energy, and while the pop is certainly there, there is a newfound urgency in the tone, and the lyrics.

From the blast of the opening track, it's pretty much all hooks layered on top of thick, thick, thick melodic guitar lines. There is a definite emphasis on the low end here.

The tracks themselves are all unique in their own right. The first three, are aggressive, melodic rock songs, but the fourth, breaks down into a slower, acoustic-y number, with lyrics that will touch anyone who's ever been in a relationship they knew would end, but seemed to be denying it to themselves. I've been there, believe me.

"when i let you closer,
i only want you closer
you rip my heart right out

So, after that, we hit the "Jimmy Eat World-song", which is what I've dubbed it, since it has that characteristicly complex rhythm over soaring vocals. I guess you could compare it to the opener from Clarity in the rhythmic elements, but this particular sound, probably what landed them on a zillion soundtracks, seems stronger, and more assured than ever. "Sweetness" is so unbelievably catchy, I'm having trouble coming up with an analogy to get it across. Let's just say it's catchy, and move on.

The next track, was particularly moving to me, as I seem to be losing family members at an accelerated rate (they say it happens after you turn twenty, who knows) "Hear You Me" is a soft acoustic number, with guest vocals from, well, some female singer, and is just beautiful, in it's tone, and the lyrical content. I can't for a second believe that those words are anything but sincere.

The second half of the record, is, unlike my experience with their past records, quite strong, and really fleshes out the musical ideas from the record. At this point, I've rambled on for ever, so I'll be quick and summarize.

  • 7. If You Don't, Don't
    A strong, more rocking song, and somewhat of a welcome change, after the painfully melancholy of Hear You Me.
  • 8. Get It Faster
    Probably my least favourite song, but not an entirely bad one, nevertheless. It's loud, but it doesn't seem to hit the melodic peaks of some of the others. I wouldn't skip over it, but it's not something I would put on to entice my friends into buying the record.
  • 9. Cautioners
    Another good one, more in the same mould as the first three tracks, but strong overall.
  • 10. The Authority Song
  • 11. My Sundown
    A good closer, but I think "Hear You Me" would have fit better here. Strong, but doesn't leave as much of an impression as a slower one would.

    If you hate emo, or the poppier side of things, you'll hate this. If you're into something that you can appreciate on merits alone (as in, not as part of a "scene") then you're in for a treat. The punker-than-thou kids should stick with Static Prevails, but a catalog as impressive a J.E.W.'s can be appreciated by anyone without preconceptions.


    People who liked this also liked:
    Refused - The Shape of Punk to ComeJimmy Eat World - ClarityWeezer - WeezerAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitThe Clash - London CallingBrand New - Deja EntenduBrand New - The Devil and God Are Raging Inside MeThe Get Up Kids - Something To Write Home AboutThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever Told

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    Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
    pitoresco (June 22, 2007)

    good review.

    this cd is very good. a praise chorus is the most beautiful song of all the time.

    RondoMondo (August 25, 2006)

    Best song ever written by these guys: A Praise Chorus

    Foaming_97 (December 17, 2005)

    Alright thisd band is sooooooo cheesy. But w.e they write good music. not to mention Gets it Faster us an amazing song

    Foaming_97 (March 6, 2005)

    I hear alot of stuff about how Jimmy Eat World is a wanna be band and a poser band. That may be true, but I dont give a shit. Gets it Faster is one of my fav all time songs.

    Anonymous (October 15, 2004)

    if you like blink 182, the starting line, and new found glory, check out this really awesome band Stanley. listen to them at this link: www.purevolume.com/stanley

    CallingLondon (August 30, 2003)

    static prevails sucked. boring generic shit.

    OhNoBruno (September 17, 2002)

    If you don't own any Jimmy Eat World albums, the only thing you need is Static Prevails.
    Bleed American is a great disappointment. It reminds me of the latest Foo Fighters album. I wish they could go back to be a little more desperate a less controlled.

    Anonymous (August 6, 2002)

    hella good...yea, that should work.

    PunkChick11 (May 5, 2002)

    I love this album....it's hella good. That's all there is to it.


    Anonymous (February 10, 2002)

    My only complaint is the track listing. Whom ever put the tracks in that order should learn something about producing an album, it's terrible. The music itself rocks!

    Anonymous (January 27, 2002)

    Awww, the cute little boy band who started the viscious attack on decent music are back with another pile of excrement. And just to prove how easy it is to sell out, they abandoned the title so they wouldnt offend anyone. Awww, how sweet.

    MusicIsMyLife (October 30, 2001)

    You sound like more of a rocker. Check out The Singles or Static Prevails. Both are damn good, and more "rock 'n' roll" than Clarity and Bleed American. You won't be let down.


    Anonymous (October 15, 2001)

    Sorry, I just don't understand what the fuss is about. This CD has six kickass tracks (Bleed American, A Praise Chorus, The Middle, If You Don't Don't, Get it Faster and The Authority Song) and five whiney, miserable, tired, uninspired wake-me-when-it's-over pieces of shit. And I'm not an old school holier than thou JEW fan, this is the first CD I've ever heard. I just know shitty songs when I hear them.

    Rock (October 12, 2001)

    pretty damn good cd too bad its way short of the album "clarity" nice review by the way but i still strongly believe that this isnt the best that J.E.W has put out

    Anonymous (September 30, 2001)

    who was the sad little person who wrote this review? coz they honestly dont know much about music huh?!? this album may not be very punk but its very well made , and the band is way talented!

    have you nothing else to do than slag off bands your jelous of? Get a life mr reviewer!

    Anonymous (August 17, 2001)

    To the person who mentioned that the backing vocalist could be the girl from That Dog, it is. Rachel Haden is her name.

    This is one of the best CD's I have heard in a while, it hasn't left my player yet

    Anonymous (August 17, 2001)

    good album. these guys are blowing up.

    Anonymous (August 11, 2001)

    this fucking sucked, they changed there style and they now suck

    the only good part is the re-make of sweetness and bleed america is ok

    damm this sucks

    FuriousGeorge (August 2, 2001)

    I'll jump in line with everyone else who has commented and tell you that was the best review I have read on this sight yet. I saw J.E.W. two days ago at the DC Warped Tour. They put on one hell of a show. I also picked up Bleed American, and so far I'm really impressed with it. They always manage to be eclectic but not so much that they don't have their own sound. I will admit that so far I like Clarity more, but that's a real tough album to beat, especially by a CD I just got. Once again, great interview. I hope you do a lot more.

    DrNo (July 31, 2001)

    I bought this cd not really knowing what to expect, everyone said they like it and that it was good, but then at the same time people were saying how much they didn't like this cd. So with blind faith, i bought it and to my surprise it was really good. I am very pleased with this cd and i haven't stopped listening to it. I like "Cautioners" best i think. By the way...this review really helped with my decesion.

    Anonymous (July 8, 2001)

    I was very pleased to see an actual detailed review on this site. It was great, and made me anticipate this album even more.

    Out of the 6 tracks I've heard, I really dig it as well.

    But Clarity is tough to beat.

    Anonymous (July 8, 2001)

    I've got an analogy for sweetness for you. Sweetness is soooooo catchy its like the nail big guy from happy gilmor's head. This song will stick in your head until you have to have it surgically removed. I have not been able to stop listening to that song since I heard it first over a month and a half ago. The song is AMAZING.

    Anonymous (July 8, 2001)

    While I was dissapointed by hearing "Bleed American" on the radio, this review has restored my confidence in another great JEW record. Kudos, and thanks.

    Anonymous (July 7, 2001)

    Hear you me is a direct reference to Mykel and Carli, River Cuomo of Weezer's two best freinds. In the song Mykel and Carli, he says hear you me quite a few times. I don't know the relationship between JEW and Weezer, but i think there was some kinda collaboration on that. Plus the girl's voice in the background could possibly be the girl from That Dog. That same girl did a song with Weezer called I Just Threw Out The Love Of My Dreams (check it out). Anyway, good review, and i might actually buy this cd bc of the review.

    Anonymous (July 7, 2001)

    i have never heard this album nor the band, apart from a film clip i was watching last night on rage which seemed rad.

    the 5 stars are for the review


    Anonymous (July 7, 2001)

    That was the best review ever.

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