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Jimmy Eat World in rare form on “Chase This Light”

Jess Shaffer | Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Needing a little post-midterm, pre-break treat? Check out Jimmy Eat World’s “Chase This Light,” originally released Monday.

After a week of hiding in your room, the library or Co-Mo in complete silence, this album is just what the doctor ordered. It has enough noise to get you amped to rejoin the human race without incapacitating you from rock-shock.

Jimmy Eat World definitely got it right with this album, harnessing the perfect amount of energy without their last release’s morose (and frankly boring) anger. The whiny anxiety of 2004’s “Futures” has disappeared from their sound, and they’ve returned to their melodic rock style. The grousing of their last hit, “Pain,” is out, and their classic sound, found in hits like “The Middle,” is back in.

“Chase This Light” is tailor-made to dance off that last Milano cookie that you needed to get through your chemistry exam. After a week of stress-eating habits, this album is perfect to help you fit back into the designer jeans that don’t go quite past your thighs anymore.

So make a new Jimmy Eat World playlist and head to the gym. Tracks like “Let It Happen” and “Feeling Lucky” are perfect for a jog or two – or even three. The high power of the album also makes it prime impromptu “dance party” material for letting loose.

“Chase This Light’s” lyrics have a little bit for everyone: love and romance, loss, sweet crushes and even the occasional rant. Overall the lyrics tend to have a wise positivity, and the group seems to have discovered a great formula: smart lyrics coupled with unique vocals and an upbeat sound.

With this combination, Jimmy Eat World has some hits on their hands. It won’t take long for these tracks to start making appearances in shows like “The Hills” and “The Real World.” In fact, “Like She’ll Always Be,” with its rhythmic snapping and bouncing pace, is an ideal fit for shows like these – ones that need good music to make up for their lack of content.

More applicable to real life, “Chase This Light’s” tracks fit anyone’s personal soundtrack. They serve as great theme songs for any Notre Dame or Saint Mary’s student. For example, let’s say that last exam didn’t go so well. “Electable (Give It Up)” is an excellent remedy for the pain. With lines like, “I came up like everyone, they taught us all the same/ I said what they told me to say, and then from that they grade,” it’s easy to find material for a diatribe against organized education or grades.

Better yet, crank up the entire album. One of its greatest assets is its cohesive variety. No two tracks are quite the same, and Jimmy Eat World thankfully avoids the redundancy that most groups fall into.

Their elegant, rhythmic and authentic style unites this album’s diverse collection. The first track, “Big Casino,” is a highlight with its get-up-and-go feel. With lines like “(Get Up, Get Up) Turn on ignition/ (Get Up, Get Up) Fire up the system/ Play my little part in something big,” the message is pretty clear. This song should come with a warning for being too memorable.

Even after its first upbeat tracks, “Chase This Light” keeps listeners interested with varying tempo and emotion as it fluidly transitions from optimism to longing and mild angst. The band doesn’t frontload the album by putting its best efforts only at the start, either. There are great songs throughout, and two of the best tracks, the title track and fan favorite “Here It Goes,” help bring the album to a close.

Overall, “Chase This Light” is an excellent addition to Jimmy Eat World’s collection. Definitely invest the $10 to purchase this album, because you won’t regret it.