And The Hits Just Keep On Comin': February 2008

And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'

A Music Journal Collective Effort

Sunday, February 03, 2008

JIMMY EAT WORLD - Chase This Light

The newest offering from Jimmy Eat World, entitled 'Chase This Light',
contains as many questions as it does answers. For just over a decade
now, fearless alt-rock bandleader Jim Adkins (who apparently created
Emo?) has crafted a sound that is unique, crisp and ultimately over
produced as it boasts ultra-tight stops and starts, power pop guitar
riffs and songs that have staying power within both the indie and
mainstream music scenes. How does old Jimmy do it?

'Chase This Light' is more of the same from Jimmy Eat World but
is still, and almost impossibly, taken up another notch. The lead off
track and radio hit 'Big Casino' has already jammed so many major radio
frequencies with its convalescent pop sound that it’s almost become
a certainty that you’ll hear it on a 10 minute drive (if you do, in fact,
drive with the radio on). ‘Big Casino’ showcases driving electric guitar,
throttling drums and Adkins' trademark jittery, passionate vocal
chords. Though the words of the song have been debated through
several zines as a first person story about Adkins, it is more of an
informed opinion that the song is actually a fictitious story about an
average joe character from Jersey who dreams of striking it rich
(as Adkins, himself, was born in Mesa, Arizona):

I'll accept with poise with grace/
When they draw my name from the lottery/
And they'll say "all the salt in the world couldnt melt that ice"/
I'm the one who gets away/I'm a New Jersey success story/
And they'll say "Lord give me the chance to shake that hand"/
They'll say/

The song, though, seems to be more layered than what a first glimpse
would indicate. Oddly enough, 'Go Big Casino' has been the title of a
somewhat secretive musical side project of Adkins for years. Though
there are some other decent songs on the album (i.e Let It Happen,
Gotta Be Somebody's Blues, Carry You), the standouts and possibly
thematic emblems of the album lie in 'Big Casino' and the title track
'Chase This Light' which speaks of the inevitable clock of life over a
bed of soothing guitar-scapes: “Tonight, Chase This Light with me...
my life is yours, in your gifted hands”.

It could be clearly stated that Jim and the boys are no longer just

rock icons screaming about injustice – they are thinking about and
dwelling upon the uncertainty of life. ‘Big Casino’ seems to be less
of a song and more of a theme for the album and perhaps the song
title, itself, refers to the wavering faith our society places within the
power of money. Perhaps the theme of the song was Jim’s original
idea in the creation of his musical side project – perhaps it’s totally
off the mark.

But what stands out about 'Chase This Light' in a time
where creative music is at its distributional peak? What will make
both fans and non-fans of Jimmy Eat World buy this album? One
word comes to mind; Integrity. Jim Adkins has stayed true to his
form and style of song-writing, (though lessening a little on the
experimental side since early JEW tracks like the 9 minute epic
'Sky Harbour') sticking more to the straight ahead values of
displaying a message through a highly accessible medium. In a
sense, it could be argued that 'Chase This Light' is representative
of Adkins and the band - they have never stopped chasing the
light that started all of them down the road of music. On the
album back cover artwork, the light is displayed in the form of a
lit match which may indicate, on an even deeper level, that
Adkins and crew know just how powerful that light really is...and
just how quickly it can disappear.

free site statistics