Context – driving home
You know what’s great about Jimmy Eat World? They’re like, half a shade less consistent than The Offspring. Which is half a shade less consistent than you want a band to be. You see, The Offspring have been writing exactly the same album for almost 30 years now. At least 20 of them, anyway. They have a formula they stick to, and they keep churning out them Offspring albums. You can buy any of their albums and get exactly the same thing; they are the embodiment of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”
Being half a shade less than The Offspring is a pretty good place to be, because it means you can add a little spice here, remove an ingredient there, but you’re still just making spaghetti. Simple, straightforward, you know what you’re getting into but there’s still enough wiggle room to know if it’s better or worse than your momma’s.
Integrity Blues is worse than their breakout album, Bleed American, but is still spaghetti. I forget how mellow and subdued a lot of their music is–there are only a handful of tracks on this album with any real energy. This is a flaw of their marketing strategy, because a lot of their singles are the high energy exceptions to their albums. We all know “The Middle” and “The Sweetness” and “A Praise Chorus” from Bleed American, but after a bit of reflection I remind myself that every other song on that album is sweet and softer. They certainly put the Adult Contemporary in the emo scene.
And this isn’t a dig in any way. Keeping up with their half steps, my perception of the band isn’t quite as dramatic as that of TV On the Radio, where the songs I know are the songs I expect them to continue making. I’ve listened to enough Jimmy Eat World to know that I have to fight past my initial surprise at the pacing of the album.
Jimmy Eat World knows how to deliver, is all I’m saying. It’s not the same as going to a restaurant or cooking a meal yourself, but there’s a certain satisfaction that comes with putting on your comfy pants and having things delivered to you. Let Jimmy Eat World deliver. Let Jimmy Eat World be your comfy pants.