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4.2 out of 5 stars
Damage
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on 23 June 2014
You'd have to go back a fair while...
...to 2010 to recall Jimmy Eat World's last album, the slow burning grower Invented (4/5). Back then then they had just come off the fresh and poppy tour of Chase This Light which saw the band go down a more catchy and tuneful, soft-pop-rock route. With 'Invented' being a bit more down to earth, opting for a more real outlook and mixed emotion, past albums ranging from arthouse classics, college punk partying and insidiously emotional trauma, this time around would prove difficult to show how they can keep ticking on...

Damage
The 10 track album kicks off with 'Appreciation' - a jolly hook laden, 3 minute sing along. It's all about that guitar rocking back and fourth through the chords until the chorus slows it down to a steady rocking ballad "We build, we box, we carry on.. as people we forgot. Strange we come to find ourselves, not knowing we're lost." cue laid back but gritty guitar interlude. It's an idyllic start to the album with the lyrics being relevant to the bands situation. The Albums title track 'Damage' is even more sugary sweet due to it's xylophone like guitar track through the chorus. 'Are we only damaging, the little we have left?' vocalist & guitarist Jim Adkins' swoons. It's definite proof that the band has calmed down a tad - losing that rebellious nature perhaps (not that they had much of that to begin with) - still a pleasant listen though.

Lean
This one starts in a vaguely same fashion as the first track, that jarring guitar twangling back and fourth. That is, until a classy guitar squeals away in the background, enhancing the cleaner melodies. "I’m not asking for a fix, I just need you close to reach. When I can’t stop myself at all, when I can’t lean on you I fall" are some more part-gushy but heartfelt and honest lyrics. 'Book of Love' sounds right out of a late 90's teenage drama film. Some chirpy acoustic similar to 'Kiss Me' by Sixpence None The Richer means I'm not exactly fond of this song. Diary-esque lyrics and popping bass, a dodgey interlude full of vocal noise is an attempt to sound like anything from Clarity - that ultimately fails, making this one dull, uninspired number.

I Will Steal You Back
Is one of the songs released before the album, that gave me hope for a solid Jimmy record. Somehow, it's classic J.E.W, yet nothing like anything else they've written. "Funny how the smallest lie might live a million times" ponders Adkins before being cut off by a badass guitar solo. "How slowly we built the walls, in years they pile on - I will steal you back" - another decent one in similar vein to the title track. The longest song at just under 5 minutes is 'Please Say No' - a breathy, dreary snooze. The words are rife with repetition and not for catchiness but rather sheer lazy song writing - "Please Say No", "I Go I Go" & "With You" all being muttered various times with less and less conviction, Boring!

How'd You Have Me
I desperately needed this track after the previous bit of rubbish. I properly like this one and say it's worth recommending - as it's the best on this album. A haggard and raw introduction of background talking and drum click track, awesome shaking hi-hat and a stomping chorus that demands you dance. "Only one thing left I wish I knew. How did you have me, and I only got you?" always brings a smile to my face, as does the second part "If it's all bad timing, and there's no control. You'll do anything, you'll do everything I want from now on". Unfortunately it's back to mediocre filler with 'No, never'. More repetition and standard muted verses, lacking a clear melody make it rather unmemorable. Best of the worst really.

ByeByeLove
Whether it's a reference to The Cars song or that 90's film, is irrelevant - this is what Jimmy Eat World sound like. It's as if they've stepped into a time machine, headed to 1999 and wrote down just one more song. Slow and swaying, 'Byebyelove' reeks of feeling and is perhaps a genuine goodbye to the fans or the old sound they hold so dear. The chorus merely consists of the title and the 2 verses offer a little insight to something personal "I wanna feel that golden light, watch summer dancing through your hair. There's so much I wish I could hold, Instead of carrying memories". It has some classy J.E.W vocal work, but unlike 'Book of Love' doesn't seem eager to convince you. It's real simple and slow, but it grows on you.. Unlike The closing track 'You Were Good'. Ever since 99', this band has made a point of ending their CD's with real belters, serious ballads that take your breath away. Clarity had 'Goodbye Sky Harbor', Bleed American had 'My Sundown', Futures had '23' and Chase This Light had 'Dizzy'. Maybe Invented ended that tradition with a wishy-washy-walk-away-now 'Mixtape'. Still, that's no excuse to forego bass & percussion entirely and use vocals that sound like they were recorded on a TalkBoy.
It's right at the good end of 3 stars.

There are some really top drawer songs on here, kind of spoiled by others as they remind you that this album is far from perfect, let alone the band at their best. Reasons could range from a switch in record label (or more likely the use of one), It being a tricky 8th album where anyone lesser would've ran out of inspiration, or just maybe they've grown up to a point where they can no longer solely focus on music? Who knows, but I'd still like to hear just one more, an album worthy of being the (milky) twilight of one of the most original band's I've ever known.
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on 10 February 2014
The music is still unmistakably Jimmy Eat World, but the sound leans more towards the last 2 albums (Chase This Light and Invented). Some influences from the Bleed American-era can be heard on the opening track Appreciation, which happens to be my favorite track on the album. All-in-all, a solid effort.
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on 24 June 2014
If you enjoyed Invented then you'll enjoy this album. Excellent album full of heart and passion. Despite some reviews JEW are (in my eyes) the most consistent bands in terms of releasing solids albums.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Jimmy Eat World are a magnificent band. Bleed American is a timeless rock album full to the brim with energy and anthems, Clarity is the brooding masterpiece, Futures is Jimmy doing everything right. What about Chase This Light? An adorable collection of upbeat, commercial pop rock. Invented? One of the bands finest albums, I find it to be greatly underrated and Coffee And Cigarettes is my choice for top Jimmy rocker!

So I went into Damage feeling excited, hoping for an album to further push the bands songwriting talents. In short, I wanted something amazing. What did I get?

Well to give Jimmy Eat World some credit, this does sound exactly like Jimmy Eat World. And nothing more.

Is that a bad thing? Not exactly, but none of the songs strike me as classic, instead it all feels rather standard. However, I really dig a few of these songs. Opener Appreciation is a real highlight, and I Will Steal You Back sounds like a mixture of Big Casino and The Most Beautiful Things. Very good. No, Never sounds like it could have sat comfortably on Bleed American (it is strongly reminiscent of If You Don't, Don't and Get It Faster). Praise indeed!

Byebyelove sounds like Clarity era Jimmy, but it feels a bit tired in comparison. Closer You Were Good is quite disappointing when compared to such epic album finales of the past. This is no Goodbye Sky Harbour, My Sundown, 23, or Mixtape. However...and I cannot stress this enough...there is a far superior version of this song available. Right now, amazon are offering FREE OF CHARGE an absolutely stunning alternate version of this song. My whole opinion of You Were Good changed once I heard this version. Download, compare and see which you prefer. The alternate version is currently one of my favourite songs from this album/era.

The rest? Well, it all kinda blurs. But it is relaxing. Only issue is that I don't feel like any of this is new. It also sounds very much like a collection of older songs that failed to make the cut. Which again, is ok! After all, Shame, (Splash) Turn Twist, Anais and many other b-sides are standard favourites. But the problem is, those are excellent b-sides to classic albums. This album simply sounds a bit average. Any b-sides I can only imagine will put one to sleep!

I cannot say I am truly disappointed. At twenty odd years into their career, I think it is amazing they are still able to release such decent music. None of the songs are bland or skippable (except, perhaps, You Were Good (album version)), yet nothing quite reaches the grand heights of what has come before. I just don't feel spoilt like I did with the last release, Invented. I would place this near the bottom of the pile of Jimmy records, yet a notch above pretty much every other album I own in this genre.

Still, this is one of the best albums i have heard so far this year, and I look forward to hearing some of these live.

B-
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on 20 February 2015
as described with dent in corner, but at 6 quid for such an amazing record who's complaining. also the sound quality on this is phenomenal
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 August 2013
After the sustained highs of 'Clarity', 'Bleed American' and 'Futures', Jimmy Eat World have plodded along with two follow ups ('Chase this Light' and 'Invented') that, while having high points, have been slightly disappointing following the highs that proceeded them. Unfortunately 'Damage' follows this pattern and, in my opinion, is their worse record since 'Static Prevails'.

The Album is a meandering affair, delivering songs that plod along with little excitement or much to differentiate them from the other tracks, there is no exhilaration or angst delivered in the music or lyrics with only 'I will steal you back' delivering a sense of urgency, with 'You were good' ending the album feeling unfinished the 3 year wait for a new album has left me disappointed.

I remember hearing 'Bleed American' or 'Work' for the first time and being genuinely excited and not wanting to wait to hear more, searching out the albums here on Amazon, I remember late nights driving in my car listening to 'Futures', with it blending perfectly with the dark city landscapes, and I remember early mornings, bleary eyed and hungover with 'Goodbye Sky Harbor', I don't think I will remember much about 'Damage' though.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 August 2013
Yes, on the surface, this does seem to be a little contrived, a little safe and not particularly evidence of growth for the band. But when has that ever really been the case since their first few albums? This is JEW on a high. There are granted few 'classics' but nary a bad track exists on the release. With regard to quality it is a definite equal to Futures and Invented and even Chase This Light, albeit in a less 'pop' fashion.

Best tracks for me were the grower 'Lean' (possibly the best track here and a definite pop classic for the band), 'I Will Steal You Back' (JEW can write these gems in their sleep) and 'No Never' (the band at their catchiest).

Not stunning. But then it is JEW. They make nice, tuneful rock music that puts a smile on your face. And they do it very well. And on evidence of this, they're not in any hurry to stop.
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on 19 November 2014
Cannot comment on content as was for a present, but recipitent enjoyed it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 October 2013
For me it all sounds like a new band with a slight Jimmy Eat World sound running through it. I will Steal You Back is the highlight and probably one of their best ever tunes. I was surprised that the guitar has that 90's Noel Gallagher twang to it and a lot of similar licks to Foo Fighters subjued but brilliant album 'Theres Nothing Left To Loose'.
Worth buying cuz its a good tuneful album,
strong songs and good singing but wont blow you away.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2013
This is a great album and a must for fans of other Jimmy Eat World stuff.

It's a little more mellow than some of their other albums but the songs are just as catchy and they will get stuck in your head.

The best thing for me about this album is the lyrics. There are some amazing lyrics that i'm sure a lot of people will relate to.

'Bye Bye Love' is probably the only weak song on the album but 9/10 isn't bad!
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