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Chase This Light (UK Version)

Chase This Light (UK Version)

1 Jan 2007
4.3 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Chase This Light (UK Version)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A great album
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The problem with Jimmy Eat World is they seem to have said what it was they originally wanted to say a long time ago, and they know repeating themselves would be farcical. We have the perfect, perfect harmony of rawness and eye-twinkling splendour in Clarity, released back in 1998, one of the most perfect albums ever, and we have the immediacy of the well-polished and hard hitting Bleed American, from 2001. The problem is now that they have them out the way, everything they release is going to be an "almost there" or "nearly great" album, which is what Futures was. In some ways Chase This Light steamrolls its predecessor, and in some ways it is shockingly lacking.

It starts well with one of the most blinding tunes they've written since their old days, Big Casino. They sound, to be frank, like they've had a kick up the arse. Let it Happen and Always Be are reminiscent of what frequented the first half of Futures, good on their own but as album tracks not especially stand-out. Carry You reminds me of one of the more heartfelt tracks off Bleed American, but Electable is a pretty good, lively number which is simple but pretty effective. Gotta Be Somebody's Blues is also pretty damn good. Somewhere between Disintegration and 23, two of their best songs ever, but it's a shame it's not longer. The album lacks the longer songs that they used to execute to utter perfection. This is where the album shockingly lacks. It's good while it lasts, though. Feeling Lucky is another more motivated song, which I like. Again it's simple but the execution is spot-on. Here It Goes includes some interesting vocal styles and some changing dynamics, which, let's face it, is about as experimental as they get. I like it. The title-track seems to be a bit of a non-event in my opinion.
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Format: Audio CD
For the last while I have been listening to the EP 'Stay On My Side Tonight' with its stark, minimalistic playing, its unexpected and intense guitar breaks. So putting 'Chase This Light' on for the first time was like switching from dipped beam to full headlights. Textured, multi-layered, epic tracks. A bit disorienting at first.

It's going to take many plays to get to know this album well. So many albums are three decent songs (if you're lucky) and a pile of dross. This is a feast of excellent tracks - and I realise that I take for granted the quality and class this band possess. So it feels overwhelming to listen to, to assimilate.

There are many soundscapes here, experimentations. The use of an orchestra. Lingering vocal harmonies. The lyrics are wonderful. 'Chasing This Light' is the equivalent of a good American novel, like DeLillo's 'Underworld', so many things to discover in there.

I do miss the building guitar work (my favourite track on 'Futures' is '23')but accept that JEW are doing something different here with their sound. They are true musicians, with a gift of heart and soul that few bands have these days. And this album deserves to be massive.

I am looking forward to hearing the demo tracks though - as stripped down of some of the gloss these songs are going to shine even more.
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Like most people who have reviewed this album already, I am a huge fan. However I call a spade a spade, and to be honest I didn't think too much of 'Chase this light' the first time I heard it. I listened to it 3 or 4 times and was underwhelmed. I burned it onto my Ipod and I listened to it when I went to New York in November and it just clicked, I just heard every individual song for what it was and it made my trip all the more memorable. Again like most people here I was initially comparing it to Clarity or Bleed American and Futures. It's not those album, these album have been made, and they are great as they are. Jimmy had to go and try something a little different, take a risk. It seems these days you are criticised for either doing the same thing over or changing too much. I think they got the balance right with this one. Like most JEW albums it has a memorable opening track. Clarity had 'Table for Glasses'...Bleed American had 'Salt, Sweat, Sugar' and Futures had 'Futures'...'Big Casino' carries on this trend. It's a soaring, life-affirming song. Then again the same could be said about the band who wrote it. There is no disgusing the pop sensibilities evident throughout this album, but it's not a bad thing. Jim Adkins has an ear for melody and on this album, possibly more than other, he is running with it. 'Let it happen' is another strong song which is more similar to older material. Another recurring theme to Jimmy Eat World albums are that they generally have epic closing tracks, and again the trend continues. 'Dizzy' is just plain awesome and you can't fail to fall into a trance as it plays. To be honest you should proabably make your own mind up, I'm not selling it to you, if you are a fan of Jimmy Eat World I'm sure you'll listen to this album enough for it to grow on you and before you know it you'll 'get it'. I did.
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Jimmy Eat World have become one of the pin-up names of modern commercial rock for the past 6 years or so. Their unique ability to produce songs that are fundamentally simple, yet hint at so many genres such as progressive, pop, `emo' and rock have become nothing short of inspirational. And after 13 years of being together, their philosophy remains: you don't need to change time signature, add a guitar solo or complex riff, or display in other ways a strong musical prowess to be successful in today's industry. The public's attention is still easily drawn with good, decent songs. In their latest offering `Chase This Light', this approach is certainly preserved, but we are plunged into a much deeper and more profound Jimmy Eat World. What comes out is in all aspects one of the most infectious, honest and accessible pop-rock records to be released this year.

What most of the readers out there who don't own the record would undoubtedly be looking for in this album is, without question, how does this compare to masterpieces such as `Bleed American' (as I knew it back then) and `Futures'? Well I can say that there are two main points that appear the most predominant when I made a critical analysis of differences between the Jimmy Eat World of back then and the Jimmy Eat World of today. The first - the production work on this record is immense, much more present than on any previous JEW album, completely negating any suggestion of a raw, punchy approach to the music. The second - the music is notably, and fundamentally softer. Though the band have not strayed too far away from their stadium rock-tinged roots, they seem to have left out the loud, in-your-face guitars found on tracks such as `Pain' and `Salt Sweat Sugar' and gone for something more melodic.
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