Jimmy Eat World’s “Integrity Blues”

Album Review

Fifteen years after their initial break-out success, Jimmy Eat World return with one of their most emotional albums to date. Jimmy Eat World offer an album that is perfect for fall–airy tones and feelings of melancholy, even tranquility. The general sound of “Integrity Blues” is very reminiscent of ‘90s soft alternative rock, as is most evident in the soaring choruses of “It Matters” and “You With Me.” However, Jimmy Eat World diversify their sound to make for instantly memorable hooks like the fuzzy electronica of “Pretty Grids” or the creeping guitar chords of the jaw-dropping “Pass the Baby”.

Illustrator: Megan Smith

Illustrator: Megan Smith

Lyrically, Jimmy Eat World takes a long-awaited crack at self-awareness. They’ve always been a band that has shined with relationship and breakup songs. As such, going deeper into this subject matter makes them more mature in their presentation. Lead songwriter Jim Adkins is both empathetic and even self-critical, pointing out how breaking up with his love on songs like “You Are Free” and “The End is Beautiful” is for her benefit and that neither of the two are at fault, but he understands when something needs to stop. “Sure and Certain” is one of the most complex songs on the album, exploring his ideas and notions of perfection. Adkins notes how appreciating everything around you beyond what is right in your face will help you grow, something which will resonate with first-time listeners of the band.

“Integrity Blues” is an exploration into self-observation that is a good fit for the band. Those looking for an emotional album as well as a good autumn record will find a lot to like about “Integrity Blues” and will be eagerly awaiting what else Jimmy Eat World have in store.