From the opening lick it is obvious to anyone listening that this is the greatest piece of rock released by this band. Previous reviews for earlier releases would always sight punk for the basis for this band and it just was not present in their music. Then 2001 brought the band into what could be the closest to a punk sound and finally blows punk into a new era.
The vocals are still very melodic but the listener never knows when Jim Adkins is going to break out into fierce, gut-wrench vocals that have no restraint. Adkins has been hiding his vocal talents and it looks Mark Trambino (producer), on his third round with Jimmy Eat World, was able to capture his true essence. Adkins side the band musically has stepped up their game and have put together something great to take to the stage for the summer. For everyone who thought "Clarity" would always be the band's signature album only had to wait two years before they would have to eat those words. This will stand as one of the best records of 2001.
The production is exceptional, with the drummer and bassist working in such a euphoric state on each of the heavier tracks it is clear that the slower tracks allow them to take a breath. This is not to say that the low tracks are anything but great, they just give light to the previous releases but with so much more quality. The band as a whole is listed as songwriters and whether one member contributed a little bit more than the rest, the sound comes out as an ensemble effort.
"Hear You Me" has a very sad melody that draws you in even though the lyrics are quite repetitious. It is easy to understand / misunderstood the lyrics but it is so open-ended that anyone can reflect to a moment in their lives when they had regrets for not acknowledging the goodness in someone close to them. The top of the line and lyrically dominating song is "A Praise Chorus" which is heavy on drums and bass but has an incredibly positive lyrical message. The guitars just about grind the message into each and every fan who administers the never-give-up philosophy.
"The Authority Song" is a gesture of respect to John Mellencamp as they note his song as the one of choice at the jukebox. There is no let down as the tracks flow by because every song is Jimmy Eat World with a bit of individuality and originality that separates this CD from those released previously. There does not seem to be one track that would not be able to climb the charts on the pop or rock charts and easily make a push for the top 20.