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Album Review: Integrity Blues by Jimmy Eat World

American alt-rock act Jimmy Eat World released their ninth studio album, Integrity Blues, via Dine Alone Records on 21st October. For the most part this is a typical Jimmy Eat World album, you’ve got the distinctive vocal of Jim Adkins coupled with the power-pop / emo backdrop. It’s an album that will appeal to the ardent fan but perhaps fail to hook in the casual listener.

If it wasn’t for the lead singles ‘Sure and Certain’ and ‘Get Right’ there wouldn’t be much to Integrity Blues apart from filler. Both of the singles stand head and shoulders above the rest of the album. They’re the only forthright and commanding tracks out of all 11, even though they’re two of the poppiest and most accessible Jimmy Eat World tracks released, they really shine bright here.

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Perhaps it was the strength of these two lead singles that gave unrealistic expectations. It’d be fair to assume most people weren’t expecting another album at the same level of Clarity (1999) or Bleed American (2001), hell they probably weren’t even hoping for another Futures (2004), even still this is disappointing.

Integrity Blues simply fails to hold your attention. Opener ‘You With Me’ is average while ‘It Matters’ is a sub-standard mass pop song. Imagine Maroon 5 without any hooks and you’d be on the right track. ‘Pretty Grids’ has a nice hook but fails to get out of the starting grid, again it feels like a radio friendly pop song without any passion or guts. ‘Pass The Baby’ is saved by the blistering riffs that see out the final minute – it’s a rare moment on the album where you might feel some excitement. It segues nicely into the standout track ‘Get Right’.

Normal service is resumed with the dull ‘You Are Free’. It’s just so safe and meek that it’s hard to see any positives. There’s a spark of genius in ‘The End Is Beautiful’, a sombre and affecting track that comes close to being one the finest slow tracks the band have done. ‘Through’ is a decent track, albeit not quite of the standard you’d expect of Jimmy Eat World. As Integrity Blues limps over the line with the title track and ‘Pol Roger’ you can’t help but feel disappointed.

AD Rating 5.5/10

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