Pop Music

Jimmy Eat World's new release is a pop meisterwork. But will their fans like it?

About a year and a half ago, I found myself at another bar again discussing local music, this time interviewing Jim Adkins in advance of Go Big Casino's debut. As the night wore on and drinks continued to flow, the question was posed about the direction JEW's forthcoming record would take.

"Um, well," stammered Adkins for a good minute, before letting an answer slip out, "I don't think people are going to like our next record."

It was, it turns out, a coded response. Even at that early stage, it was obvious that JEW's new pop-oriented direction might alienate some but ultimately garner a larger audience than the band had ever enjoyed. Clearly, the "people" Adkins was referring to were those among the indier-than-thou set, musicians, scenesters, hipsters and the like, who're sure to dismiss Bleed American for not being sufficiently adventurous, dissonant or corrosive. But it's a ridiculous argument. It is -- as author Nick Hornby once put it -- like criticizing a circle for not having any edges. JEW has emerged from the indie-rock shadows with a redefined sense of self. They've smoothed the sharp angles and corners of their old noise in favor of something warmer, prettier and ultimately more satisfying.

All the young dudes: Jimmy Eat World drops Bleed American in stores this week.
All the young dudes: Jimmy Eat World drops Bleed American in stores this week.

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Scheduled to perform on Monday, July 23, with Five Speed. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

New Times is giving away tickets to the show....sign up for your chance to get some!!!

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Just as the Ramones were condemned for candy-coating their sound on End of the Century, Elvis Costello derided for Punch the Clock and Green Day suffered for forsaking its supposed ethos with Dookie, JEW will likely be forced to endure similar slings and arrows from some of its onetime faithful.

"I've got no secret purpose," offers Adkins defiantly at the end of "Authority Song" and, indeed, his mission seems clear. Like it or not, Jimmy Eat World has gone "pop" in the truest sense of the word, and to these ears it's sweet, sweet music.

New Times is giving away tickets to the show....sign up for your chance to get some!!!

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