Since they made the leap to the big time, Jimmy Eat World has proven to be one of the more savvy proponents of major label alternative rock. For the past decade, this band has penned emotionally charged, angst-fueled rock songs that bear particular resemblance to early ‘90s proto-emo, particularly the work of Jawbreaker. While they've occasionally engaged in the trite lyricism and formulaic aggression standard to much alternative rock, Jimmy Eat World has also proven to be imaginative in its sonic variety and occasional forays beyond standard guitar/bass/drums instrumentation.
Futures marks the sound of Jimmy Eat World maturing and becoming increasingly at home in its skin, comfortably combining the band's sustained nod to scorching post-punk and the hypnotic balladry of 1999's Clarity. The album offers a string of mid-tempo tracks that utilize the band's characteristic power-pop crunch while sustaining the weight of lyrical introspection and moody repetition in song structure. The album indicates something of a return to Clarity's more sprawling arrangements, but Jimmy Eat World makes forward progress in the greater use of vocal harmonies, adding an element of melodic sophistication to this band's ever-accessible sound. For a band that has spent a decade mastering the frustrated expression of the post-adolescent, Futures seems to mark a transition into adulthood.
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