, its fourth and best album, it weaves in and out of the pop-rock landscape traversed by similar-minded bands since the genre took a major hit a few years back. It's not too smart, nor is it stupid; it's ordinary rock and roll played by ordinary guys. Bleed American
was recorded by the group on its own after it was dropped from its previous label. So there's a certain economical nature to the grooves, with nothing really wasted or frivolous. Every note and word that comes from singer Jim Adkins seems to have a purpose, even if that purpose is something as small as making a good pop song. Such unpretentiousness keeps the album from sinking into routine.
There's a pattern to Adkins's songs -- misery, joy, cynicism, elation. He's a basic emotions kinda guy, and Bleed American plays on the value of those sentiments. Occasionally the album slips because of it -- maybe because it's just a little too simple for its own good. There's nothing distinctive to Jimmy Eat World; only the power rock of the title track displays any force. But with so many rockers and rappers in your face these days with their music and attitude, there's a certain comfort in the mild universe of Jimmy Eat World. Enjoy the defenselessness.
The Arizona quartet Jimmy Eat World is so unassuming that its ordinariness is its main virtue. It plays riff-heavy alt-rock that isn't quite cutting-edge, but not quite stuck in 1995 either. And on