Music critics suck. They're ornery, obnoxious, uncouth, uncaring, numbnutted, and shitheaded. Take the way they treated Jimmy Eat World, for example. Back in 1999, the Arizona quartet released Clarity
, an epic, airy mix of cooing vocals and gentle emo arrangements. It was harder-edged in a few places, but delicate and effervescent pop percolated throughout. But critics said they were gutless indie rockers who didn't have the proper punk ethos. Jimmy Eat World listened, to our tremendous misfortune. Bleed American
came out a month ago to great media fanfare (emo's in vogue now as the voice of a new generation). Punky riffs, monumental choruses, hooky harmonies, etc. It's all perfectly calibrated mainstream product. With sentiments about falling in love and missing departed friends, every song on Bleed American
would work great in a teen flick like American Pie 2
. While the album thankfully fails to completely disguise the band's gift for melody and emotional resonance, it's about a thousand times more obvious and pandering than Clarity
. About half as relevant, too. Little separates Jimmy Eat World from, say, Blink-182 but a couple of tattoos and a snappy poop joke or two. Feel free to shout suggestions from the audience, but get there early to guarantee a seat within earshot. Emo's in now, y'know, and this show's likely to be a sellout.