CD Reviews

With the disappointing release of 2004’s Futures leaving the usually ever-dynamic quartet sounding flat and unoriginal, Jimmy Eat World’s Chase This Light redeems the group and provokes a deep sigh of relief.

Of course, it isn’t an easy feat for Jimmy Eat World to produce an album with a musical perfection like 1999’s Clarity and a cult favorite like 2001’s Bleed American to live up to. But Jimmy seems to have found a way to combine some elements of the two in certain tracks on Chase This Light.

The crunchy riffs right off the bat in first track “”Big Casino”” are reminiscent of Bleed American, along with “”Let it Happen,”” which is typical Jimmy and flows easily through wavy guitar work.

“”Electable (Give It Up)”” might as well be stamped as a live staple and anthem for Jimmy shows to come – it is high-charged and successful with a chorus of blunt ohs. Chase This Light comes to an abrupt halt when singer and guitarist Jim Adkins seemingly attempts to impersonate the late Elliott Smith in “”Gotta Be Somebody’s Blues.”” Any fan of Smith would find this song eerily offensive and uncomfortable, for it also exhibits a style and lyrics completely opposite of Jimmy.

Chase This Light
Jimmy Eat World – Interscope Records
Rating: 3 1/2 stars

The last few tracks of the album form a beautiful fusion of stellar qualities from both Clarity and Bleed American.

The title track builds steadily with stammering piano and drums and increases with Adkins’s vocals, backup melodies and intricate guitar. The track feeds flawlessly into “”Firefight,”” which contrasts steady verses with high-charged, emotion-driven lyrics: “”For you and me there’s nowhere left to hide/ Except you and me there’s no one else alive.””

The last three tracks depict a can’t-catch-your-breath feeling of being infinite. “”Dizzy”” conveys the story of two people who were so in love that they were driven to break up, and are trying to fall out of love with the other. The nostalgia of the lyrics and the increasing intensity of strings burn a hole through your heart. The descent of the song closes the album and leaves you hanging painfully, yet rightfully so.

Chase This Light is not one of Jimmy’s best, but it gives us a reason to forgive the band for Futures. We can’t stay mad at the guys forever.

Kelli Hart


Kenna has a gift for making amazing music, but he’s still a mystery in the music industry. His face is obscured in most promotional opportunities and his music has gone relatively unnoticed.

Make Sure They See My Face is a superb work of hip-hop-inspired electro pop.

“”Out of Control (State of Emotion)”” is the album’s most high-profile track, with its booming electronic sounds and smooth, energetic vocals.

Kenna’s usual producer, Chad Hugo of The Neptunes, delivers some killer production on this album. Hugo’s

superstar partner, Pharrell Williams, also lends a hand on a couple jams, including “”Loose Wires.”” The track is catchy, creative and an extension of The Neptunes’ style.

“”Isn’t it electric in here?”” asks Kenna and Pharrell in the track’s chorus. That’s a rhetorical question, because they know damn well their track is hot.

Make Sure They See My Face
Kenna – Interscope Records
Rating: 4 stars

“”Better Wise Up”” echoes Radiohead’s atmospheric guitar hooks while still keeping an R&B-style groove. Kenna urges you to “”wise up,”” as if asking to take notice of his music.

Make Sure They See My Face isn’t a perfect album, but it’s a fabulous one for the moment. Roll down your windows and play it loud.

Patrick Valenzuela


I remember liking Thrice when I was a sophomore in high school. The idea of raging and listening to anger-infused music was really appealing, especially since I was dating a Dave Matthews Band fan. That was in 2002, so picking up a Thrice record now, after my tastes have morphed into appreciating more delicate sounds, is quite a different experience.

The Alchemy Index begins with “”Firebreather,”” a guitar-heavy track that lacks enunciation or a catchy chorus, as Dustin Kensrue, lead singer and lyricist, repeats “”Tell me are you free/ Tell me are you free.”” Yawn, what if I don’t want to?

The album isn’t a disaster, by any means. There is a rather beautiful quality to the beginning of “”Backdraft”” as Kensrue huskily chants through the first stanza before a crescendo lifts his vocals into the chorus. The chorus lacks presence but the rest of the track lends to making “”Backdraft”” the best the album has to offer.

“”Open Water”” evokes a similar style as “”Backdraft”” and serves as a nice interlude between the electronic “”Digital Sea”” and the lethargic “”Lost Continent.””

The Alchemy Index: Vols. I & II
Thrice – Vagrant
Rating: 2 1/2 stars

Although The Alchemy Index is an album by a band that I as a listener can no longer relate to, I find it to be a most worthy attempt towards maturation and experimentation by a group that has gained notoriety due to its post-hardcore status.

Jamie Ross