Initial Reactions to Jimmy Eat World’s “Damage”

This is a first as far as what I’ve written on here so far, but I’m a huge Jimmy Eat World fan, so I thought I’d do a more informal analysis of my personal feelings about the album shortly after release.

Granted, “initial reactions” is a bit of a deceiving term, since I took advantage of the fact that the band was streaming the album on their website for days before the release, and my pre-order actually came yesterday, despite the album’s official release being today.  I’m still formulating my opinions on the album, though, so I feel it’s still appropriate.

My initial feelings about the album can be summed up as follows: I love the album.  I’m also disappointed with it.

The problem with getting a new release from one of your favorite artists is that there’s a lot to stand up against.  You have decently high expectations, because you’ve loved their music in the past, and you have a lot to which to compare the new material.  If this were the first I ever heard of Jimmy Eat World, I’d probably be thrilled with it, but I feel like the band is capable of more.

I mean that, first and foremost, in a literal way.  With only ten songs on the album and none of them much above the average song length, the album doesn’t even run for forty minutes, and I sort of wish there were more new material to enjoy.

Plus, I’m a huge fan of how the band has had a tendency to make some great songs far above average length, such as “Goodbye Sky Harbor,” clocking in at a whopping 16 minutes.  That song, in addition to songs such as “23” (seven minutes) or “Mixtape” (six minutes), have been some of my favorite songs of theirs in addition to making for great ways to close off their albums.

Granted, the closing track is still excellent and stands apart in its own way, and not all of their closing tracks in the past have been longer than an average song.  I was just hoping to see that pattern continued on this album.

Aside from those complaints, I’m not in love with the album yet, but I don’t count that as a negative or a disappointing factor.  Almost all of my favorite albums took months for me to really come to appreciate every song.  For example, I had four initial favorites from Jimmy Eat World’s previous release, and now I love the entire album.  (I gather that that’s a sort of unpopular opinion as far as fans of the band go, which is a matter of some distress for me.  I may end up talking about my thoughts on that album at some point, too.)

For now, I love the more basic, stripped-down feel of this most recent release.  I’m pleased with what we got.  I just wish there were a bit more there.

Expect a full review of the album in the near future.

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