Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American (2001)

With their emotional, atmospheric roots and tight pop sensibility, Jimmy Eat World created a landmark in mainstream alt-rock that still appeals nearly a decade later.

Rating: 4/5

I was introduced to Jimmy Eat World's most successful outing to date in the summer of 01, shortly after its release.  I was merely 12, and absolutely loved the hooky pop-rock candy goodness in some of the songs, but didn't really explore it, naturally.  Over the years my musical tastes have expanded quite considerably, but this album still stands out as one of the best of its kind, a strong attempt from a seasoned group trying to be honest, accessible, and rockin'.

Individually, every song on this album is good and is worth listening to.  None of them are largely challenging, the songs are very stripped and basic, which works for them.  Some are more generic than others ("If You Don't, Don't"), but my ideas of what is generic may be influenced by music that's been released since.  Still, every now and then the album comes off as a bit tame compared to the band's previous works.

All in all, as an album it's a standout in honest personal songwriting and has an strong grip of pop aesthetics.  Listening start to finish, though, reveals consistency issues on the track order that take slightly away from the total package.  Check out my track-by-track rundown for more information on that.

Pros: Great songwriting, excellent music overall, strong pop sensibility
Cons: Some songs are a bit too safe, pacing and consistency issues

Standout Track: Sweetness


  1. This was one of my favorite albums when I was in high school. I listened to it almost every single day when I was a freshman, and it still hasn't gotten old. For what they were doing, they did it well.

    I agree about 'Hear You Me'. I remember my dad driving my brother and me back to Houston after attending a funeral service for my grandmother perfectly, it came on while the album was playing, and it just suited the mood so perfectly.

    Anyways, you know I'm already a huge supporter of this blog. Keep up the work!

  2. interestingly in England this was officially a self titled album. It was released just before 9/11 so not sure why they chose to change the title. Still, great review and brilliant album!