Review: Barely ‘Surviving’

Rock band Jimmy Eat World releases underwhelming 10th album

Courtesy of Exotic Location Recordings.

Courtesy of Exotic Location Recordings.

Three years after its previous album release, rock band Jimmy Eat World released its 10th studio album on Friday, Oct. 18. “Surviving” has a total of 10 songs, including its singles “All the Way (Stay)” and “Love Never.” The band returned to some of its original rock roots, not continuing with the same emotional vibe as its past album, “Integrity Blues,” and instead being more energetic.

Opening the album, the track “Surviving” sounds like most of the band’s other music. It’s not awful, but it is also not the band’s best work. The band portrays the message of “life happens a certain way for a reason” very well with lyrics such as “Don’t hide your face, what you were before, it doesn’t have to be you anymore.” The only problem is the music doesn’t portray those same emotions; that meaning is lost between the lyrics and the music which causes listeners to not feel a strong emotional connection to the song.

A lack of creativity is incredibly present with the following track, “Criminal Energy.” The song’s intro is almost identical to “Surviving” down to the guitar riffs and drum beats, with the only difference being the intensity of the music. Although “Surviving” has a significant meaning to the band, it becomes boring when listening due to the overused sound.

Creating a nice contrast to the rock songs on the album, “555” is mellow and slow-paced. The music video released along with this track, which is based on a science-fiction post apocalyptic event, needs to be watched in order to truly feel the full effect of the song. Not everyone watches the music video and it makes the song seem pointless. Overall, the track is a pleasant break from the rest of the rock songs. 

“All The Way (Stay),” the sixth song on the album, is clearly the standout track of the album. With lyrics like “I believe what I’ve learned has worth and what I choose to do means something,” the album touches on the importance of accepting vulnerability. Closer to the end of the song, there’s an unexpected but outstanding saxophone solo. The implementation of a saxophone adds an interesting touch to the album and it’s one of the only songs on the album that left an impact.

“Congratulations” finishes the album. Lasting over six minutes, it feels like the song drags on. It seems to be an anticlimactic track until 3:18, where it’s silent before the drums and guitar start picking the pace. Apart from the unexpected turn, the band manages to weave politically-charged lyrics into this track. An example of this is “You’ll blame and fight each other, for just a slice of plunder. Too down and tired to wonder whose foot you’re crawling under.”

Unlike Jimmy Eat World’s previous album, “Integrity Blues,” this album brings nothing new or exciting to the table. With only two songs that stand out, “Surviving” receives 2.5 out of 5 stars. Although there are songs with great potential, the unoriginality was the cause of the album’s fall.