On My Playlist: Top 5 Jimmy Eat World songs

Jimmy Eat World. Photo: Amazon.com
Jimmy Eat World. Photo: Amazon.com

After nine successful album releases and several singles later, Jimmy Eat World is still sticking to their alternative rock roots and have been standing tall for more than two decades.
They have one of the most dedicated fan bases in the industry and have been praised for their unwavering ability to stick to their sound. The band consists of well-known frontman Jim Adkins – lead guitar, lead and backing vocals, Zach Lind – drums, Tom Linton – rhythm guitar, backing and lead vocals, and Rick Burch – bass guitar, backing vocals.
These guys from Mesa, Arizona have gone from strength to strength in their career and going through more than 100 songs in order to pick a top 5 is no easy task. Here is our cream of the crop:
Honourable mentions: ‘Chase This Light’, ‘Here It Goes’, ‘A Praise Chorus’, ‘Futures’, ‘23’, ‘The Authority Song’, ‘Crooked’, ‘Get Right’, ‘Big Casino’.
5. Hear You Me
This is the ultimate Jimmy Eat World ballad, in my opinion, and one of the band’s most underrated songs from their breakthrough album, Bleed American. The song has a powerful acoustic melody that dominates the song in the verse with a complimentary lead guitar piece adding depth in the chorus. The use of various instruments such as a piano also emphasises the slower nature of the track and creates the perfect mood. The song is a sad one that focuses on the death of a loved one and the sadness of letting go of a person, before truly appreciating them. The lyrics are the highlight of this song: ‘What would you think of me now, so lucky, so strong, so proud? I never said thank you for that, now I’ll never have a chance. May angels lead you in. Hear you me, my friends. On sleepless roads the sleepless go. May angels lead you in.’


4. Pain
Pain is one of those tracks that grab your attention right from the beginning with an electric lead intro from Linton and vocals from Adkins: ‘I don’t feel the way I’ve ever felt. I know. I’m gonna smile and not get worried. I try but it shows. Anyone can make what I have built. And better now. Anyone can find the same white pills. It takes my pain away!’ is one of the most powerful lyrics in the genre that focuses on drug addiction, rejection and life’s troubles and pain. This is one of Jimmy Eat World’s best songs because the instrumentation and lyrics just work perfectly to showcase the frayed mentality theme that this song portrays. The lead guitar solo from Adkins is one of the best parts of this multi-dimensional song that gets better with each and every listen.


3. Sweetness
‘If you’re listening, wooo ahh wooo oh’ is how this song hits you straight on the eardrums from the first second. The pounding drums and breaks in the clean and distorted guitar parts make it come alive with added dimension and really add some edge to this pop punk track from Bleed American. This is one of Jimmy Eat World’s most well-known numbers and most loved by its fans, mainly because of the great sing-along quality and frenetic pace.

2. Bleed American
The most hardcore and intense song on this playlist is the truthful look at the state of America and its violent and emotionally unstable part of its population. The intro and guitar work, in itself, is quite frenetic and ties in with the overall message of the song. The lyrics are also tongue in cheek and brilliantly written: I’m not alone cause the TVs on yeah. I’m not crazy cause I take the right pills every day.’
The chorus also looks at Americans and their cold hearts and somewhat emotionless nature. ‘Salt, sweat, sugar on the asphalt. Our hearts littering the topsoil. Tune in and we can get the last call. Our lives, our coal.’ The guitar solo in the bridge is also something to feed your ears on as the song ends on a frenetic note as Adkins gives a chilling vocal performance.


1. The Middle
This is the quintessential Jimmy Eat World song and one of the most well-known songs from the early 2000s. The lyrics and easy listening beat captivate listeners like nothing else. The song has a fantastic hook in the chorus and its inspiring and positive lyrics were, and still are, relevant to teenagers and young adults in their search for identity and purpose. An anthem for the ones who don’t fit in, one might say. ‘Hey, don’t write yourself off yet. It’s only in your head you feel left out or looked down on. Just try your best, try everything you can. And don’t you worry what they tell themselves when you’re away. It just takes some time. Little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride. Everything, everything will be just fine, Everything, everything will be alright, alright.’

  AUTHOR
Wouter Pienaar
Sport Journalist

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