Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Album Review - Jimmy Eat World: Clarity Live

Let’s just get this out of the way now. I don’t think Clarity is Jimmy Eat World’s best work. Do I think that Clarity contains some of JEW’s best work? Absolutely. In fact, there is not one song off the album that I don’t thoroughly enjoy. The simple fact is they have become one of those bands that have gotten progressively better with each subsequent release. A lot of their newer work blows songs off Clarity out of the water.

I think Clarity suffers from the “I liked their old stuff better” syndrome. It’s become the thing to throw in someone’s face to prove you listened to band X for so many years longer than somebody else. But alas, this is not why I’ve come out of blog hibernation fellow bloggers. I come to you with a tale of excitement, adventure, epic fight scenes and big explosions. Would you settle for one of pure nostalgia? I did not have the good fortune to catch JEW on their Clarity X 10 Anniversary, as it appears all good bands hate Michigan nowadays. Although it saddened me, I was enthralled to hear that they were recording the last show of the tour for a digital only release to be sold through their website.

On top of giving you something like 5 available formats to purchase the album, you get to hear clarity from front to back including two bonus songs (b-sides What I Would Say To You Now and No Sensitivity), a digital booklet with photos from the tour and two hi-res press photos of the band. Not a bad package right? And for only $8.99, nothing should stop you from picking this up.

If you’re a fan of the band, you will love this. If you’re a fan of Clarity, you will absolutely love this. And for those that signed the petition, you’ll be happy to know the rendition of Goodbye Sky Harbor pushes eight minutes with plenty of harmonies, looped vocal tracks, xylophone. It sounds…PERFECT. Like the goosebumps on my arms kind of perfect. The album as a whole is flawless. It’s exactly what I would expect a live recording of the band to sound like. The raw emotion put into songs like “Blister”, “For Me This Is Heaven”, and “Crush”, just for example, go above and beyond what I expected.

On top of releasing this through their website and not through iTunes so the fans could get high quality lossless formats of the recordings, the band also performed a 6-song Clarity set on their website last night. You just don’t see this from bands nowadays.

From the moment I first heard “For Me This Is Heaven” as a freshman in high school, I knew this band would be one of those that I looked back on with great pride, one that shaped me as a person both musically and emotionally. The Clarity Live album brings back every single memory I had ever attached to the songs. Here’s to ten more years.

For more information, check out the band's website

You can also stream a song (A Sunday) from the album: here!


jack said...

I hear you about people using "I like their old stuff better" as a crutch, but in Jimmy Eat World's case, I do personally think Clarity is their best album.

Steve said...

I'm definately with you on the comment about how people use "I like their old stuff more" to make people feel like they should have found out about the band earlier.

Clarity is one of my favorites, but Futures is really at the top of my list (though, it helps to have the Japanese import version). A lot of their best stuff seems to be their B-sides, and their demos often put a twist on a song you already like.

I want to get Clarity Live, but I really don't like buying digital. Most of my music collection is on CDs, and what I don't get on CD, I don't pay for. I might make an exception for Jimmy Eat World, though. They're that good.

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