Surviving is the musical version of a self-help book, but one that actually works. Helping you release the bad vibes in your life and come out of it stronger and more confident.
Many a music fan will tell you of the cathartic release rocking out to your favourite album can bring but in this case, the album was actually designed to bring a sense of relief musically and lyrically. It’s not called Surviving by accident. The title track and opener gently encourage the listener to let go: “don’t hide your face / What you were before / You don’t have to be, be you anymore,” it tells us.
Now Jimmy Eat World may be most famous for that phenomenal emo anthem ‘The Middle’ that was a high school favourite of everyone from scene kids to Taylor Swift. However, they have always been more than one-hit wonders, with the sustainability of a multi-talented band despite not being mainstream. This is their tenth album over their impressive 25-year career which has been cemented by their emotive music style, they literally have emotion oozing out of every note and every word, of every song they ever wrote.
That distinctive voice gets you right in the feels as Jim Adkins sings to you personally about shedding the demons of self-doubt and moving forward. Early on in the song ‘Criminal Energy’ we’re told: “the ghost of recent misery still has a song to sing,” and presumably, a story to tell as this record is one that is close to Adkins heart having undertaken his own personal journey through depression and self-doubt.
Moving on through the tracklisting the listener is presented with ‘555’ which has a pop-like quality. At times it even transports you back to the ’80s, as it could almost be a hit for one of the greats like Queen. It’s one of the more unique songs on the album and is thoroughly enjoyable on many levels. Musically Surviving is a nostalgic album as it returns to a more classic Jimmy Eat World sound, in the sense that it’s an uptempo offering.
This album is a must-listen each track is better than the last, ten tracks of perfection. For high points be sure to absorb the brilliance of the saxophone solo on ‘All The Way’ and the breakdown in the last six-minute long song ‘Congratulations’ closing out the album with true style, even if it becomes a little genre-bending. For low points listen to another record because this one doesn’t have any.