10.23.2007

JEW - Chase The Light review

So, Chase the Light was released last Tuesday, and I'm here to give you the Evil Homer take on it.

My initial impression was a little bit of a let down. Both Futures and Bleed American their self titled album had at least one song that grabs you on the first listen. Chase the Light lacked that for me. However, this is a really solid album, and I found several favorites upon a second listen.

Jim Adkins continues to put together powerful lyrics about life's troubles. "Always Be" expresses a deep sense of loneliness, whilst an almost chipper beat slaps along in the background (yeah, I used "whilst"). Many JEW songs have that odd dichotomy of having dark lyrics, but still make you want to crank up your stereo.

"Carry You" continues JEW's ability to weave guitar harmonies and background vocals to create a really pretty song. For me, Carry You reminds me of the songs from the indie/emo masterpiece that was Clarity. It paints a picture of a couple that cannot last long, but must enjoy the moment.

However, Chase the Light doesn't get it right on every track. "Gotta Be Somebody's Blues" feels like it was produced by someone listening to a Phil Collins album in the 80's. For me, the song lacks enough content, but is overflowing with reverb on the vocals and drums. Folowing that is "Feeling Lucky," which for me also lacks any depth. It feels way too polished with no real style to begin with.

Speaking of producers, I was greatly surprised to see that Butch Vig of Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and Sonic Youth fame had something to do with this album. I'm not sure what kind of drugs he must have been on, because this album most noticeably lacks the edge that he is known to bring to a project. The vocals and keys on "Here it Goes" sound more like a boy band project than a rock band.

That all aside, if there is one thing that JEW always nails on their albums, its the closing track. And "Dizzy" continues that awesome tradition. The distinctive double tap kick drum lets you know this song is not here to play. It builds into a beautiful and powerful crescendo that leaves the album feeling full and strong.

Overall, I think this album adds another good notch to the catalog of quality music by Mesa, Arizona's finest. I give it 6 Homers.


Carry You

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