Jimmy Eat World have been pumping out tunes for over two decades now. Nine albums later, Integrity Blues shows the band still has it.
The band has a very solid grip on their sound. It's very refined on Integrity Blues, but there are a few places that show some deviation. The first two tracks are pure alt. rock, 'You With Me' opening the record with feel-good, upbeat melodies with a slight somber recollection in them to truly achieve that sound. 'Sure and Certain' follows through with summer vibes, energetic, driven choruses and a sweet bridge with some tasty guitar licks.
The album has a generally positive sound overall, some tracks prioritizing emotion while others craft it into their groove. 'Pretty Grids' has emphasis on its emotion and melody, though it feels like, to me, the melody doesn't function in the way it should: it's too dreamy and feels a bit lazy. Emotional performance takes priority in 'The End Is Beautiful', the acoustic guitars and bittersweet lyrics culminating to sweet song that unfortunately is plagued by becoming too repetitive. The same is true for title track 'Integrity Blues', which features raw vocals and symphonic elements.
Integrity Blues isn't all about hitting somber memories, though. There are some jammier moments, albeit limited. 'Pass The Baby' starts of slow with a programmed beat and clean bass, slowly building up to the end with a big, jammy rock n' roll riff. 'Get Right' follows up and instead of building up to it, it starts rolling from the start. It's one of the most driven songs on the record, chunky guitars leading its verse under a badass melody. The choruses are groovy with subtle power to them. This one'll have you headbanging.
The album's end is the nearly seven minute epic 'Pol Roger'. It's a very summative track, seeming to take bits and pieces of every song and forming them into one big track. The slow build of 'Baby', the symphonies of 'Integrity Blues', and the melancholy melodies of 'You With Me' are just a few callbacks in this track. It's a strong end to the record, though it could've admittedly ended more powerfully. It's final minute is a fade out of ambience, which would be strong in different scenarios - this isn't one of them. It does feel, though, like a natural conclusion to the record.
Jimmy Eat World haven't lost their touch just yet. Integrity Blues is another solid effort from the band, and though it could've been better off with a bit more drive and power throughout it, it still holds up. The next record will be their tenth, and that's a big one: if it'll follow up the subtle emotion of Integrity Blues is yet to be seen, but there won't be many complaints if it does.
Favorite Tracks: Get Right, Sure and Certain, You With Me
Least Favorite Tracks: Pretty Grids, Through
Rating: 70 / 100