JIMMY EAT WORLD.CLARITY Clarity came out in 1999 before I had even heard of Jimmy Eat World. I had been introduced like many to the band in 2001 through their self titled album but had been lucky enough to have heard the harder rocking single Bleed American (original album title before 9/11 censored everything) before their breakthrough The Middle. Lucky because I might have written these guys off as just another pop punk band and not known how much deeper their overall sound is. It was right around the time that the third single The Sweetness that I had caved in and bought that album and became a J.E.W. fan. What I found was great rock with great hooks and some of the best melodies and harmonies ever. Now I thrive on the aforementioned things and I stand by this group as the masters of these elements over any other band I've listened too. Now that was my introduction to the band and why I even purchased the album I want to talk about in the first place. As I often do with a band, I track down their back catalog and buy it. I bought two albums: One being the 1996 debut Static Prevails and one being the follow up Clarity. Static Prevails is a good album in it's own right and a great way to hear a band in it's rougher stages. The ground work is there, it's got potential but things need a little cleaning up and the band needs to find it's voice. That voice was Clarity! One thing that was changed with Clarity was Jim Adkins who does the main vocals to this day falling into his role as lead vocalist. In Static Prevails he shared vocals with guitarist Tom Linton and it contributed to a sandpaper meets onyx sound which didn't mesh overly well. When Jim took the lead it was like a set of vocal cords sprouting angel wings. This album is the closest pop or punk will ever come to having it's Pet Sounds as the harmonies on hear should inspire every band from that point forth. To me it's 1999 release just signifies and validates my optimism in what I was going to hear in the 2,000's as bands were taken a different direction during those ten years. Hell, J.E.W. are called the modern Godfathers of Emo and I do believe they influenced a revolution in sound. Sure there were other bands credited with creating the sound but this is the album that broke the genre through and created a milestone for it. With this album it was shown that you could play fast strumming punky chords but surround it with something uplifting and ethereal rather than sneering snot rocket vocals and New Wave gloom. This album also embraced a sugary pop rock sound that hadn't been as vital since boy bands were actually called boy bands! I honestly think any Beatles fan willing to listen would appreciate the hooks on this album. Throughout the harmonies and hooks it's spiked with enough of an edge to be a true rock album. So without further ado I'm going to do a track by track of this modern masterpiece and see if I pick up any fans of one of the cornerstones of my collection! Stay tuned as I gradually update this thread!