RCA (2016) US, EU
Integrity Blues is the ninth full-length album from multi-platinum Mesa, AZ rock band Jimmy Eat World and one lead singer and guitarist Jim Adkins says, "is about trying to overcome that personal struggle instead of getting upset with what life could be that it isn't." They recorded the album in Los Angeles, CA with producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Paramore, M83), offering a different setting from their usual Arizona digs.
With warm production and a powerful upbeat groove, Integrity Blues' first single "Sure and Certain" pairs a buzzing guitar hum with an unshakable chant. Meanwhile, the gorgeously minimal title track "Integrity Blues" tempers orchestral, cinematic overtones with a stark and striking vocal performance. Elsewhere on the record, "Get Right" snaps into an energetic refrain, while "Through" serves up one of the band's hookiest moments to date.
"You Are Free" flaunts one of the group's most hummable and heartfelt refrains, serving as another high watermark. "It Matters" illuminates the band's diverse sonic palette and covers what Adkins describes as "a central theme about the idea that a sense of comfort comes from within and not just external validation." "Pass The Baby" builds from a delicate heartbeat-style click into a deliberate and distorted explosion. Near seven-minute closer "Pol Roger" carves out an emotional and entrancing climax encased in a rapture of guitars and vocals, which Adkins says, "felt like the right way to sum everything up."