|Studio album by Jimmy Eat World|
|Released||September 28, 2010|
|Recorded||September 2009 – May 2010|
|Genre||Alternative rock, emo|
|Producer||Mark Trombino, Jimmy Eat World|
|Jimmy Eat World chronology|
|Singles from Invented|
Invented is the seventh studio album by American rock band Jimmy Eat World, released on September 28, 2010 through Interscope Records. Recorded primarily at the band's home-based studio, the album was co-produced by Mark Trombino, who had previously worked on the band's earlier material; Static Prevails (1996), Clarity (1999) and Bleed American (2001). The album was preceded by the single "My Best Theory", released on digital download on August 10, 2010.
Released to favourable reviews, Invented sold 34,594 units in the United States during its opening week, and debuted at number five on the Billboard Rock Albums chart and number eleven on the Billboard 200. Lyrically influenced by the photographic works of Cindy Sherman and Hannah Starkey, vocalist, guitarist and lyricist Jim Adkins states that each song is its own "closed narrative," remarking that, "the album title, Invented, refers to a song which I feel sums up the mood here, but could also be taken more literally as this album is the deepest into character writing we have tried so far."
Background & recording
Jimmy Eat World first announced that they were working on their follow up to Chase This Light in June 2008. At around this time vocalist and guitarist Jim Adkins began "randomly looking at photographs by people like Cindy Sherman and trying to take ten-fifteen minutes and write down everything that came to mind about the image and the character. Later on in the day I would be working on my own songs, and some of the more interesting parts of those writing sessions started creeping in." Adkins states that around 85-90% of the album's lyrics stem from this experiment, and that Sherman's Completely Untitled Film Still series, and Hannah Starkey’s Photographs 1997-2007, were key influences. Upon release, Invented included four individual pictures, designed to look like instant camera photographs, outwith the album's standard CD artwork.
Whilst working on this new material, the band embarked upon a ten year "anniversary tour", celebrating the release of their second studio album, Clarity. Vocalist and guitarist Jim Adkins states that the tour did not have a direct influence on the forthcoming material but notes that "it was an overall confidence booster because it's kind of an amazing that ten years on people still like records we made in the '90s."
Whilst on tour, the band became reacquainted with Clarity's producer Mark Trombino, and decided to work with him once again for their forthcoming album. Trombino also produced the band's first studio album, Static Prevails (1996), and their commercial breakthrough, Bleed American (2001). Jimmy Eat World subsequently began recording tracks at their home studio and rehearsal space, Unit 2 in Tempe, Arizona. After "taking [the] songs as far as [they] could," the band emailed them to Trombino, who was based in Los Angeles. Jim Adkins remarked, "[Mark] would do a mix of it and add production ideas and we would just kind of go back and forth like that. [He] is the wizard at computers, and the history that we have working with him we don't have with anybody else, so it made sense on the familiarity level and the ease of working level." Although the band and Trombino spent little time together in the studio, Trombino joined Jimmy Eat World "a couple of times", with Adkins travelling to Los Angeles to join Trombino during the mixing process. Regarding the overall recording process, Jim Adkins stated: "I could definitely see our approach being a standard working method in the future for a lot of people. It frees up a lot of our geographic restrictions for both the producer and the band; it's not just someone next door."
Guitarist and backing vocalist Tom Linton wrote and sang lead vocals on "Action Needs an Audience", marking his first lead vocal appearance in eleven years. Adkins states that "the music for 'Action Needs an Audience' was sitting around for a long time. I was trying to write lyrics for it but wasn't happy with anything I was coming up with. Tom was always championing that song as something we needed to keep working on, so we all decided that he should take a crack at writing lyrics for it then. It's cool. I think it really works."
Singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews provided backing vocals for five of the album's tracks. Adkins, who met Andrews through mutual friends in Phoenix, Arizona, described her as "extremely talented", and stated that she is "very versatile; she can sing really high. [...] There’s a few spots on the record that I knew I wanted a female vocal. [...] She came down and cut those and it worked out so well. I put her to work on some other things that I thought might be interesting to get more voices in there." Andrews subsequently joined the band on tour, with Adkins stating, "there's female vocals on most of our records, so it's nice to have that represented live. [...] It's nice having her around to cover the higher stuff that I don’t normally do live."
Upon release, guitarist and vocalist Jim Adkins stated: "Given what we know about making records and what we are technically are able to do, I think it's our best work so far. I have little complaints about it."
|The A.V Club||B+|
Invented received positive reviews from most music critics. Sampling sixteen reviews, the review aggregator website Metacritic gave the album a weighted average score of 68, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Writing for AbsolutePunk, Chris Fallon was highly impressed with the album and awarded a score of 93%. Fallon praised the production work of Mark Trombino; "Taking elements of 1999's Clarity and 2001's Bleed American, Trombino fuses sprinkles of electronic production with melodic structures that contain a darker, rawer nature (much akin to 2004's Futures). The title track and "Mixtape" are gorgeous illustrations of just how talented Jimmy Eat World is: inescapable bass lines swallowed by impactful percussion that are engulfed by storm clouds of dynamic guitar work and melody." Kyle Ryan of The A.V Club was also favorable in his review and gave the album a "B+" grade. He wrote, "songs boast huge-sounding guitars, like “Evidence,” “Invented,” and “My Best Theory,” whose thick fuzz recalls Smashing Pumpkins. But the seven-minute “Invented” spends more time exploring a sparser mood, as does the six-minute-plus closer, “Mixtape”. In the end, Jimmy Eat World strikes a balance between its basics (big guitars and catchy sing-alongs) and the musical growth of the past 16 years. Invented is less a return to form than a compendium of what Jimmy Eat World does so well."
BBC Music journalist Mike Haydock also praised the album, writing, "Jimmy Eat World have always been sentimental: they tug on the heart strings with yearning melodies that pound you into snivelling submission. But, crucially, they also know how to rock out. The acoustic guitars on opener "Heart Is Hard to Find" sound crisp and vital; "Coffee and Cigarettes"’ plain melody is driven forward by bringing the bass up high in the mix; and, best of all, "Evidence" broods menacingly before exploding into a glorious burst of distortion." Joshua Khan of Blare magazine awarded a positive four stars out of five in his article about the album; "Invented proves age is simply a number that doesn’t force a group to falter but instead reinvents nostalgic butterflies and shapes an acoustic ballad destined to be the next stand-in-the-rain love plea."
Ben Patashnik of Rock Sound awarded the album a score of eight out of ten. He did note the "varnished" production, making it "hard to fall in love with until repeated listens unleash its true charms." However, he also added, "‘Coffee And Cigarettes’ and the title track slowly uncurl themselves over the course of a few days and before you know it, it feels like Jimmy Eat World never went away." Sputnikmusic staff writer Mike Stagno awarded the album a "great" 3½ out of five grading. He explained that, "Invented reins in Jimmy Eat World after Chase This Light. It still possesses the same inviting, feel-good sentiment, but it's expressed more personably, and in this regard it makes for a very rewarding listen." British rock magazine Kerrang! awarded an "excellent" four K! score and opined, "Invented is a return to the creative peaks of yore. It's a record rich with twinkling sonic subtleties, timeless melodies and characteristically layered, epic tunes."
Other reviews were less receptive. In particular Andrew Leahey of Allmusic only awarded the album 2½ stars out of five and critiqued, "Invented, as tuneful as it may be, still plays an odd role in Jimmy Eat World’s discography, since it can’t quite figure out how to transcend a genre - one that Jimmy Eat World helped invent." Spin magazine writer Mikael Wood awarded the album a lukewarm six out of ten and wrote that, "even the amped-up standouts (like "Coffee and Cigarettes") are beginning to feel a bit by the numbers." Jonathan Keefe of Slant magazine gave the album two-and-a-half out of five stars and bemoaned its mastering, stating, "Unfortunately, Invented is yet another album to have lost the so-called loudness war. Every element of the album, from the lead guitars right down to the female harmony vocals on the title track, is pitched to be as loud as everything else, and the result is suffocating." Ash Dosanjh of NME said that the album "certainly doesn't veer very far from their past emotional sensibilities."
|Australian Albums Chart (ARIA)||20|
|Canada Top 100 Albums (Jam!)||22|
|Canada Alternative Albums (Jam!)||5|
|U.K Albums Chart (The Official Charts Company)||29|
|US Billboard 200||11|
|US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)||2|
|US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)||3|
|Canadian Albums (Billboard)||21|
|1.||"Heart Is Hard to Find"||3:18|
|2.||"My Best Theory"||3:23|
|6.||"Coffee and Cigarettes"||3:46|
|10.||"Action Needs an Audience"||2:45|
|13.||"You and I" (Wilco cover)||3:19|
|14.||"Coffee and Cigarettes (Acoustic)"||3:45|
|15.||"Precision Auto" (Superchunk cover)||2:43|
|17.||"Mixtape (Acoustic) (iTunes exclusive)"||3:16|
The following personnel contributed to Invented:
- Jimmy Eat World
- Jim Adkins – lead vocals, lead guitar, lyrics, art direction
- Rick Burch – bass guitar, backing vocals
- Zach Lind – drums, percussion
- Tom Linton – rhythm guitar, piano, vocals, lead vocals on "Action Needs An Audience," lyrics
- Additional musicians
- Courtney Marie Andrews – backing vocals on "Heart Is Hard to Find", "Movielike", "Coffee and Cigarettes", "Cut", and "Invented"
- Rachel Haden – backing vocals on "Stop"
- Doug Borrmann - synthesiser
- Mark Trombino - producer, mixing, additional recording
- Jimmy Eat World - co-production, recording
- Ted Jensen - mastering
- David Campbell - string arrangement, conductor
- Wesley Seidman - strings recording
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