October 12, 2009 Ten Years in the Making…
Can you still feel the butterflies?
There was something special about the late nineties. Maybe it was the impeding approach of the new millennium or the sense that nothing could go wrong in the wake of America’s flourishing economic climate, but whatever it was, the latter half of the decade produced some significant pop culture artifacts. Although the pieces of late-nineties pop culture that I enjoy are not the most mainstream, I have quite a serious affinity for them. To name a few: the movies Can’t Hardly Wait, and Idle Hands (both appreciated, but great, and also both coincidentally featuring Seth Green. Do I notice a pattern here?), and of course, classic emo albums.
In the late nineties, the members of Jimmy Eat World were the poster boys of the genre, and their seminal 1999 release “Clarity” is now considered one of the definitive albums of the modern emo sound. Although the single from the album, Lucky Denver Mint, was used in the Drew Barrymore Movie “Never Been Kissed,” the CD was a commercial failure and the band was dropped from Capital Records.
As it is with all great recordings, however, the recording soon circulated among listeners through word-of-mouth recommendations and garnered a new substantial fan base for the band. It also virtually defined the sound for modern emo music. As a result of the CDs subsequent underground success, Jimmy Eat World was then able to self-finance their third album, “Bleed American,” and the rest has been post-millennial history.
Though the band has gone on to record many other albums, “Clarity” still stands as a testament to the height of their creative powers and ability to combine alternative, electronic, indie, and emo styles together to create a mesmerizing listening experience. Although I could post up every single track from the album and expound on their greatness, my favorite ones are “Ten” and “For Me This is Heaven“. Ten has some amazing harmonies make me think of all of the beautiful things in the world wrapped together, and “For Me This is Heaven” has a swirling background that sounds like cold autumn leaves dropping outside of my window.
Also, like PB&J or Abbot & Costello, Autumn and emo music just go together perfectly for me. Something about the gradual chill creeping into the air, my birthday (today!), and halloween (my favorite holiday) make me want to listen to beautiful songs like these two Jimmy Eat World tracks. So go outside with these songs on your listening device of choice and marvel at the changing beauty of the world. As for me, I’m still in awe of my quick exodus from teenage-hood, but there is nothing else that I would rather listen to during the process.