At the dawn of 2011, Jimmy Eat World is one of the few early-'90s indie bands to blow up without getting bashed for selling out. The group's longevity — it's lasted nearly 18 continuous years, with new studio albums appearing every two or three years — has fed both its critical and commercial success.
In 1993, the outfit was still largely an inward-looking, punk-derived act, whereas its critically acclaimed 1999 album, Clarity, invoked endless moist-eyed nostalgia across the blogosphere during its recent tenth anniversary. Plus, even if 2001's Bleed American isn't an immediately recognizable title, the hooks of lead single "The Middle" have kept the song embedded on modern-rock radio playlists to this day.
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The latest Jimmy Eat World record is the group's seventh full-length effort, Invented. Released last September on Interscope, it's a further microevolution of the band's signature caffeinated rock, although it preserves its familiar hallmark: just enough mellow acoustic consideration to temper the high-octane, distorted power chords, all wrapped up in tightly wound production.