Album Review
Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American Album Cover

Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American

Reviewed by
Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American
Release Date: July 18, 2001
Record Label: Dreamworks/Geffen
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
This review is part of our Retro Reviews project, where we take a look back at some significant records from yesteryear.

Only after several years can you begin to notice the influence a record has had. Some may say it takes foresight to know whether a record will become legendary, but there’s no way to really predict something like that. For this Retro Review project, we’re reviewing records that are a minimum of 10 years old – and with Jimmy Eat World’s Bleed American celebrating its 10th birthday on July 18, I can’t think of a better place to start.

The “Class of ’01,” not to infringe on AltPress’ phrase or anything, is very impressive. Bleed American, however, might be my favorite record from that entire year, and it would certainly be on a list of my all-time favorites from the genre. Jimmy Eat World does have a sense of early-decade pop-punk on the album, but it’s infused with their now-unmistakable brand of angst-ridden emo, making it a pop-punk sound no other bands have successfully duplicated. Bleed American was the launching point for Jimmy Eat World’s commercial success as well, spawning multiple hit singles.

The most celebrated of those singles were, of course, “The Middle” and “Sweetness.” While the latter is the catchier of the pair, the former is quite possibly one of the most flawless alt-rock No. 1 singles ever. Interestingly enough, neither song is as impressive as the opening title track; starting the record off with an adrenaline-filled dark guitar riff before delving into a chorus that has withstood the test of time, “Bleed American” is still clamored for by fans at live shows. The fourth and final single, all of which cracked the Top 20 on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart, was “A Praise Chorus.” The release of the singles shows how stacked the first half of Bleed American is – all four of those songs appear in the tracklisting within the first five tracks.

That doesn’t mean the album’s b-side is disappointing, though. In fact, it’s surprising that neither “Hear You Me” nor “If You Don’t, Don’t” were released as a classic mid-tempo single. The former probably could have seen major success, with its perfectly produced refrain of, “May angels lead you in.” That brings us to another point – if Mark Trombino wasn’t already a highly sought-after producer before Bleed American, his nearly flawless job on the album certainly helped build his reputation.

Not one to worry fans of their more upbeat style, Jimmy Eat World picks up the pace again before the end of Bleed American in the form of the explosive “Get It Faster” and the brilliant “Authority Song.” Undoubtedly the best song on the second half of the record and a contender among those four singles for the best overall track, “Authority Song” is a hand-clapping, foot-stomping, even danceable number at times. The punk shades are still there, especially in the double-taps coming from Zach Lind’s snare. With the exception of “Sweetness,” the song also might contain Jim Adkins’ best vocal performance on Bleed American.

Praising this album is something that can’t be done enough. Certainly one of the most memorable records of 2001, Bleed American might actually have the most lasting power of any album from that class. There are no bad songs – nothing that even resembles a bad note, really – and it’s needless to say that countless groups have been influenced by the legacy that Jimmy Eat World has left. Worth noting is the triple LP re-release of this record that was recently distributed via Record Store Day. Featuring over 20 songs of b-sides and alternative versions, the re-release is essentially a more in-depth look at Jimmy Eat World’s style around the time of Bleed American – a must-listen for fans who appreciate this record more than the group’s other releases.

Recommended If You LikeIf you have actually never listened to this album or band before and are in need of a RIYL, drop whatever you're doing, download the record and listen to it immediately.
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Bare Essentials1. Bleed American
2. A Praise Chorus
3. The Middle
4. Your House
5. Sweetness
6. Hear You Me
7. If You Don't, Don't
8. Get It Faster
9. Cautioners
10. The Authority Song
11. My Sundown

Tracklist From The 3XLP Record Store Day Re-Release:

Side C:

1) The Most Beautiful Things - from the Good To Go EP
2) No Sensitivity - from the German "The Middle" single
3) (Splash) Turn Twist - from The Middle (And More) EP
4) Cautioners early version - from the Good To Go EP
5) Firestarter - b-side of the "Last Christmas" single

Side D:

1) Get It Faster sessions aol version - previously unreleased
2) Bleed American live - from The Middle/A Praise Chorus Tour EP
3) A Praise Chorus live - from the Good To Go EP
4) Softer live - from the Good To Go EP

Side E:

1) The Middle acoustic - from The Middle/A Praise Chorus Tour EP
2) If You Don't Don't xfm session - from the UK "The Middle" single
3) Game Of Pricks radio 1 session - from the UK "The Middle" single
4) The Authority Song demo - from the German "Bleed American" single
5) My Sundown inner ear recording - from Believe In What You Want
6) Sweetness live - previously unreleased

Side F:

1) Last Christmas - limited edition singe
2) My Sundown demo - from the German "Bleed American" single
3) Spangle - from the Good To Go EP
4) Hear You Me inner ear recording - from Believe In What You Want
5) The Middle early demo - from the German "The Middle" single
6) Your House 2007 - previously unreleased

Produced By: Mark Trombino, Run Time: 46.5 minutes
Star Rating: A resounding 5 out of 5 Stars.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 120
11:50 PM on 07/25/11
The Summer Ends
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The Summer Ends's Avatar
futures > bleed american

but still bleed american is a classic
11:58 PM on 07/25/11
Why do you stay till you see blood?
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NateFoundGlory's Avatar
futures > bleed american

but still bleed american is a classic
Agreed 100%. Cool review, I like this idea.
12:17 AM on 07/26/11
Just another false alarm
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palebluedot's Avatar
This is by far my favorite jimmy eat world album. I can't believe it's already been 10 years since it was released. It never gets old
12:30 AM on 07/26/11
New User Title
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PeeDster's Avatar
2001....i feel old.
12:51 AM on 07/26/11
Karl Hansen
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Karl Hansen's Avatar
futures > bleed american

but still bleed american is a classic
I thought I was the only one with this opinion
12:56 AM on 07/26/11
Regular Member
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Poll's Avatar
One of the best albums ever. Love it.
12:59 AM on 07/26/11
I'm starting to decompose
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2LW's Avatar
Can't believe i was 10 when this released. I feel young.
01:07 AM on 07/26/11
Burnette Drive
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simplejack's Avatar
In 2001 my favourite album was Take Off Your Pants And Jacket but I didn't know all of these amazing bands I discovered with AP.net. This album is a classic and this site needed a review for it. And yeah, I can't explain myself why they hadn't released Hear You Me as a single. And, My Sundown is one of the most beautiful songs they've ever written.
01:21 AM on 07/26/11
Co and Ca
What are you doing here?
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Co and Ca's Avatar

me too. damn it feels good to be a gangsta.
01:25 AM on 07/26/11
jmh // hth
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No Avatar Selected
bleed american > clarity and futures, in my opinion. so solid.

hard to believe this came out ten years ago already... jesus.
01:27 AM on 07/26/11
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jco3's Avatar
futures > bleed american

but still bleed american is a classic
I'm gonna agree.
02:04 AM on 07/26/11
Registered Member
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Searos's Avatar
takes me back. This had been played in my car so much. <3 Jimmy Eat World
02:12 AM on 07/26/11
Regular Member
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Half_Invented!'s Avatar
love hearing the b-sides on the re-release. you really hear the transition from clarity, and Your House 2007 is sooo good
02:21 AM on 07/26/11
life in the greenhouse effect
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ReadyForAction's Avatar
Authority Song is the fucking greatest

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