Jimmy Eat World

Futures (Interscope)

Three years doesn't seem like a long time between records, but kids today -- sorry, but that's who buys Jimmy Eat World albums -- don't have that much patience. The high school sophomore who fell for Jimmy Eat World's 2001 breakthrough, Bleed American, is now a college freshman falling for -- I don't know, the Shins? The current crop of high school sophomores are breathlessly instant-messaging about Taking Back Sunday. So while Futures finds Jimmy Eat World playing to the same strengths that sold a few million copies of Bleed American -- snappy guitars, sappy lyrics -- it probably won't be enough. The title track, with its subtle, "I hope for better in November" pro-Kerry endorsement, is a bid to break out of the teen ghetto the players were stuck in after the pants-optional video for "The Middle." But the second half of the disc drags them back to sixth-period study hall. With so much teen-guy angst and thwarted sexuality, Futures is fine if high school is still an open wound. Not so much if you're pushing thirty.
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