#98 – Jimmy Eat World – Sweetness (2002)
First heard: 2002
Why it’s on the List: By 2002 I’d heard more about Jimmy Eat World than actually heard their songs. Back then my online haunts were mostly punk band forums. Stick around those places long enough and you get some pretty sweet music recommendations. For sure, there’s no way I end up listening to 90% of the stuff I loved from that time in my life if it wasn’t for a few boards and some awesome users.
Jimmy Eat World was a relative popular band on the forums by the time they released their major label debut. Bleed American, the lead single I’d first heard while shopping at Scheels in Eau Claire, was a solid if unremarkable pop-punk tune. Unlike most of the other radio friendly songs from the genre back then, Bleed American and other JEW songs weren’t expressly about girls. It was something different.
Then The Middle hit the airwaves, and the band exploded on the backs of their titillating and memorable music video. MTV played it constantly, and Jimmy Eat World had arrived. Even my dad was singing their songs.
But it isn’t The Middle making this list, it was the single that followed. What I remember most about Sweetness, other than the music video, was the awesome tempo and insanely catchiness of the hooks. It hasn’t gotten old, not in almost ten years. I still have the song in heavy rotation, and that’s why it’s making the list.