Dreamworks - 2004 - 57 minutes

Given that their last two albums (2001's self-titled opus and 1999's 'Clarity') are classics, was it too much to expect three-in-a-row from Jimmy Eat World? It appears so, with 'Futures' strong but rarely spectacular.

In the past they've crafted songs that none of their peers can touch; here, however, there are too many - admittedly good - tracks that either shadow the sound of their hit 'Salt, Sweat, Sugar' ('Just Tonight', 'Pain' and 'Nothing Wrong') or are interchangeable with other outfits ('Work' and 'Kill').

Once again, it's the slower moments, the beautiful 'The Drugs or Me' and the seductive 'Night Drive', where Jimmy Eat World excel - and show that their inventiveness, not their riffs, is what really set them apart.

Thousands of bands would regard 'Futures' as the album of their careers, Jimmy Eat World are too good to be one of them.

Harry Guerin  

Tracklisting: Futures - Just Tonight - Work - Kill - The World You Love - Pain - Drugs Or Me - Polaris - Nothing Wrong - Night Drive - 23 - Shame - When I Want