Jimmy Eat World frontman Jim Adkins conceived the Arizona modern rock group's new album, "Damage," as "kind of an exploration on the idea of love songs."
And suffice to say it's not lovey-dovey all the time on these 10 tracks.
"The kind of love songs that interest me are ones that deal more with adversity, heartache, that kind of stuff," explains Adkins, who started the group during 1993 in Mesa. "As I got into it I found that there's much more of a story in the bummer songs than there is in the happy, poppy, whatever kind of songs.
"Completely happy isn't really that interesting of a story. I like when there's an ambiguity there, some things that are left unanswered."
That may get past those listening to "Damage" without a lyric sheet, however. Working with producer Alain Johannes -- a veteran of the bands Eleven, Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures -- the album is as upbeat as anything Adkins and company have ever produced, filled with sonic silver linings for the dark clouds contained within the songs.
"that's always the trick, trying to make the ideas concise," Adkins explains. "Simple songs are really hard to write, and if there's something catchy or poppy, i try to give it more weight. You can have angry and bummed out on top of angry (music), but I think what's really nice is when you have bummed out and despair and something really jingley on top of that. That's when it gets interesting and you can really surprise people."
Jimmy Eat World and X Ambassadors perform Saturday, July 6, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Door open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $28 in advance, $30 day of show. Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.
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