Jimmy Eat World fans generally reside in one of two camps: those who remember the Arizona band as a torch-bearer of second-wave emo (vis à vis 1996's Static Prevails and 1999's Clarity), and those who became fans after "The Middle" made 2001's Bleed American a platinum-seller. With Chase This Light, the former will see Jimmy Eat World complete its inexorable march toward middling pop-rock, while the latter won't find anything as simple and catchy as "The Middle"—they'll find plenty that's just as generic, though.
Neither camp will be completely disappointed. "Let It Happen" is a deliriously catchy pop-punk song with a punchy chorus boosted by female backing vocals. "Electable (Give It Up)" has a whoa-oh-oh chorus descended directly from Naked Raygun. "Firefight" and first single "Big Casino" also pack catchy, walloping choruses.
Nothing on Chase This Light is bad, relatively speaking; Jimmy Eat World has always sprinkled cheese on its albums, just never this generously. With singer-guitarist Jim Adkins' generic lyrics and Butch Vig's slick production, the band has never sounded more ordinary. Jimmy Eat World can still write amazing songs, but with Chase This Light, they continue growing more infrequent.