Though Wilco’s excellent Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was the album/band that became the poster-child for the “band vs. the out-of-touch major label” story at the dawn of a new record industry, it’s easily forgotten that Arizona-based Jimmy Eat World also ran the exact same gamut well before Wilco’s trials and tribulations, with their story resulting in an even greater commercial success than Wilco. Signed to Capitol Records, they released two albums, one the merely okay Static Prevails, and their stunningly beautiful, criminally neglected follow-up, Clarity. Being unceremoniously dropped, it didn’t bother the band one iota; they simply set out on no-frills basement tours, saving every penny they earned, and recorded their follow-up, Bleed American, on their own, which was released in the summer of 2001, and was an amazingly successful album, both commercially and critically.
Post-Clarity,however, Jimmy Eat World took to the internet, and shared their new material. You had to sneak around a little bit to find it back then, but there was one song, “Sweetness,” that appeared, and it was an instant stunner. Sounding absolutely nothing like what they’d done before, it was a straight-up, full-throttle rock anthem, with a catchy harmony and a sound that made you say, “this song is a hit!!!’
It would appear on Bleed American, but that version paled in comparison to the rough, raw, jubilant version that they quietly leaked out to their faithful, and it’s probably no accident to say that said album’s success was built upon the groundwork created by this catchy little tune. The song, recorded during the Clarity sessions, would later appear as a bonus track on Capitol’s reissue of the album after the band’s international success.
If you’ve not heard it, you’re in for a treat. It’s a fun, catchy song, one that will have you coming back to it again and again and again. Enjoy!