40 Greatest Emo Albums of All Time

C'mon get sad: the best of punk rock's moody younger sibling

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Jimmy Eat World, 'Clarity' (1999)

13. Jimmy Eat World, 'Clarity' (1999)

"Before Clarity came out, the label was trying to … [get] us to do things to get people interested and know who we were," said Jimmy Eat World bassist Rick Burch. "They were like, 'OK, you guys, we'll buy a PA and you'll drive in your van and you know the cool 7-11 where the kids hang out after school … you'll just go set up in the parking lot and be playing at 3:15 as they walk up." Jimmy Eat World were a very different band when they released their third full-length, Clarity, 17 years ago. In fact it was even viewed as a commercial failure when it was released on Capitol Records, despite the fact that the straightforward single "Lucky Denver Mint" received mainstream radio airplay and was featured in the Drew Barrymore film Never Been Kissed. However it's the darker, more experimental side like the mid-tempo melodicism of "Believe In What You Want" and the hypnotic 16-minute finale "Goodbye Sky Harbor" which eventually made Clarity a cult classic. "Take back the radio," frontman Jim Adkins sings on the aggressive anthem "Your New Aesthetic," unknowingly foreshadowing their future fame. J.B.

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