I think Jimmy Eat World is great.

For me, this band has mastered the skill of invoking powerful memories and feelings of the past. Their songs are about first love and first loves. They sings about First risks, frustrations, angers, failures, and victories. Jimmy Eat World calls up the past with great art and insight.

(No, all their songs aren’t like this. Yes, I’m making a pretty big generalization. If you’re a fan, you may see it differently.)

I don’t know anything about music, so I won’t talk about that. Instead, I’d rather explore the meaning and feeling in their newest album (INVENTED). I’ll only talk about two songs because anything longer would make this post a novel.

HEART IS HARD TO FIND tells the story of a marginalized boyfriend who is feeling squeezed out the relationship. He is competing against new people, new “religion,” new education. Point: Her heart is hard to find, he can’t figure her out, he can’t understand why she’s not into him.

INVENTED has another couple who seem to be at a crossroads in their relationship. It begins with the guy painting his picture of their relationship. She’s everything to him: always in his head, just what he wanted, he’s in constant debt to her. She sees it differently, rather, she sees herself differently: broken, lonely, hurting. He knows all this, and makes a bold statement: he’s the one who really knows what moves her.

Taking the songs too far is a risk, because most songs (and art?) are intentionally ambiguous. At the core, these songs are opposite. The first guy didn’t know his girl, and the second guy was the only one in the world who knew her.

I love what these say about relationship and intimacy: taking time to really know the other person. It made me think about my close friendships, and how much I spend my time thinking and asking: what moves them? What are they excited about? What is their passion, and how am I working to encourage this in their lives?