Jimmy Eat World, "My Best Theory"

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Although Jimmy Eat World is widely recognized as one of the modern emo scene's trailblazers, the Arizona quartet has more recently ascribed to a modern-rock doctrine, one that's bigger on hearty riffs and memorable choruses than delicate, expansive epics. Such is the case with "My Best Theory," backed by a stomping drum beat and spazzy guitar reminiscent of new-era Fall Out Boy's dance tendencies. Frontman Jim Adkins uses his breathy tenor to explore themes both empowering ("There's only one life I know/But I have my own mind/ I'll say so if it seems right") and perplexing ("So many questions/And the answers come back unanswered"). The song is dynamically strong, juxtaposing bursting guitar and soaring melodies in the chorus with atmospheric noodling and driving bass in the verses. For a band that has produced some great rock singles ("The Middle," "Big Casino"), though, "My Best Theory" falls a bit short.