To anyone now in their twenties or thirties, Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle” was a go-to pop punk emo anthem about growing up and fitting in, while also doing exactly the opposite. And it turns out for Prince Fox, the song meant the same thing.
The songwriter/producer — known for remixing songs and his own original tracks featuring the likes of Bella Thorne and Hailee Steinfeld — put his own spin on the 2001 classic, and he’s dropping it exclusively through Billboard.
“Jimmy Eat World’s album Bleed American was basically the soundtrack to my high school career,” the songwriter/producer tells Billboard. “I played lead guitar in my schools band that played “The Middle” at our graduation. Most importantly though, I absolutely loved the song and thought it would be cool to do a more chilled out, windows down version of the song as the weather finally starts to get warm again this month and next.”
Where Jimmy Eat World’s version speeds up and gets louder, Fox’s rendition smooths out, opting for more techno-inspired piano keys and softer vocals. It packs a paralleled drop, but with a vastly different delivery.
When the song originally came out, it blew Jimmy Eat World out of their niched spot in pop punk and into the general public’s attention, hitting the top of the Alternative Songs chart in 2002.
If you want to potentially see Fox perform his version of “The Middle” live, he sets off on tour this week, starting in Denver on Wednesday (Feb. 28) and capping off in Minneapolis in May. Check out the cover below and Prince Fox’s tour dates here.