129. Song No. 1,868: “Claire,” Jimmy Eat World
Static Prevails, 1996
I could go on and on about how this seminal shift in Jimmy Eat World’s pre-fame incarnation set the stage for one helluva departure in this album and one legendary recording in its follow-up. I could wax faux-academic on how this album claimed a place for the little-known JEW in emo’s second wave almost as indelibly as Bleed American would propel them to a place of prominence in the genre’s third wave. I could itemize all the ways that this, my favorite song from JEW’s second album, is so very, very crushingly good and all the times the lyric “One last good-bye may last the rest of your life” has resurfaced unbidden to bob around my conscious brainstew until I finally get the point.
But mostly, I want to point out how my enjoyment of this song I loved so much was fucking tested in ways my emo-kid teenage heart didn’t know how to handle when the high school friend I harbored a desperately, cinematically angsty crush on junior year unknowingly but obviously unforgivably betrayed me by dating this awful shrew named Claire instead.