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Sleep Through The Static Extra tracks
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4th solo record "Sleep Through the Static" was produced by JP Plunier, who was the producer of Jack's first album Brushfire Fairytales. Recorded onto analog. The Album was recorded in Hawaii and Los Angeles on 100% Solar Energy (!).
So at last the ex-surfer and green activist singer-songwriter delivers his dubstep metal album!Oh alright, Sleep Through!isn't a whole lot different from the Hawaii-born musician's previous outings. Depending on whether you're a fan this could be good or bad. It's so easy to point to Johnson and cry 'bland!' or 'cozy!', but it's hard to argue with a multi-platinum track record. His status as a household name will be undoubtedly reinforced by this well-nigh perfect example of all his best traits.
While Johnson has one mode of expression - a lazy, loping, bluesy feel underpinned with chiming acoustics and lightly brushed skins, never burdened with tricky key changes of rhythmic surprises - he does it excessively well. True, his delivery often falls on the wrong side of 'safe'. One longs for at least one ruggedly uptempo track filled with righteous bile. Yet, as Johnson himself states in Same Girl: ''I'm not a very good fighter am I?''
Johnson's admirable agenda of eco-love (a typical surfer's stance, along with the vaguely cod-Zen philosophising) is well represented (All At Once) as are his anti-war feelings (the title track), but Sleep Through!is really the work of a man dealing with the dreadful burden of domestic bliss. It's filled with songs about his wife (Angel) and children (Go On). But then again, why not? It would be so easy to label Johnson as some bland poster boy for middle class mediocrity, yet a closer glimpse at his lyrics show a man who has both a soul and a brain. The only danger is that his style is so relaxed that the message often gets lost in the warmth of it all. Musically (the speed going from slow to fairly slow) it becomes an unvariegated lump of acoustic comfort: Charming but lacking a little bite. Yet it's expertly delivered.
That's what he's good at. We should be thankful that someone so prominent is both concerned for the planet and our hearts. As long as you're not expecting to be drastically challenged you're in safe hands. And sometimes that's quite enough. --Chris Jones
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Top customer reviews
I suppose it depends on how deeply you listen to the lyrics. From a sense of the overwhelming responsibilities of bringing kids into the modern world, to the anti war stance of the title track, to questioning the purpose of his own life, there is certainly a more philosophical side to this release. In contrast, there is a gorgeous love song to his wife and a reflective ode to his young children.
Ultimately, it doesn't particularly matter what the lyrics are about. Jack delivers what he does best: a laid back, smooth and melodic voice singing with jazz, pop, reggae and even rap inflexions backed by a tight and restrained band that lets the voice take centre stage.
Producer, J P Plumier, knows what's important: let Jack write some good songs and let the voice play.
Which is ironic, because Johnson is an idealist, and the themes in his songs are ultimately about the fundamental experiences of modern life - relationships, people and a simple, laid back lifestyle influenced by the island he inhabits.
He is an idealist in the sense that his lyrics pledge environmental sustainability, in fact the new album boasts to be recorded with 100% solar energy.
All of his prior studio work has been first class, and this latest offering is no exception. Johnson has swapped his trademark acoustic for an electric guitar, but the essence of his sound remains unabridged.
The hit 'If I had Eyes' is a funky upbeat number that grabs hold of you like a tractor beam and compels you to sing along. 'Angel' is a beautiful ode to someone close to Johnson. 'Same Girl' is a catchy ballad and 'Monsoon' is a minor epic. In fact, there's not a bad track on the album. It's the kind of album you want to listen to from beginning to end every time, because to neglect the odd track would an empty void in the stomach like you don't have the complete picture.
Many people classify a Jack Johnson album as one for the lazy summer - in my opinion, all four studio offerings are all-year-round classics.
Make this one of your essential purchases for 2008.
Whilst not bad in itself (his songwriting skills are undoubtedly awesome, although not to my taste this time), the album is filled with slow, depressingly melancholy stuff, which wouldn't be out of place on a Norah Jones or Katie Melua cd. If you're into stuff like that, and you're looking for a way into JJ's stuff, then this is perhaps the album for you. For everyone who's expecting a fun-filled album like his past stuff - avoid.
The songs are all beautifully and intelligently written with particular favourites being 'If I Had Eyes', 'Sleep Through The Static', 'Go On' and 'Angel'.
It is a great purchase if you're looking for something, soothing and a little more mature and will make a great addition to any music collection. If you're a fan of Jack Johnson you probably own it already but if not, what are you waiting for?
I really love Jack Johnson's mellow voice but i've found fault in all his albums. However this is definitely his best!!!!!!
He's put his heart and soul into every track instead of just trying to get the album finished which unfortunately so many artists do!?
If you are deciding which one of his albums to buy, it would be this one and i'm one of his biggest critics!
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