With this album, mellow Jack takes us into a honey-kissed world of simple harmonies and sunny days. As ever, the sound of the guitar that he gently strums takes precedent amid his oh so delicately arranged chords. His vocal warbles, the "oh ohs", and "ba do, ba do, ba dos" are always pleasant on the ear, and you just know that absolutely no strings were harmed in the making of this record, so softly does he play. Disappointingly, though, he seems to be in too much of a happy place for my liking. His current state of relational bliss has made him see everything through rose-tinted glasses. The opening track, `I Got You', sums up the heady mood of the album very well. It is a perfectly slushy love song that will join the playlists of romancers worldwide, and truth be told, it is a lovely record. Yet, the rest of the album, while pleasant enough, never quite hits the dizzy heights of `I Got You'. One song segues into another without any real change in mood or pace. If you want tender, easy-listening fodder to play on a Sunday afternoon or you need background music in your vegetarian cafe, then this is the album for you. Personally, I'd have liked a little more soul-searching angst, rather than the swell of well-being goodness on offer here. Let's hope that by the next album Jack goes back to the black.
Always loved Jack Johnson, even before Brushfire Fairytales, this album is 'nice' nothing new here, but it's typical Jack Johnson, I really want to love this album, but after spending the summer listening to Ben Howard this just seems average, I love 'Shot Reverse Shot' but the rest has yet to grow on me, maybe in time it will but I think I will go back to Ben for now!
After the departure into electric rock ruminations of his late father on "To the Sea" (which is still a rather low-key, ambling affair), Jack Johnson returns to that simple, clean-sounding acoustic music that has for so long been his bread and butter. Some of the sentiments expressed on the album are simplistic at best, but somehow Jack carries the tunes through by the strength of his charm and sincerity, even on these grade-school life observations. He also shows he has some melodic chops, coming up with some of the best melodies of his career, which also help carry some of the weaker moments on the album. He enlisted Beasties Boys producer Mario Caldato Jr, who previously worked with Jack on the 2005 "In Between Dreams".
Expanding his song-template just enough (but still staying close to the his tried and true formula), he gets funky on "Radiate", pays homage to his punk days (!!!) as a teenager in "Tape Deck", and plays some more up-tempo, but still light (and light hearted) rockers such as "Washing Dishses" and "Shot Reverse Shot". Elsewhere, he minds familiar territory with ballads and gentle music such as "Change" and a tribute to his wife, "I Got You". He gets memorably strange on ""You Remind Me of You", a song about parenthood and children as clones of the parent, which doesn't really fit in with the rest of the album.
Johnson has always been something of a sentimental optimist. Like Paul McCartney with Wings before him, Jack never really gets edgy or even sounds like there has evern been anything seriously wrong in life. When he does reach out lyrically beyond the realm of a "Happy Days" life, there is such a disconnect that he doesn't really have credibility.
Even Jimmy Buffett (who is one of my favorites) escapes the stereotypical projection of him as an Island/Gulf swing musician and comes up with some great music that goes far beyond his party-hearty image that has so defined him throughout his career. Jimmy knows that even for a surfer (especially for a surfer, actually), there are hurricanes a-brewin' out there.
Perhaps he is just to idyllic for my tastes. In the end, "From Here To Now To You" is standard Jack Johnson. If you prefer the Paul Mcartney "silly love song" ethos over John Lennon's "Plastic Ono" era which represents deeply cathartic, highly persona confessional songwriting, then you will get a lot more enjoyment out of this record than I did.
Personally, I prefer Lennon's school of songwriting.
Music which warms the heart and soul. i find it uplifting as most of the tempo is 'upbeat' It has a profound psychological effect. My son said it took him back 10 years, when he was first listening to Jack Johnson. I think he just gets better and better. There is much to really rate this album.
Always the goto albums to relax with. Saw this in hmv the other day so bought it. Glad I did, it's great to back with Jack and his songs. Always the soundtrack to relax to this new album is no difference.