Jack Johnson – To The Sea
Having enjoyed his debut album, I was excited to hear what Jack Johnson’s latest album To The Sea had to offer. Bought using a Play.com gift voucher, it came with the added perk of knowing I hadn’t had to fork out money to ascertain it.
The CD arrived with the most beautiful sleeve. A seascape painted with the bluest sky and a lyrics booklet stapled onto the cardboard was filled with images of different coloured woods. It screams of life’s simple pleasures and mimicked the acoustic, untouched nature of Johnson’s songs. Dedicated to Johnson’s father Jeff, I immediately got the impression that this is unadulterated Johnson. It’s him singing what he wants, how he wants. Which is good because that what I believe music should be about.
Upon listening through this album four times, I feel that I am now in a position to provide you with a one word summary of these thirteen tracks: samey. Now, before you take that as a negative review and put away your wallets that you have prised out ready to take on my words of wisdom, I must say that I do like the album. Johnson knows the songs that work for him. And he sticks to them. Whilst You And Your Heart kicks the album off with strength, the songs get less and less impactful until about three quarters of the way through where things pick up again with Red Wine, Mistakes, Mythology and Pictures of People Taking Pictures. It’s fair to say that after two listens, these were the only songs that I could sing the chorus to simply by looking at their titles.
Album title track To The Sea is a grower. I think I like it because it maintains the raw style of the CD with Johnson’s guitar playing shining through. Using a monosyllabic title, At Or With Me woos me in a linguistical sense plus I am a fan of the piano introduction which, for once, does evolve into something more exciting as the song progresses. The softer vocals that open Anything But The Truth are endearing but the song fails to pick up the pace and lacks the energy and enthusiasm that I like to find in the vocals.
If you like Jack Johnson’s style, then it’d be worthwhile investing in this album. I am happy to own this album; it is genuine easy listening and non-offensive. However it doesn’t quite enthuse me in the way in which I want it to. I am seeing it as an album that will grow on me though.