February 14, 2008

Jack Johnson Test Spin

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After hits like “Bubble Toes” and “Banana Pancakes,” Jack Johnson hasn’t been known for his musical virtuosity or innovative compositions. Jack takes a significant step out of his comfort zone in Sleep Through the Static. JP Plunier, the producer of Johnson’s debut album Brushfire Fairytales, reunites with him on this dark, gloomy and more complex record. Jack Johnson transitions from his typical surfer-bum acoustic strumming to explore themes of loneliness and self-discovery.
Musically, Sleep Through the Static retains Johnson’s trademark mellow melodies, but electronic effects and keyboard overlay add an unfamiliar bluesy texture. Lyrically, Johnson fell short in keeping the theme of the album consistent. The title track is a muddled Iraq war protest song which doesn’t quite sync with the love song “Angel” one track later. Sleep Through the Static won’t disappoint fans who just want to hear Johnson’s silky voice and tranquil chord progressions, and this album also shows a growing maturity and his attempt to reach new audiences.