Saturday, May 29, 2010

Jack Johnson - To The Sea Review

It's nice to hear Jack back with a new Cd and one filled with a little more flavor and a few songs about something he knows so well, the sea. I know Jack originally said he wasn't going to write about the ocean, but why not use the thing you know well to write about. It's been a crazy year for Jack, losing his father and having a new daughter born. This is always a recipe for putting together the music Jack writes. Some upbeat and happy and others down and sad, but they always mix well together for him. Recorded once again between Mango Tree in Hawaii and Solar Powered Plastic Plant in LA, this CD was made with 100% solar energy.

The first single to be release, "You and Your Heart" has a little more upbeat backing music and once again brings out the electric guitar we started hearing on the last "Sleep Through The Static". "To The Sea" is a nice funky tune that has a classic sound and really rips through some nice beats at the end being filled in with some strong guitar, drums bass and piano complimenting each other. Right now one of my two favorite songs on the CD. "No Good With Faces" brings us into a more mellow acoustic sound we are used to hearing.

"At Or With Me" starts with Zach on piano and kicks into a good rockin' song that is really jazzed up with electric guitar, strong drum beats and some good keys going on. Overall sounds like a cross between a Beach Boys, Beatles type with some classic rock style. I love the solo section/jam on this one. I heard him play this live the other day and loved it. This one sounds like G. Love maybe playing with him from the style. I love this tune, a lot of fun.

"When I Look Up" starts with some rain and acoustic guitar and then brings some background singing with Paula Fuga that adds a really nice taste. It's a quick one but a good one. "From The Clouds" brings it back up and sounds so much like a classic beach rock song you would imagine being played by a band in front of a big fire at the beach with all the women dancing around the beach. This is a really fun song and has a wonderful beat to it. I dig it for sure.

"My Little Girl" is a short and sweet song with Jack and his guitar. I imagine this is probably all about his daughter and his quite a nice little one. If it's not, it sure seems like it would be when they say "You stole my heart and made it your own" very sweet. "Turn Your Love" has a nice beat with some back singing by Paula Fuga again. One it starts off it starts to sound a little like a Sublime beat, but Jack takes it further and adds to the guitar with the backing vocals and the piano.
"The Upsetter" starts out with a nice little funk, Shaft beat and then the guitar kicks in and as it starts it really rolls along with a nice vibe with a sound very similar to what we have heard from Jack before. It has a nice little mellow jam to it with some hand drumming, cool guitar work and overall just a nice tune to hear. "Red Wine, Mistakes, Mythology" kicks off with some harmonica and piano ready to jazz it up. Nice acoustic guitar with Jack jumping in and then as the harmonica plays, Zach joins in the harmonies and sings along. Good jamming and quite fun to hear.

"Pictures Of People Taking Pictures" seems like a title of a song Jack would write as he comes up with some interesting titles at times. This is a nice song tune with good beats, sounding pretty much acoustic outside of Merlo's bass. Song flows along really nicely and is just another good one to compliment this CD. "Anything But The Truth" would be one of those songs you would see Jack just sitting in a chair on the beach with his guitar, plucking away with a little message of the sea as well as other nature descriptions. Soft, mellow type tune that rolls along nicely and is is classic Jack.

"Only The Ocean" finished off the thirteen song cd with some nice classic guitar work and has that beach vibe again to it. Something you would slow dance at the end of the night or hear at the end of some romantic type film. Reminds me of a 50's rock style ballad song.

Jack hit one out of the park again with this CD. I have listened to "To The Sea" five times so far as I write this and I really like the whole thing from end to end. there isn't a single song that doesn't fit on it at all. I saw jack perform 05-24-2010 at Santa Monica Pier and really hoped to hear a couple more songs live, but was really happy with the selection of music he did chose to play. I look forward to seeing him August 16th at Sandstone in Bonner Springs, KS. It will be a fun night with my wife and two little ones to sit out under the stars and enjoy.

Track Listing:

01. You and Your Heart
02. To The Sea
03. No Good With Faces
04. At or With Me
05. When I Look Up
06. From The Clouds
07. My Little Girl
08. Turn Your Love
09. The Upsetter
10. Red Wine, Mistakes, Mythology
11. Pictures of People Taking Pictures
12. Anything But The Truth
13. Only The Ocean

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