My lovely wife likes Jack Johnson’s music. Granted, until recently she didn’t know his name, but she liked it when his songs came on the radio. So when we were out and about last night and saw a couple of his discs on special, she decided they should come home with us.
Well, having only ever heard a single song here or there, up until now, let me say that an entire album of Jack Johnson had the same effect on me that listening to Bob Marley does – it made me pretty frickin’ relaxed (while giving me a whole bunch to think about). Excellent.
I could totally get into the surfer mindset, man. Seriously. I think somewhere near the surface inside of me lurks a laid-back dude who just wants everyone to get along and not fuck up our planet. Of course, this is in total conflict with my inner punk, who wants to break shit and give all idiots the middle finger… but we’ll leave my (many) multiple personalities out of this discussion.
So. Jack Johnson. Hip and cool surfer dude-turned recording star. Capable now, surely, of shipping crateloads of records to Bora Bora (and there’d probably be some good surfing there, too). On the surface, his songs sound pretty simple. The arrangements, the music, it all sounds like it could have been written at nightly campfire sessions on the beach. And it wouldn’t surprise me if it had.
But listen more closely. The man has something to say, and he says it with enough eloquence to be impressive. There’s thought going into his words, and I like that. A lot of people sound preachy when conveying these messages, but Johnson (for the most part) just sounds like he cares and hopes you do too. And when you listen more closely, even the music has some brilliantly subtle complications that are pleasing to the ear. It’s far from simple, indeed.
I liked this record. A lot. We played it through while having a glass of wine and cooking dinner last night. By the time the food was ready, we were pretty mellow indeed, and it wasn’t all because of the wine. I do believe this guy’s music will get some serious stereo time in our house. But I now know that I’ve had fair warning about the chill-out effect his music has on me.
01 times like these
02 the horizon has been defeated
03 traffic in the sky
07 wasting time
08 holes to heaven
09 dreams be dreams
10 tomorrow morning
11 fall line
12 cookie jar
13 rodeo clowns
15 mediocre bad guys
16 symbol in my driveway