Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Musical Monday - Jack Johnson's Sleep Through the Static

Yeah, Yeah, I get it... Today is not Monday... but it FEELS like Monday to me!

I was introduced to Jack Johnson in my former radio life by a listener of all things. No music director brought me a CD and said, "listen to this"... no, a listener brought me the CD and said that, "This guy is going to change music".

That was back in 2000 when the world was actually different. It was before 9/11, and for me before I'd made the decision to leave America. "Brushfire Fairytales" was so different from what I'd been listening to and I liked the change. F-Stop Blues rang true to me, and I loved it.

"Look who's laughing now that you've wasted
How many years and you've barely even tasted
Anything remotely close to
Everything you've boasted about
Look who's crying now"

Since that CD I've purchased each new offering from the former pro surfer who lives and works in Hawaii. His music is a series of mellow grooves, each new song introducing you to a deeper zen-like feeling. It gives me the sensation of being out on the ocean simply floating on a surfboard, softly rocking and rolling with every wave as it moves underneath me. This CD has been cycling through my ears while I'm at the office for a few months now. It offers a slight change from the norm with Jack. His first song All at Once has some comments about the Iraq War but he really isn't saying anything other artists haven't said before him, although it is new to hear him making political comments. The funny thing is that he sings all of his lyrics with the same tone, never varying it to show us that this is different... this is closer to my heart. Even when he sings of his family, he doesn't vary far from the same tone used to speak of the war.

There is more electric guitar on this offering and I heard some keyboards which I don't think I've ever heard. I miss the steel drums heard on his first CD's, and wish they would get back to using them. But Jack is at his best with an understated guitar complementing his warm, soothing voice while singing about love and the simple pleasures of life. The aching love song, Angel is what I've come to expect from Jack and he delivers. Losing Keys is the perfect song to end a CD on, in a chilled out, typical Jack Johnson way.

Is this CD is best work yet? No, not in my opinion. I still like "Brushfire Fairytales" better, but then I've had longer to melt into those songs, eh? Will I still listen to it? Oh yes, it is going to get play. All it all it is a good CD. Just like any other offering by a loved musician I find good songs and songs I don't like so much... but this one has more of the former than the latter.

What's in my CD player right now?
Rolling Stones "No Security"
Which is a live recording from the Bridges to Babylon Tour.


Berlinbound said...

Thank you for your visit and comment today - always good to hear from another Expat here in Brotchenland. I'll be performing in Berlin this September - perhaps you can make it.


Snooker said...

Hello Richard,
I read your blog often, more lurking than anything. Sorry, I just don't comment so much.

Of course I would enjoy seeing you in September. Please keep us updated!

Maria said...

Never heard of thank you for the introduction.

Snooker said...

@ Maria - I'm honored by your visit. Being the music lover you are, I'm surprised that you haven't run across Jack before.