A/V Room









Jack Johnson - In Between Dreams

Review: Jack Foley

I FIRST heard of Jack Johnson while listening to the latest Handsome Boy Modeling School album, White People, which features his sublime track, Breakdown.

In fact, the talented singer-songwriter has been around for some five years, having started out as a filmmaker, as well as shooting and scoring his 16mm surf films.

In Between Dreams marks his third album and is described as his most musically upbeat yet, no doubt inspired by the delight of becoming a father.

He describes the songs on the album as both 'romantic and nostalgic', and reflect many of his happier life experiences.

The delightfully laidback opening track, Better Together, for instance, is described as a love song Johnson penned for his wife, Kim, because no matter how hard or deceptive life can be, 'it's always better when we're together'.

No Other Way is another acoustically driven gem, a lazy but beautifully constructed effort that features some wonderfully whimsical lyrics and a genuinely relaxing vibe.

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing is about a friend's amusing pursuit of a girl and finds the album at its liveliest, featuring some more fun lyrics, including 'I can't always be playing, playing the fool' and 'if I was in your position, I'd put down all my ammunition, I'd wonder why it's taken me so long'.

If I Could, meanwhile, comes quietly laced with melodica and hand drums and is a heartfelt goodbye to a friend, featuring some poignant lyrics such as: "I heard some words from a friend on the phone that didn't sound so good/the doctor gave him two weeks to live/I'd give him more if I could'.

It reminded me, in sentiment, of the equally poignant Bush track, Letting The Cables Sleep, which was similarly penned in memory of a dying friend.

Such sad and tender moments, however, are neatly offset by the more happy go-lucky songs, most notably the aforementioned Breakdown, which was used to such memorable effect by the Handsome Boy Modeling School.

Stripped of its beats and whistles, however, it remains an unplugged, subtle and completely heart-warming number that pretty much sums up why Jack Johnson is considered 'summer's hero'.

With his laidback grooves and hooks, it's easy to forget your own worries and ease away the stresses of the day with the comfortable knowledge that you're in the hands of a songwriting master.

Needless to say, the album comes highly recommended.

Click here to find out about Jack Johnson!

Track listing:
1. Better Together
2. Never Know
3. Banana Pancakes
4. Good People
5. No Other Way
6. Sitting, Waiting, Wishing
7. Staple It Together
8. Situations
9. Crying Shame
10. If I Could
11. Breakdown
12. Belle
13. Do You Remember
14. Constellations
15. Mudfootball

Click here to find out about Jack Johnson!

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z