CD Review: Jack Johnson

Sleep Through the Static

By Lisa Knezich |

Jack Johnson continues to channel his laid-back, Hawaiian style in his new album, Sleep Through the Static, while adding some new sounds. Johnson’s new CD is a project that shakes up his musical formula a bit, and his fans will appreciate his new sound while still being able to relate to his classic musical art.

Johnson’s new album reunites him with producer JP Plunier, who helped with Johnson’s 2001 debut, Brushfire Fairytales. Adding to Johnson’s new vibe is touring keyboard player Zach Gill, who adds just a touch of new sound needed to mix things up in Johnson’s new album. However, Johnson’s usual guitar-bass-drums studio trio is still the prominent, classic sound in his work.

Johnson is now a 32-year-old father of two, and his lyrics reflect his maturing ideas. His roots still lie within his playful songs as “Banana Pancakes” and “Bubbly Toes,” but in Sleep Through the Static, Johnson expresses his “fears and realities that hit home even in his idyllic Hawaiian paradise,” says Rolling Stone. Johnson references his punk rock past and dark times in the song “Sleep.”

Some critics have frowned upon Johnson’s more ambitious writing and enjoy more of his classic, easy going, deep thoughts. They also criticize Johnson for not mixing his music up from past records, but, at the same time, want him to stick to what he’s good at. “Deep Stoner Thoughts,” as Rolling Stone described his line, “All of life is in one drop of the ocean.”

True Johnson fans will love his new CD, just as they did his past platinum albums. Johnson stays true to his musical style and adds a bit of keyboard for new sound textures. Sleep Through the Static is yet another classic album by Johnson that takes you on an enjoyable ride through his melodies.

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