- Summary: The sixth studio release for the acoustic surf rock singer-songwriter was produced with Mario Caldato Jr.
- Record Label: Brushfire
- Genre(s): Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter
- More Details and Credits »
Positive: 3 out of 3
Mixed: 0 out of 3
Negative: 0 out of 3
Apr 14, 2014I could write an intricate review defining why it deserves the rating I gave it..
..but I do not have to.
Jack Johnson has created his own sound over the ages. The music he creates is its own genre now. It has truly become a league of its own. When I think of folk, guitar and ukulele music that creates an atmosphere that sounds as if I am drifting to shore on a beach in a location I both do not know and do not care, it is Jack Johnson. From Here to Now to You does not submit any groundbreaking vibes, but it is more than worthy to take the Johnson torch.
Keep on keeping on, Jack.… Expand
Nov 28, 2013I feel like this is more of a regression for Jack than anything else. Mostly it's because the songwriting is very content & mellow, even for him, and the instrumentation is his most stripped down & acoustic in years. This isn't inherently a bad thing; of course there can be great happy music. However, I think the one major thing that can hold this album back is that in those great happy songs, it's at least delivered with some sense of energy or fun. Here though, on a few tracks I can't help but just feel bored by songs that are so utterly lacking in content or drive thematically. A lot of this album just sounds like a guy with an acoustic guitar, a perfect family & nothing to talk about outside lovey dovey cliches with occasionally spurts of introspection sprinkled throughout the track list. I understand how this would appeal to some people, but I'm personally not one of them. And it'd even be fine with those songs if they were at least upbeat or interesting musically, but they're just not. The worst moment easily is “You Remind Me of You”, a nauseatingly sappy parental anthem that should've stayed in the house or in a kids' show & off a commercially-released album.
However, that's not to say I didn't come out of this album with some tracks I really enjoyed. For example, some songs like “Washing Dishes” or “Radiate”, despite having this lyrical “theme”, still manage to work as upbeat & irresistibly catchy pop-folk tunes. And sometimes this apparently perfect personal life can work to Jack's advantage, like on “As I Was Saying” or closer “Home”, where the mood is much more sentimental & heartfelt. They're harmless, but heartfelt & sweet, a mood that I think some songs on this album pull off better than others. My personal favorite (and probably the most interesting in terms of subject matter) is “Tape Deck”, which shows Jack charmingly chronicling his musical early years as a teen. Also we learned that he was in a punk band covering Fugazi songs in his mom's living room, and I'm pretty sure he knows how funny that sounds coming from him (if the “At or with Me” video was any sign of his self-awareness). “Ones and Zeroes” is another definite highlight, as it's one of the few moments of real depth to be found here, with a great finger-picked acoustic riff. The way it laments the greedy side of humanity through symbolism is very well-written, even though it can get a bit preachy with the environmentalism toward the end.
This is a decent enough album, even if I wish Jack could have that shot of inspiration he had for half the album on the whole thing. There are definitely standout tracks but as a whole I feel it's just bogged down by a handful of underwhelming & complacent snoozers. Still probably worth giving a listen though.
Top 5 tracks: Tape Deck, Ones and Zeroes, Washing Dishes, Shot Reverse Shot, Home
My Facebook review page: That Non-Elitist Music Fan… Expand
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