Jack Johnson - In Between Dreams
Most of my reviews begin with a catchy cliche, but it seems Jack Johnson's In Between Dreams? is chalk full of such literacy. So why botherâ€¦
Since the release of J.J.'s billboard invasion, Brushfire Fairytales, respect, and universal praise has become a common result of his popularity. Though there are many critics who complain of simplistic and repetitive chords, those same critics have also been known to bow down to the man of many stories. "In Between Dreamsâ€? is no exception to this truth.
Getting right to the heart of this 14-track performance, we MUST begin with track six Sitting, Waiting, Wishing?. Softly coming in at an upbeat lyrical pace "I was sitting, waiting, wishing. You believed in superstitions."? Continuing on the verse in the same pace, the guitars begin to build up quicker and deeper until the easily memorable melodies of the chorus drop in. Johnson's range steps up yet another notch. "Must I always be waiting, waiting on you?"? Each lyric exaggerated with a soothing soulness, matching up to the first line of the chorus in the same tone and speed, he finishes up the chorus. "Must I always be playing, playing your fool?"
While melodies took over on track six, it's the story-line that is the backbone of track four, "Good People". I am once again in total agreement of Jack's qualms with the world. Like the crying of a man impatient with the world surrounding him, his lyrics are forward and blunt.
Its your show, now
so whatâ€™s it gunna be
will tune in
how many train wrecks do we need to see?
Before we lose touch of
we thought this was low
Its bad gettin worse so
Whered all the good people go
Ive been changin channels so much, I don't see them on the TV shows
Whered all the good people go
We got heaps and heaps of what we sow
Continuing on in his most entertainingly intelligent rapping surfer-like-styleâ€¦.
They got this and that and with a rattle a tat
testing one two,
now whatcha gunna do?
bad news, misused, got too much to lose
gimme some truth
now who's side are we on?
Whatever you say
Turn on the boob tube
I'm in the mood to obey
so lead me astray by the way, now
Back to the chorus.
Yes indeed the stories are the true gel of this man's. Now if you've paid attention over the last few releases, you'll also notice Johnson's propensity for writing tribute songs to his wife. On every one of his releases, you'll also find at least one 'Ode To My Woman' jam. For this album, you'll find three at the very least.
The first one is the lead track "Better Together"?, which begins with a quick little harp-like finger feathering of an acoustic guitar. A sweet love song that hums the personality and rhythm of the Jack Johnson we've all come to know and love, this song should wind up as a single of some sort. Next up for wine, and fire side considerations is "Banana Pancakes"? with its lovingly playful and almost childish dreams of avoiding the trials of life, work, and inclement weather.
Can't you see that its just raining
ain't no need to go outside...
But Baby, You hardly even notice
when I try to show you this
song is meant to keep ya
from doing what your supposed to
waking up too early
Maybe we can sleep in
Ill make you banana pancakes
pretend like its the weekend now
And we can pretend it all the time
Cant you see that its just raining
ain't no need to go outside
The third of this respectful trilogy to his wife is track 13, "Do You Remember"?. Though not the best written of these songs, you must respect the effort made from a man to his woman. A peek into a life well before Jack Johnson was airwaves material, SCHOOL life.
Moving far from the spectrum of relaxing romance, its songs like "Never Know"?, and "Staple It Together"?, that bind this CD to make the perfectly published compilation of upbeat instrumentation, and lyrical sassiness. Not always a new line, but surely formed in the heart of Blues, Jazz, and Soul. In harmonics, and soft aggressive Johnson style he panics out the lyrics.
Better staple it together and call it bad weather
staple it together and call it bad weather X3
The biggest question mark I may count on the applicable reader to send me feedback on is track nine "Crying Shame"?. A tight little number with the chorus of a song I know I've heard before. Bellowing the repetitive lyrics, I'm dying to know the eighties song I'm reminded of listening to this jam.
Though the bulk of the production was obviously spent on the first seven tracks of this disc, I've been fooled before. During the discovery of each of this man's CD's, its taken dozens of listens to find the universal importance and talent in each one of its songs. No cliche here will explain just how confident I feel about the future listening pleasures of In Between Dreams.
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