Jack's Mannequin - The Glass Passenger
Andrew McMahon said it from the start of the production process for his second album: The Glass Passenger is the result of his dreaming big because no amount of strife could ever bring him down. Yet there’s no denying it: McMahon did find some source of inspiration in his battle with leukemia. As a result, Jack’s Mannequin has made a very lush album, rich in orchestration and thriving with maturity.
McMahon was listening to Fleetwood Mac and the Beach Boys before and during the writing process for The Glass Passenger. Somewhere along the way, he has made these influences a grand part of his musical development. The album is bursting with melody that McMahon has long worked on perfecting with his piano. Although you can hear his mellifluous personality very clearly in the songs, there is subtle flavor of 70’s pop-rock that gives the album a sufficient number of hooks that complement a youthful style of music.
There are underlying themes of survival in The Glass Passenger mixed into the usual mesh of California nostalgia as well as the hills and valleys of having loved a girl. “The Resolution” is McMahon’s fueled testimony of living past a tribulation after a hard struggle. Likewise, “Hammers and Strings (A Lullaby)” is a song of gratitude to those who have stayed by his side through his lowest of lows. However, McMahon is smart, and his words are sophisticated: he makes his survival songs relatable to anybody, regardless of what struggles life decides to give him or her. He understands that we are all surviving in one way or another, so he incorporates a very universal tone of optimism in which everyone can find solace.
Jack’s Mannequin continues to be driven by pop and moved by the chords of a prominent piano. At the same time, The Glass Passenger treats its listeners to a new level of maturity and lushness. Andrew McMahon loves the fight in life; his new album is about the encouragement and positivity that helped him to survive both personally and musically in one of the hardest chapters of his life.
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on 2008-10-24 lekwon Said:
I agree with you, mountaloha. I failed to mention in the review that although I felt as if there was a relatable quality to The Glass Passenger, it doesn't have lasting value. I thought it was a great album to uncover the first couple of times I listened to it, but two months later I don't find myself listening to it in its entirety anymore.
on 2008-10-23 mountaloha Said:
This album lacked simply in the ability to be listened to over and over again. I found myself sitting still when I heard Glass Passenger for the first time, which I didn't expect at all. The last album by Jack's Mannequin was upbeat, and the songs that weren't were still pretty good. I just hope the next album gets a boost in the entertaining category.