Friday, 20 April 2007

JACK JOHNSON - In Between Dreams (2005)

If UK put on top of the charts a guitar singer/songwriter like James Blunt, USA strikes back with Jack Johnson. But “In Between Dreams” isn’t the first LP of Johnson, actually it’s the third.

Just nice songs with a warm voice in a beautiful day, like the CD cover, a drawing of Johnson with his guitar on back pick up a leaf from a big tree in the afternoon. Songs to play on guitar, with friends, on a beach at night, beside a little fire, well it’s easy to imagine Johnson doing this, because he was a champion surfer before started his musical career, by the way, he’s an Hawaiian native

Basically an acoustic guitar with minimal arrangement, just added drums & bass and sometimes a second guitar and a shy keyboard, some chorus with a second voice recorded by Johnson himself (an electric guitar appears on funky track “Staple It Together” but didn’t change the colours of the LP). Some touch of folk, rock ballads, funk and reggae you can listen in some passages of the LP.

No need more arrangement when the message it’s so simple, so pure, so clean, no need more when the message it’s just love.

Love is the answer, At least for most of the questions in my heart”, sing Johnson in “Better Together”. “Love is the answer” sung John Lennon thirty years before on “Mind Games”, maybe an inspiration, at least a quote.

But Johnson have his own touch in the way he sing, putting a lot of words in each verse, singing one after one without a musical pause, this could be tired, but he has a natural rhythm in his voice, that let him flows for each verse without lose the melody. Similar to Rap concept, a vocal works between talk and sing.

The highlights of the LP are “Better Together”, “Sitting Waiting Wishing” and “Good People”, the only one with a different concept in the lyrics which is focus on criticism the media (news on tv) asking “Where’d all the good people go / I’ve been changing channels / I don’t see them on the tv shows”.

But mainly simple scene of his personal life appears in the lyrics of the LP like in “Banana Pancakes” (But Baby, You hardly even notice / When I try to show you this / Song is meant to keep ya) and “Do You Remember” (Do you remember / When we first moved in together / The piano took up the living room / You'd play me boogie woogie / I played you love songs).

Was written before … love is all you need.

Was written then … Some people wanna fill the world with silly love songs / And what’s wrong with that?

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