CD REVIEW: Jack Johnson "To The Sea"

To The Sea Jack Johnson has become synonymous with laid back mellow acoustic tunes, so it's unlikely that he will stray too far from what he does best. This time he decided to plug in and kick the energy up a few notches with a little electric guitar sprinkled throughout his newest release. The mellower acoustic tunes on this release are actually some of the most mellow and quiet songs he's ever written, particularly "When I Look Up" and "My Little Girl." On the flip side, his most energetic tunes on this album are "The Upsetter," which is equal parts Santana, the Rolling Stones, and Bob Marley, and "At Or With Me" which finds Jack at his funkiest on this album. G. Love lends his bluesy harmonica skills to "At Or With Me" and "Red Wine, Mistakes, Mythology" and Hawaiian singer Paula Fuga also contributes her soulful backing vocals on a few tracks. The entire album was self produced by the band, making it the most hands on recording experience of their career. The single "You And Your Heart" is an instant classic, bridging the gap between Jack's old and new sounds for a track that is mellow and electric all at the same time. The song "From The Clouds" is also sure to become a single, as the music is catchy and the lyrics are easily singable. This album is a very personal album, as is evident on "No Good With Faces," "Only The Ocean," and "Turn Your Love," with Jack staying away from lyrics relating to politics and activism. Certainly a different recording, Jack Johnson has proven that he can do the same old thing and still make it new and exciting. He always creates outstanding albums that are thematic and cohesive, and "To The Sea" is just as awesome as all of his previous albums. As Jack grows, so do his fans, his music, and his messages. His latest is a testament to where he came from, where he is, and where he is going, and from start to finish he makes an incredible connection to his fans by bringing them along for a great ride.