Summertime is upon us now and some look for the loud sounds of summery alt-rock like All Time Low, The Maine and Boys Like Girls and some look for more refined, soft and laid back summer sounds. If you are seeking the latter, look no further than the man who puts all of that to a capital T. Former pro surfer turned singer-songwriter/guitarist Jack Johnson continues such sounds in his fifth effort, "To The Sea", which also carries special meaning this time around. The album is dedicated to his father Jeff, who introduced the young Jack to the surfboard.
That aside, even if you have never listened to any of Johnson's four previous albums, you most likely know what he is all about, a surfer dude who crafts laid back pieces that while rather non-specific, they sometimes wax philosophical behind a guitar style of playing that is reminiscent of his native Hawaii at times. The album at press time is on its way to number one, remarkable for someone who never has brought too much attention to himself in a pop world full of loud and proud pop idols who demand to be heard and seen all the time. But Johnson has proven again and again that songs like "To The Sea", the delightfully wonderful album starter "You and Your Heart" and the cool, mood relaxing "Only The Ocean" work just as well as the next loud and proud pop song. Why? He has also proven time and time that less is more...he is unassuming in the song production, relying on light percussion driven by his lilting guitar style. It is refreshingly low-key.
In the end,
this is an album that is for people who want to chill out either on the beach or on a refreshing joy ride through some scenic route with the water nearby. It is true to his style, a less is more minimalist style, something that has served him well in stead since his first release in 2001 and while the lyrics to some may seem rather generic, it speaks very well and hits the soul without being your face. For a lot, his music is just simply good for you. Fans of Jack Johnson should find this absolutely perfect. People who are looking to either chill or looking to expand such a collection need to collect Jack also. But if you're looking to go out with a bang this summer, you better look elsewhere at places like Warped Tour and The Bamboozle Roadshow.