How I got hooked on Johnson's music

SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil () - July 2, 2010 - 12:00am

I consider myself fortunate to have been able to listen to all the albums recorded by Jack Johnson. I was introduced to Johnson through the soundtrack album Sing Alongs and Lullabies For The Film Curious George. I listened because I like Curious George and the CD was a No. 1 seller.

 Johnson is this guy from Oahu in Hawaii. He was going to be a pro surfer like his Dad but an accident landed him in the hospital and kept him away from the surfboard for quite a while. It was at that time that he discovered the guitar and that he could sing and he could write songs.

Like life along the beaches of Hawaii, Johnson’s music is light, a very soft acoustic sort of rock. His songs evoke the feel of balmy summer afternoons spent lying on a hammock by the ocean and not thinking of anything. It is a very lazy dream but thoroughly relaxing. Try it out. Put his CD on the machine. Close your eyes. You can almost feel the breeze blowing your hair.

That was how the Curious George CD made me feel and I liked what I heard and it got me hooked on Johnson music. So I backtracked to his first Brushfire Fairytales. Also good. And from then on awaited with excited anticipation his next, On and On, the next, In Between Dreams and another next, Sleep Through The Static which went to No. 1 in the charts. Then last week came his latest, To The Sea.

I like all of them and I am happy to say that I am not alone in my admiration of the simple but oh so appealing music of Johnson. His albums are big hits that sell by the millions and I noticed that his every release never fails to make it to the Top 10 of the US charts. I honestly find it fascinating that in a list that most of the time includes loud complicated power recordings, there would be a Johnson album, laidback, easy and just like what we all dream living should be.

To The Sea by Johnson is as soothing as ever. It is about the water, the clouds and family. Johnson sings about them in his rich baritone. No frills. Just his mellow tones. His language is easy. Very conversational. His guitar work is solid and confident and I do not know if it is my imagination but he seems to be playing wire not plastic strings. A tad primitive but nice. 

His titles this time around are: the great opener You And Your Heart; No Good With Faces; When I Look Up; From The Clouds; Turn Your Love; The Upsetter; Red Wine, Mistakes, Mythology; Pictures Of People Taking Pictures; Anything But The Truth and Only The Ocean.

The best of them all are To The Sea and At Or With Me. He ups the tempo a bit in both and the results are great. To The Sea has him showing off his guitar skills while At Or With Me has this wonderful touch of a harmonica that perks up the mood. The one I like best though is simpler, his sweetest and the best acoustic love song ever, My Little Girl.

Incidentally, To the Sea has been in the Top 10 of Billboard Magazine’s list of Top 200 Albums for four weeks now. 

And now the Top 20 songs of Billboard’s Top 200 Albums list: Thank Me Later by the new Canadian sensation Drake; Mojo by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers; Laws Of Illusion by Sarah McLachlan; Now 34 by Various Artists; To The Sea by Jack Johnson; The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the Soundtrack by Various Artists; My World 2.0 by Justin Bieber; Need You Now by Lady Antebellum; Bionic by Christina Aguilera; Glee: The Music, Journey To The Nationals by the cast of Glee.

Live At The Troubadour by Carole King & James Taylor; The Foundation by The Zac Brown Band; Raymond V Raymond by Usher; Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers by the Cast; The Fame by Lady Gaga; American Slang by The Gaslight Anthem; B.o.B. Presents The Adventures of Bobby Ray by B.o.B; Goon Affiliated by Piles; The E.N.D. by The Black Eyed Peas; and Up On The Ridge by Dierks Bentley.

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