Mahalo From Dream Land
Jack Johnson is a true renaissance man in every sense of the word; semi-professional surfer, acclaimed filmmaker, record label owner, new father, and celebrated musician. Indeed, his talents and achievements are many, but it is this last role that has catapulted Johnson from an indie surf-niche hero, to the forefront of popular music â€šÃ„Ã¬ and rightfully so.In Between Dreams is a wonderfully composed album which does not deviate wildly from its predecessors, but fine tunes what Johnson does so incredibly well. With superstar producer Mario Caldato Jr. at the helm, IBD is Jack Johnson at his finest. Clearly his most upbeat release to date, the album capitalizes on drummer Adam Topol’s and bassist Merlo Podlewskiâ€šÃ„Ã´s musical talents. Though the two have been there since 2001â€šÃ„Ã´s Brushfire Fairytales, their presence on this record is more pronounced creating a crisper and more vibrant aural style. Johnsonâ€šÃ„Ã´s distinct sound, however, is still present; his fresh, funky, folky melodies infused with doses of hip-hop. His songs, like those of prior records, reflect the things that Johnson holds dear to his heart: love, life, the water, and activism.
Though some naysayers may erroneously peg him as one-dimensional, any such notions are invalidated on IBD. On â€šÃ„ÃºBanana Pancakes,â€šÃ„Ã¹ Johnson croons about lazy days with the girl you love while making a poignant commentary about war on â€šÃ„ÃºCrying Shame.â€šÃ„Ã¹ He beautifully lulls a reprise version of â€šÃ„ÃºBreakdown,â€šÃ„Ã¹ his collaborative effort with the studs over at the Handsome Boy Modeling School, and even takes a shot at a little FranâˆšÃŸais with the Parisian-inflected â€šÃ„ÃºBelle.â€šÃ„Ã¹
With IBD, Johnson has once again dodged the threat of disappointment. His craft, it seems, only improves with time.