Easy Listening and Smooth Sailing
As a Jack Johnson fan, one would expect nothing less than an album filled with themes of peace and love, his relaxed voice set to slow reggae-pop rhythms. Needless to say, Sleep Through the Static is no exception to his well-known style. This album shows Johnsonâ€šÃ„Ã´s growth from his pop sound and nonsense themes on Brushfire Fairytales to his now fatherly real-life lessons. Regardless, you will hear love in every song: whether it is creating, finding, keeping, or losing it.Static begins with a slow ballad, “All At Once,” discussing concern for future generations and questioning his own intentions: “Sometimes it feels like a heart / Is no place to be singing from at all.” Other tracks emphasize his personal experience as a father, such as “Angel” and “Go On,” both struggling with letting go.
The title track contains the most in-depth theme Johnson may have ever attempted: war. The word choice and comparisons used in the song emphasize the importance of peace, as we (presumably America) overstep our boundaries in international affairs.
Never leaving his Hawaiian roots, “Monsoon” creates an overly clichâˆšÂ©d analogy of life as only a small part of the ocean. Although Johnson’s attempt at being more philosophical than on previous albums is appreciated and his growth as a musician is encouraged, this song may be one of the few weak spots of the album.
The other major downfall of Static lies in the lack of collaboration and features from other artists. Although Johnson is usually featured on other artists’ albums (G. Love, Donavan Frankenreiter) as his sound is easily complemented by others, seldom does he return the favor. Perhaps this allows Johnson to create his own album and rely strictly on his talent. Regardless, Static combines levels of genius in sound and lyrical composition, as well as providing the listener with advice and wisdom: “You tell me that timeâ€šÃ„Ã®never waits / That’s OK cause I don’t wait for time.”