Thursday, April 02, 2009

Jack Johnson and his ‘In Between Dreams’


"A friend of mine was trying to get this girl," said Johnson, "and I tried to write a song that would help him have a laugh at himself because he was spending so much time trying to get her and it obviously wasn't leading anywhere. That was one just to cheer up a friend." [Song – “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing” from In Between Dreams]

Jack Johnson is a Hawaii-born songwriter, musician, filmmaker and surfer, who has grown up listening to influences such as Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Bob Marley, Neil Young and The Beastie Boys. Before becoming a full-time musician, he was a renowned surfer; until he met with a surfing accident. After finding himself bedridden after the accident, he spent a lot of his time writing songs and playing guitar. He stated about the accident, "I like to joke that I hit my head so hard that that's why I'm so mellow, but I think it did mellow me out." It was during this time that he discovered his passion for music. I guess that’s where the mellowness comes from in his song-composing, making it dreamy like just like the title of the album In Between Dreams.

In Between Dreams is his third album and the best so far. Almost all the songs in this album are just to make you have a good time and sing along. For instance, “Banana Pancakes”, which is more like a wake-up-in-the-morning-and-make-breakfast-with-your-family kind of song. Another example would be “Do You Remember" that was written when the Jack met his wife while attending college, “It is a simple love song with some personal moments.”

The album has a bit of both reggae and folk, and the music’s wave-like sway makes you want to mellow out no matter how you feel. Of all the songs, I particularly liked “Breakdown” especially for its stop-and-smell-the-roses lyrics.

I hope this old train breaks down
Then I could take a walk around
And, see what there is to see
And time is just a melody.


From dedicating songs to his wife to being inspired by writers such as Kurt Vonnegut in “Crying Shame” and Joseph Campbell. Even tragic incidents like the killings in Fallujah during the Iraq War caused Johnson to come up with a song like “Never Know” about people pushing their religions on each other – “People keep on killing for their metaphors.”

Jack Johnson’s laid back approach in his singing is his biggest strength lending a sense of tranquility to his music. It makes you want to close your eyes and picture yourself in Hawaii sitting by the beach…I guess that’s what Johnson wants to say with his In Between Dreams.

3 Comments:

Blogger Kraxpelax said...

Personal announcement!

Have a look at my poetry at:

http://singleswingle.blogspot.com/

- Peter Ingestad, Sweden

4:26 AM  
Blogger desperado said...

an awesome awesome song..and luckily whenever i am coming back from the office it plays on the radio....and yeah it surely has the mellow effect

and been so long since i came here..how have you been...in the meantime i see big things happened like AK :)..congrats

8:33 AM  
Blogger TripleSix said...

hey desperado...

thanks for commenting...i thought i have vanished from the blogging sphere...

i love johnson too..he cheers me up..

2:40 AM  

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