Spun: Jack Johnson

By Naomi Sturtridge

Sunshine, surf and… banana pancakes?

For those who enjoyed the mellow sound of Jack Johnson on his first two albums On and On and Brushfire Fairytales, his new album is cause for rejoicing. But for those hoping for something new and exciting from this Californian crooner: sorry, no dice. Returning with his third album In Between Dreams Johnson produces music as great as ever, but sadly does not show any kind of evolution from previous releases.

Although there are successful attempts to sound more upbeat and dramatic on songs such as “Breakdown, Sitting, Waiting, Wishing,” Johnson sticks to his classic jazz/pop/soft rock formula of relaxed beats, catchy acoustics and sing-along lyrics. In Between Dreams gives listeners a warm, happy feeling of cloudless sun-filled skies and surf lapping at their feet. This feeling is best emphasized by feel-good tracks such as “Banana Pancakes” and the love-inspired “Better Together.” But as great as the songs are, they seem to blend into one. Despite being a rather delightful blend, this album could have showcased some variations between tracks.

Johnson has been a refreshing drink in the bland desert of today’s pop/soft-rock. But to continue quenching listeners’ thirsts he is going to have to add some diversity to his albums or he is going to dry out.

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