Review: Jack Johnson – From Here to Now to You
Published on September 20th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Slightly controversial one, this, but kids: DO take drugs! Otherwise you might end up making something as insipid and downright unnecessary as Jack Johnson’s sixth album From Here to Now to You.
If you’re not even going to bother trying to create something for the ages, you might as well come clean about it. Fair play then to Jack Johnson, for From Here to Now to You is one great tacit admission that he’s only in it to leverage retirement money out of Starbucks addicts.
Just like shooting fish in a latte. Inspired by “family life in Hawaii”, From Here to Now to You is every bit as self-satisfied and ditch-water-dull as you might imagine upon reading the words “family life in Hawaii”, that is if you even managed to do so without lapsing into an irreversible coma.
“I don’t need nothing more than you” coffee tables Johnson on opener “I Got You”, but Rocksucker begs to differ. How about some English lessons too? That’s a double negative after all, as is the application of a whistling motif to something already so twee that it’s probably more of a greeting card than a song.
“Washing Dishes” is as crushingly boring as its titular activity, but you don’t end up with soft hands afterwards. It’s kind of a line dance that doesn’t realise it’s a line dance; a line dance in denial, perhaps the worst kind of line dance.
Even “Shot Reverse Shot”, which is at least vaguely intriguing of title, is just an adult contemporary version of the Only Fools and Horses theme tune. Listen to it carefully – an instruction conceivably never doled out in a Jack Johnson review until now – and see if you disagree.
Funnily enough, From Here to Now to You does have its redeeming features: “Tape Deck” is kinda bouncy and fun with its sunny chords sliding up and down all nice like, while “Radiate” has a spaced-out, sort-of-psychedelic wig out tacked thoughtfully onto it.
However, these fleeting moments fail to prevent a surge of searching questions, to wit:
a) Who needs music like this?
b) Who needs MORE music like this?
c) What does it say about planet Earth that Jack Johnson is so phenomenally popular?
It’s the crushing formula of it all, the sheer artlessness and cold, clinical eye for commerce that it represents. Know your audience and milk them dry with yet another identikit display of your aptitude for mimicking songs off the telly, at least with the help of an expensive producer.
Maybe we’re wrong. Maybe this is the music that Jack Johnson’s heart wants to make. In which case, Jack Johnson needs some LSD in his system, quick.
Sorry we didn’t like From Here to Now to You, Jack Johnson fans. You can leave angry comments if you like.
From Here to Now to You is out now.
Rocksucker says: One and a Half Quails out of Five!