Love The New Jack Johnson Single, It’s 100% Jack Johnson

If an unpredictable artist who keeps changing their sound is like a box of fine chocolates, then Jack Johnson is like a bowl of your favorite cereal. Not very exciting, but you know what you’re going to get, it’s not too sweet and it goes down easy. If you had never heard Jack Johnson before, you could listen to just about any track he’s released over his 17-year career and you’d get what he’s all about. That’s consistency.

Jack Johnson is the original acousti-funk surfer slacker dude, but it was for him an acquired sound. Laid-back acoustic vocals combining rap and melody over funky bass and drums was a style pioneered in Philadelphia by G. Love & Special Sauce in the mid-‘90s. Jack Johnson’s big break was writing a hit song for G. Love in 1999, earning Johnson his own record contract and the opportunity to bring the acoustic-funk slacker dude thing to the beach, where it seemed like a perfect fit with the former professional surfer.

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Johnson struck a nerve with his 2001 album Brushfire Fairytales and eventually ended up surpassing his mentor G.Love in popularity, releasing five albums since then and giving the laid-back slacker vibe a musical home. In 2006 he was parodied in a Saturday Night Live skit as inventing a “new kind of shoe for the laid back lifestyle” called JJ Casuals, “shoes that look like feet”. I still think of it every time I hear one of his songs.

So if most of your musical output has a general similarity in sound, you’d better have something else to keep people interested, and in Johnson’s case he’s an above-average lyricist. Sure, you take the beach slacker dude philosophy as a starting point, but it comes across as honest and sincere, and he’ll always have an interesting turn of phrase or two.

Like in this one, “My Mind Is For Sale”, the first single from his upcoming album set for release September 8. It’s got a clear political viewpoint, but he’s also got some interesting thoughts about the way we process and maintain our own opinions in the digital age:

And all the real estate in my mind is for sale
It’s all been subdivided
Divided into reasons why
My two opposing thoughts at once are fine
The residue from the price tag
On the tip of my tongue
The words don’t come they go
How many likes I gotta get
Before I know the truth

If you’ve got a couple of minutes watch the video. It’s pretty clever as far as lyric videos go, and it’s a pretty good song too, not too sweet and goes down easy.







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