Search - Jack Johnson :: Sleep Through The Static

Sleep Through The Static
Jack Johnson
Sleep Through The Static
Genres: Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1

My friends and I have just finished recording a new album called Sleep Through the Static. At this point in my life I weigh about 190 lbs and my ear hairs are getting longer. I also have a couple of kids. My wife popped th...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Jack Johnson
Title: Sleep Through The Static
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 7
Label: Brushfire Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/2007
Re-Release Date: 2/5/2008
Genres: Pop, Rock
Style: Adult Alternative
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Other Editions: Sleep Through the Static
UPCs: 602517560550, 4988005503244

My friends and I have just finished recording a new album called Sleep Through the Static. At this point in my life I weigh about 190 lbs and my ear hairs are getting longer. I also have a couple of kids. My wife popped them out, but I helped. Some of the songs on this album are about making babies. Some of the songs are about raising them. Some of the songs are about the world that these children will grow up in; a world of war and love, and hate, and time and space. Some of the songs are about saying goodbye to people I love and will miss.

We recorded the songs onto analog tape machines powered by the sun in Hawaii and Los Angeles. One day, JP Plunier walked into the studio and told us, "It has been 4 to 6 feet and glassy for long enough," and so we gave him a variety of wind and rain as well as sun and so on. And Robert Carranza helped to put it all in the right places.

After inviting Zach Gill to join Adam Topol, Merlo Podlewski, and myself on our last world tour, we decided to make him an official member of our gang. So our gang now has a piano player, which probably makes us much less intimidating, but Merlo, our bass player, is 6'3" so we are still confident.

All of these songs have been on my mind for a while and it is nice to share them. I am continually grateful to my wife who is typing this letter as I dictate it to her.

I hope you enjoy this album.

Mahalo for listening,

Jack Johnson

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Member CD Reviews

Vincent N. from LANGLEY, WA
Reviewed on 11/28/2009...
I love it. Another great disc from JJ
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

CD Reviews

Sleep Through the Static
Mike Newmark | Tarzana, CA United States | 02/14/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Jack Johnson's soundtrack to the 2006 film Curious George was a winsome piece of folk-pop that kept everything appropriately sunny and superficial. Sleep Through the Static, Johnson's fourth proper LP, has been pitted by publicists and Johnson himself as the melancholic yin to Curious George's carefree yang. By their accounts, this is the record on which the surfer-turned-musician wipes out on the insurmountable tidal wave of real life. He's growing older and watching his children do the same, in an increasingly hostile world. More importantly, he's still reeling from the untimely death of his cousin, Danny Riley (that's him singing backup on "If I Had Eyes"), to whom the album is posthumously dedicated. Sleep Through the Static introduces electric guitar into the mix and--claims Johnson--references his punk-rock roots, all while delving into more mature themes. At least by Jack Johnson standards, it sounds poised to be an immensely dark and difficult album.

It's not, of course, and listeners will instantly find themselves back within the cozy confines of Johnson's all-too-secure environment. Johnson has never been as soulful as Ben Harper, as idiosyncratic as John Mayer or as technically accomplished as Dave Matthews, but he's nothing if not reliable, and the fans who have rocketed him to the top of the charts know exactly what to expect. The album-to-album changes in his sound have been incremental to imperceptible, depending on how closely you listen. And after four installments of largely identical music, the big question is whether devotees will lap this one up with the same satisfaction as they have with the previous three, or whether--like the casual listener--they'll find it rather boring and long in the tooth.

There are minor switch-ups here, but they seem to be guided by the heavy hand of Sleep Through the Static's promoters. For example, Johnson takes the purported stark lament that's supposed to typify his despondency ("All At Once") and sticks it right at the front of the album. I write "purported" because we're meant to hear it as Johnson's troubled cry to a deaf higher power, but its premeditated nature considerably buffers the impact. Johnson questions how to live with tragedy while also dealing in hope ("We could shake it off / And instead we'll plant some seeds"), and the low-slung music is similarly ambivalent. Contemplative, yes; emotionally trying, no. The same goes for the title track, a war protest whose clichés ("Who needs please when we've got guns?") mask Johnson's more visceral reactions. The fact that Johnson uses his head instead of his heart to sort through the muck and shape his songs may be the very thing that keeps the album from realizing itself. It's okay to feel as though the world is caving in when circumstances go this wrong; in light of that, Sleep Through the Static feels a bit too easy.

Those first two songs are about as edgy as this album gets, at least in terms of lyrical subjects. Johnson is a decent poet, but his words have the tendency to float in a river of chloroform with the rest of the music. As such, relatively strong numbers like "Go On"--a bittersweet song about letting his growing children run free--risk passing by unnoticed. That also means that the more lunkheaded ones ("Angel", "Monsoon") don't stick out and derail the flow, so I suppose that the album's soporific tone has its upsides. Previous reviewers have suggested that Sleep Through the Static would benefit from a higher energy level, but I'm not entirely sure I agree. Even when the musicians get worked up, as on "Hope" and "If I Had Eyes," they're not any more effective than they are when they keep it down. What this album and Johnson's career actually need are a few fresh ideas (see: John Mayer's recent transition into blues-rock) and a lot more soul.

I don't mean to sell Sleep Through the Static too short--it can be quite pleasant in the right mood--but as I sat and listened my body itched for something else to do. That's a nice way of saying that Sleep Through the Static is background music, something that feels more appropriate for Starbucks than any environment that requires you to pay attention to what you're hearing. I imagine it wouldn't be this way if Johnson decided to grapple with the static, the way Cat Power might, instead of sleeping through it. Actually, Cat Power is an apt reference point, since Static resembles Power's The Greatest (2006) in both mood and melody--an album I once dismissed as being too pretty and subdued for its own good. Over time, however, its songs took on a stirring potency that characterized it as Cat Power's arguable breakthrough. If The Greatest can do that for me, and doubtlessly quite a few others, perhaps the same fate awaits Sleep Through the Static. Time will tell."
The curious George syndrome
Daniel Vargas Blanco | San Antonio, TX | 02/07/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"If I could've given this item 3 and a half stars I would've.

I am a Jack Johnson fan from the very beginning, when most people didn't even know the man. Yes, those times when Flake was playing in some stations.

Something happened between In between dreams and this album, and I think it was all because of Curious George!

This album starts off in awesome fashion. As a matter of fact All at Once is an excellent song, and yet, the first time I listened to it I told my wife... "you shouldnt start off an album with such a mellow song". I didnt think that the whole album was going to be like that.

And here's where I agree with a lot of the previous reviewers. Yes people, this album is way too slow. Where did the feel good songs go. Where did the cool guitar riffs and rythms go. What happened to the upbeat songs (ie mudfootball, taylor, holes in heaven, never know, good people, etc)?

Yes, this album is mellow. But there are several songs that I think are worth the while playing over and over again. Among these, Angel, All at once and Same girl.

Why curious george? Cuz, some of the songs sound like some of the slow, depressive lullabies on Curious George soundtrack.

On another note. As much as I love the piano, on this album it tends to shadow the guitar repeatedly, which I hate, since I love the way the man plays the guitar. So thumbs down for the excessive amount of piano.

I will still listen to the cd, but only for very cozy, rainy evenings.