Andrew McMahon, the frontman of emo-punk band Something Corporate, made headlines this summer for the wrong reasons. News of his cancer diagnosis completely overshadowed the debut of his newest side project, a band by the name of Jack’s Mannequin. McMahon, who leads Jack’s Mannequin with his vocals and piano skills, failed to promote Everything In Transit as he underwent treatment for his leukemia, unfortunately leading to little publicity on the impressive album.
Those familiar with McMahon’s work in Something Corporate (SoCo) might wonder how Jack’s Mannequin differs from his past work. Although his delicious formula of angst-ridden lyrics, growling bass and pounding keyboard melodies drew success in SoCo, Everything In Transit pleases with its softer tone. While it maintains McMahon’s trademark pleading vocals, it’s different-less punk and more reflective of a gradual maturation of sound. Perhaps this is because of the growth of the changing musical scene; pop-punk is dying and piano-rock is in. The piano takes the spotlight in Jack’s Mannequin, which earns major points: McMahon’s piano abilities were arguably the most differentiating factor of SoCo from most bands in its genre.
Close your eyes and listen, and this disc will conjure up images of Southern California, where McMahon’s roots lie. The album is perfect for a drive to and from the beach on a Saturday afternoon, especially songs like the scene-setting single, “The Mixed Tape,” the energetic “Bruised” and the riveting “Dark Blue.” Everything In Transit delivers with its infectious piano riffs and beautiful lyrics that manage to pull at the heartstrings without being melodramatic. One can only wish Andrew McMahon a speedy recovery so that he can continue to produce music of this caliber.
Hannah Bae can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.