Jack Johnson’s new album doesn’t fix what ain’t broken

Sleep Through the Static is a fitting title for Jack Johnson’s latest CD. The opening track “All At Once” will surely put you to sleep – not in a bad way – with its slow, heavy bass and contemplative lyrics, such as “Which way will you run/When it’s always all around you.” It does not seem far off from Johnson’s last album, Curious George: Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies.

It’s ironic how Johnson sings, “Sometimes it feels like the heart is no place to be singing from at all,” in this first song because it he is doing exactly that in every song, except the title track, which delivers such thought-provoking lines as, “Shock and awful thing to make somebody think/That they have to choose pushing for peace supporting the troops.”

Unlike his past three solo albums, this one doesn’t score as big on the catchy tunes. The only track that can draw comparisons to Brushfire Fairytales’ “Flake” and In Between Dream’s “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing” is the current single “If I Had Eyes.” There is no escaping the addictive “oohs” at the end of the song, which will stay in your head all day. Johnson certainly has a knack for making miraculous sounds without even opening his mouth. Check out more of Johnson’s “ooh’s” in “Angel,” a perfect love song that you will not know how you ever lived without.

Just like his previous three albums, listeners can rely on Sleep Through the Static for quotable lyrics and chill background music for any occasion. Johnson took his raw, acoustic song making to the next level with this album, which was recorded entirely with solar energy.

Meanwhile, for anyone looking to join Johnson in helping the environment, the green singer/songwriter has created the All At Once Campaign – an effort to improve the environment through connecting activists and non-profit groups. AllAtOnce.org is a social action network that helps individuals aid their local environment and the world, and is set to be launched on March 1.

Kimberly Rubenstein can be contacted at k.rubenstein@umiami.edu.