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Album review: Jack Johnson resorts to old, relaxed tone in ‘From Here To Now To You’

arts_jackJack Johnson has been the epitome of relaxed surfer/musician since his debut in 2001 with “Brushfire Fairytales.” Tranquil, calm and unpretentious with his acoustic guitar and voice made for lullabies, Johnson delves into fatherhood, being a husband and essentially being completely content with his laid-back Hawaiian self and life.

2010’s “To the Sea,” an ode to Johnson’s late father, was a semi-departure from the usual tone his albums have. That last record was more mellow, more reflective and touched on his loss, whereas the singer and songwriter opted for a different aspect of his personal life for Tuesday’s release, “From Here To Now To You.”

He turned his attention to his wife and kids.

Saturated with love songs, odes to his wife and reflections on being a father and family man, Johnson is just as, if not more mellow in his latest release, but on a less somber topic.

“Our love can never fade / It feels good to be the one, that you want / When all I want is you,” he sings in “Never Fade.” Speckled with lovely thoughts and lyrics about his family, the album isn’t quite sappy enough to be cliché and just adorable enough to remind listeners of how comfortable Johnson is with his life.

Written mostly on his porch at his home in Hawaii, he sounds comfortable. He goes back to a lot of the basics that made him famous in his freshman release.

“I Got You” opens the album with a whistle, and listeners are thrown right into his seemingly adorable love life. “Washing Dishes” is reminiscently as cute as “Banana Pancakes” from 2005’s “In Between Dreams,” with Johnson taking up household chores for his wife.

Subtly lo-fi with a lone acoustic guitar, “You Remind Me of You” sounds classic with Johnson filling out the song with “ba-doops” and “ohs.” “You Remind Me of You” stands out among the other tracks. He stays tied to his acoustic roots, but with a bit of extra flare.

The album sounds like a personal reflection spun into lyrics.

Grade: A-


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