By Jacob Douglas, E23 Executive Producer

From the opening chords of “All the Light Above It Too,”, Jack Johnson fans knew they were in for another stylistically pleasing album. Johnson is back to his usual laid-back style that his fans have waited four long years to hear.

Before releasing this album, the surfer turned musician took a break from music to travel the world and shoot his new documentary, “Smog of the Sea”, which covers pollution in our oceans.

Clearly influenced by the documentary, Johnson’s message is clear in this album: climate change is here, and we are pushing the limits of Mother Earth. In the song “You Can’t Control It”, Johnson sings “if and when you drink from this vast ocean, you can’t control it”, referring to how we treat the planet.

Jack Johnson“All the Light Above It Too” is Johnson’s seventh studio album. (Source: Wikimedia)

The main single from the album “My Mind Is For Sale” is Johnson at his most political, as he calls out President Donald Trump. This is the album at its best. Johnson’s soft melodies are interwoven with sharp lyrics like “I don’t care for your careless, me-first gimme-gimme appetite at all”. Johnson’s bold lyrical shots are welcoming and are a nice change from his usual passive style.

That being said, this album fits perfectly into Johnson’s current discography. In fact, it is eerily similar to his other material. There is no more evidence than the track “Sunsets for Somebody Else”. The song, to put it nicely, is a mere shift in tempo from being “Banana Pancakes”. This repetitiveness causes some tracks to feel mundane, but it’s generally a nonissue.

“All the Light Above It Too” is truly shining when Johnson’s emotion shines through, which can be said for most of the album. Tracks like “Gather” and “Love Song #16” are great looks into Johnson’s mind and his relationship with his wife.

At the end of the day, “All the Light Above It Too” is, by-and-large, a forgettable album for most. For his die-hard fans however, this is the album they wanted. Being a longtime fan of Johnson’s music, I found this album to be exquisite in every way. While I would like to see Johnson test the boundaries of his music next time, more of the same is perfectly fine to me.

4/5 Stars

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