The guitar toting ex pro-surfer brings us his fifth studio album of summery acoustic tunes. A mix of bouncy pop and sentimental slow songs, it does pretty much what it says on the tin. A really, really dull tin.
At a guess, it's unlikely to be a coincidence that Jack Johnson's fifth offering hits shelves just in time for summer. The Hawaiian native has got his breezy, lightweight guitar formula to a tee, and it's perfect for barbeques and beer gardens. Chances are, if you're already a fan of Johnson's, you'll consider this album the perfect soundtrack for Summer '10, but for those who've always found him overrated and plain boring, 'To The Sea' may just be Johnson's dullest record yet.
All thirteen songs on 'To The Sea' are steadily paced, sweet, melodic and inoffensive by nature. Inoffensive, because there's not an interesting thought, sound, feeling or character among them. From start to end, this is samey, repetitive, uninspiring, lacklustre fodder. Of the few moments that stand out as merely mediocre, rather than hair-rippingly tedious, are the jazzy acoustic guitar solo of 'My Little Girl', the bluesy harmonica of 'Red Wine, Mistakes, Mythology', and the exotic drum beat and wah-wah guitar intro of 'The Upsetter'. Sadly, these are but brief glimpses at some novel ideas, always overpowered and downtrodden by Johnson's well worn mould.
There's a reason you need sunshine and a pint for this kind of music. Because without it, this is possibly the longest 40 minutes you'll ever spend with a record. Was it really only 40 minutes? Oh God...