Sleep Through the Static

Studio Album by released in 2008
Sleep Through the Static's tracklist:
All at Once
Sleep Through the Static
Hope
Angel
Enemy
If I Had Eyes
Same Girl
What You Thought You Need
Adrift
Go On
They Do, They Don't
While We Wait
Monsoon
Losing Keys

Sleep Through the Static review

A man with a guitar

Soft guitar strumming and soothing crooning is a simple but very effective weapon, which is capable of winning the hearts of millions of people all over the world. Who needs all those guitar pedals, thick layers of effects and other studio frills? If a song's aim is to enshroud you in a cozy campfire air, a minimal set of instruments will be quite enough. American singer-songwriter Jack Johnson professes exactly this kind of approach. In fact, Johnson is a unique musician. He is one of those few who managed to win a worldwide fame sinning uncomplicated songs that sound as simple as they used to when he composed them in his bedroom. Of course, a man with a guitar is not a new image, but Johnson nevertheless succeeded in finding his own way and made people believe in this image again. His last album In Between Dreams released in 2005 sold more than 10 millions copies. And this is not a final point yet. It is quite possible that his new album Sleep Through the Static will raise this level even higher.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it

Johnson is a musician who doesn't really like changes and experiments. If you heard his songs before than it will be easy for you to imagine what is out there on his new album. Unhurried and peacefull acoustic compositions with a very friendly atmosphere. However, it doesn't mean that Sleep Through the Static is a copy of Johnson's previous records. Yes, everything is based on the same formula, but the album still has its unique features. Many of the songs are covered with a thin, hardly noticeable atmosphere of sadness. Of course, his voice has always sounded thoughtful but here this air of slight romantic melancholy became more shaped. The peculiarity of Johnson's style lies in his ability to combine positive tunes with this sad air in a proper proportion. Two, seemingly opposite, traits get along within his songs easily and very naturally. You may give a try to Angel or Same Girl – these are very tuneful and beautiful ballads, which are ready to prove that a good song doesn't really need big budget production, a single acoustic guitar is quite enough.

Johnson's style remains immutable

However, ballads are far from being the best songs of this album. Strange as it may seem, but the most attractive appearance belongs to the most expressive compositions. Listen to If I Had Eyes, Hope or They Do, They Don't. These are very cute mid tempo songs that remind you soft-rock from the seventies. Of course, in comparison with standards of mainstream rock this tracks sound more than just peacefully but in the borders of Sleep Through the Static they look pretty bright. Surely, the album's title track should be mentioned too. This is that very song where Johnson's sad mood is expressed most clearly. This is definitely one of the best songs of the record and probably one of the best songs in Johnson's entire catalogue. In general, Sleep Through the Static produces mixed impression. It is hard to call it a masterpiece but you cannot find any obvious drawbacks either. It is quite possible that the album's main problem is the narrowness of the material. The mood of many songs looks very alike and this, in its turn, makes the record a little bit protracted. Sleep Through the Static will suit to Johnson's old fans in the first place. His style remains almost immutable and this is why many of those who loved his previous album will listen to the new songs with pleasure.

Max Rodrigues (14.02.2008)
Rate review4.30
Total votes - 49


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