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Brushfire Fairytales

4.6 out of 5 stars 541 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 29, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Fans of Willy Porter, Ben Harper, and G. Love will all want to check out Jack Johnson's engaging folk- and blues-inflected pop. Born in Oahu, Hawaii, Johnson, a former surfer and film-school graduate, has a knack for acoustic ballads whose calm surfaces hide a subtle but strong lyrical undertow. "It seems to me that 'maybe' pretty much always means 'no,'" sings Johnson on "Flake," which features crony Harper on slide guitar. Production by J.P. Plunier (who also handles Harper's recordings) is simple and uncluttered: acoustic guitar and drum tracks share the foreground with Johnson's easygoing vocals, which evoke everyone from G. Love (who recorded Johnson's "Rodeo Clowns" on his Philadelphonic album) to Nick Drake to Willy Porter. And while Johnson may not have Porter's guitar chops, these songs have a relaxed beauty and understated depth that reward repeated listening. --Bill Forman

Amazon.com

Fans of Willy Porter, Ben Harper, and G. Love will all want to check out Jack Johnson's engaging folk- and blues-inflected pop. Born in Oahu, Hawaii, Johnson, a former surfer and film-school graduate, has a knack for acoustic ballads whose calm surfaces hide a subtle but strong lyrical undertow. "It seems to me that 'maybe' pretty much always means 'no,'" sings Johnson on "Flake," which features crony Harper on slide guitar. Production by J.P. Plunier (who also handles Harper's recordings) is simple and uncluttered: acoustic guitar and drum tracks share the foreground with Johnson's easygoing vocals, which evoke everyone from G. Love (who recorded Johnson's "Rodeo Clowns" on his Philadelphonic album) to Nick Drake to Willy Porter. And while Johnson may not have Porter's guitar chops, these songs have a relaxed beauty and understated depth that reward repeated listening. --Bill Forman

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Inaudible Melodies
  2. Middle Man
  3. Posters
  4. Sexy Plexi
  5. Flake
  6. Bubble Toes
  7. Fortunate Fool
  8. The News
  9. Drink the Water
  10. Mudfootball
  11. F-Stop Blues
  12. Losing Hope
  13. It's All Understood


Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 29, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Umvd Labels
  • ASIN: B00005V8PZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (541 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,195 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Jack Johnson Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Being a person whose favourite genres of music are Soul and Avant-garde Jazz, sometimes a break is needed from the ever-amazing art created by soul artists and the mad cacaphony of white noise created by avant-gardists. Increasingly, I am a fan of the acoustic guitar in it simplicity, especially if it is one of only a few instruments. Singer/Songwriter James Taylor springs to mind as an artist who I really enjoy listening to. He can make you calm after a storm just by playing his guitar and singing a song with his soothing voice.
An artist who I discovered while talking to some surfer friends was Jack Johnson. I decided to give him a go, and I found his album to be just the thing I was looking for. With his trio of guitar, bass and drums, this is a real acoustic album through and through. Brushfire Fairytales is like a cross between James Taylor's mellow singer/songwriter work and the slightly more upbeat work of Ben Harper (only slightly). Even Jack's singing style is like a fusion of the two.
The album is simply amazing based simply on its merits; simplicity. It is an feat in minimalism that this album can hold your attention without the commercial smoke and mirrors of more poppish acoustic rock. Also, Jack is an artist who has something to say in his sometimes cryptic lyrics. He only brings in a little help on Flake, using Ben Harper and Tommy Jordan. Inaudible Melodies, Posters, Sexy Plexi, Flake, Bubble Toes and The News are my favourites.
Some criticise this album for its lack of variation.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
I first heard Jack Johnson on a bootlegged live recording. The quality was horrible, but something about it compelled me to go out and buy his cd. For me, this is very unusual. But there was just something about Johnson's mellow sound that made me feel good. And Brushfire Fairytales is no exception. From start to finish, the cd makes me want to drive down to the beach and just enjoy the little things in life. The best part about it is that Jack's lyrics will also make you think. Songs like "The News", "Posters", and "It's All Understood" will leave you saying, "Yeah, I've felt that way before!" but maybe never vocalized it. Jack tends to pick up on those little things that some of us have trouble putting into words. That's one of my favorite things about him. That and his complex phrasing. The rhythmic vocals fit perfectly with the guitar, bass, and drums. It's almost like he uses his voice as another percussion instrument at times.
I must say that this is one of the best debut albums I've heard in a long time. (The last one that comes to mind is Pearl Jam's Ten) Jack is truly inspirational and I hope he continues to make music even though he's a surfer at heart.
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It has taken me a while to review this album, because I have had a hard time coming up with the words that would express the joy I feel everytime I listen to this album. This is not just an excellent debut album. This is the kind of album that I almost couldn't see an artist top.... but with such beautiful songwriting and instrumentation, how could this be a fluke?
Ever since I bought this album, it has been in my cd player - and will remain there. This could be the perfect folk/alternative album. There are no low points, at all. Sure some songs are better than others, but every track has a wonderful sound all its own - with a message all its own.
As I mentioned at the top, the songwriting is fantastic. Songs like Losing Hope and The New are perfect examples of just how wonderfully Jack writes songs with emotion. The instrumentation throughout is perfect - full bodied where it needs to be (Inaudible Melodies) and sparce where it needs to be (Losing Hope, Fortunate Fool).
This album's standout songs are definately Inaudible Melodies, Flake, Fortunate Fool, The News, Mudfootball, and Losing Hope - but as I mentioned eariler, there is nothing here that is not amazing in its own way.
EVERYONE should own this album. I have 1500+ albums, and a very eclectic taste in music. Before finding this wonderful album, my favorite album was Marvin Gaye's classic, Let's Get It On. I am very choosy on what I consider a classic - and this is!
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I came across Jack Johnson's music purely by accident. My friend and I were watching Blue Torch TV, and they were showing something about a surfing video. Johnson just happened to be the one who provided all the music for the video, and they played a few samples. My friend and I were immediately hooked. Ever since then, I've been telling everyone I know about his music. If Ben Harper is the next big thing (and I believe he is), then Jack Johnson is right there behind him. If you're sitting on the fence, trying to decide whether to buy this album, hop on down on my side and find out what I'm talking about. I guarantee that if you like good music like Ben Harper, Dave Matthews, and G Love and The Special Sauce, then you will totally dig Jack Johnson. And since he's relatively unknown still, you'll have the pleasure of turning all your friends on to his music. And not only is this album excellent, but he sounds absolutely amazing live. I had the pleasure of seeing him open for Ben Harper last night, and it's a night I won't soon forget. If either of these guys comes to your town, you cannot miss the show! And in the meantime, buy their albums and enjoy some wonderful music.
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