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To the Sea

4.3 out of 5 stars 131 customer reviews

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Product Description

2010 release, the fifth studio album from the acclaimed singer/songwriter. The album was produced by Robert Carranza, Jack Johnson, and his bandmates Merlo Podlewski, Zach Gill and Adam Topol. To The Sea features guest appearances from the likes of G. Love, and Paula Fuga. The album was recorded at the Mango Tree Studio in Hawaii, and the Solar Powered Plastic Plant in LA using 100% solar power.

About the Artist

"I can't tell you anything but the truth." These words, sung by Jack Johnson in his latest studio album, To The Sea, define the ethos of a man born and raised in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

You could say it was a father's solo sail from California to Hawaii that opened his son's future fate and underpinned it with a personal mythology, but it was Jack's ability to learn his own lessons from life and the sea that birthed his astonishing alchemy of music and poetry.

Truth has found plenty of room to breathe in each of Jack's albums (and in all of his work, from surfing films to his nonprofit, the Kokua Hawaii Foundation), and it comes home to a deeper heart in To The Sea. Here, with his brothers in music - Adam Topol (drums), Merlo Podlewski (bass), and Zach Gill (piano and melodica) - he's on a journey to the center of himself, and to all of us.

It's a transformational crossing, a wide gyre (musically and lyrically) circling home. "You and your heart shouldn't feel so far apart," he sings in the album's opener ... and then:

Road signs were stolen Left here holding this flame Who stole my patience Who stole my way I'm lost I'm too tired to try

Jack is all about closing the distance, bridging the gap between who we are and the invisible stories that have shaped us. But even while his music is about bringing things together, he always seems aware of the larger truth:

You're so sweet to me In a world that's not always fair ... We could watch it from the clouds We can't stop it anyhow It's not ours

It's not ours ... and then there's the realization that all of this is transient, that this moment and this time will vanish from our lives as surely as our ancestors:

I don't want you to know Let's not go to sleep tonight It's not that it goes too fast It's just that it goes at all

Out there in the so-called real world, some things are inevitable:

These problems they breathe Their fire is real ... Even when you're asleep They'll be here still Breathing out or in

So the call is to dig deep, and then dig deeper:

Run my dear son We've got to get to the trees And then keep on going all the way ...

We've got to get right down to the sea "Water is the subconscious," says Jack, "and that water for me is the ocean. To get to the sea is being able to dig in and touch things that aren't on the surface. That reference - that `we've got to get to the sea' - is about a father leading his son to try to understand himself."

Inevitably, each of us is here to follow our own path, to discover the inner myths that have unconsciously formed us and framed our journey:

It said, shadows cut across the hero's face He falls from grace until a little bird sang `The truth is never ending we're just here pretending lets all laugh so that we don't cry' ...

Jack's music has a way of winning you over and bringing you back into yourself, which is to say that his music and lyrics have a universality. He's found a language that goes to the heart, borne on music that seems to bridge lost connections. If not exactly explaining, this effect at least points to his worldwide appeal and his way of bringing all sorts of people together. Jack Johnson's music is like something contagious that's also good for you.

So ... there's a myth about a young man who goes to sea, and he sails alone across the greatest ocean. He sails through storms. He catches fish, he learns to navigate by the stars ... he comes to Hawaii ... and he has a son, and the son, too, goes to the sea ... again and again, following and leading ... into the present ... into the very real and unknown.

I can't tell you anything but the truth. What is this place? Who am I? Why did we come here? I don't know. But I don't know that we're meant to know.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 1, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: June 1, 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Brushfire
  • ASIN: B003C1QIO6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,534 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Jack's new release 'To The Sea' feels like a day at the beach. It has a more raw, upbeat feel than his other CDs, but I think thats a good thing. There's nothing groundbreaking here, but Jack is not a groundbreaking artist. He is true to himself, and I think the direction he went with this CD is positive. There is definitely a noticeable influence from Zach Gill on this record, but I dont think that is a bad thing. Some people will complain that he's moving away from the simpler acoustic stuff, but for me it is a welcome change. Jack has turned it up a notch from Sleep Through The Static, IMO. Top to bottom its a rock solid CD that almost any Jack Johnson fan will like.

You And Your Heart - 8/10 - Took a few listens to grow on me, but its solid and a great opener to the CD. Great video, too.

To The Sea - 8/10 - A home run. Funky, fun, and just plain good. Love the guitar work near the end. Very Hendrix-like. This will be new vintage Jack in a few years.

No Good With Faces - 9/10 - I LOVE this song. One of the best on the CD, IMO. A simple song with a haunting feel. But lets not get ahead of ourselves, theres more songs to review...

At Or With Me - 10/10 - Wow. Best song on the CD, IMO. This song was recorded in a single take in the studio as a demo, but they liked the raw feel so much they put it on the CD. Very upbeat, very catchy, and a great live jam. Unlike anything hes ever done. Love the blues harp that comes in unexpectedly towards the end. I hope he keeps this in his live setlist. Oh-Oh-Oh-Ohhhh!

When I Look Up - 4/10 - I wish this was a longer song, and the length is the only reason I give it a low score. Could have been left off the CD and it wouldnt have made a difference. It sounds like an intro, and thats how I see it...
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Format: Audio CD
Let's cut to the chase: if you have all Jack's other albums you've already bought this album or will (and you should, it's essential Jack johnson). If your interest in Jack has waned after the Curious George album (which is hard to consider a "true album" IMO) and the more melancholy Sleep Through the Static then I would definitely recommend this, it may renew your love of Jack. Although this album features all the typical elements from Jack's previous albums, I would say it is more akin to "On and On", not as poppy as "In Between Dreams" but more upbeat and enjoyable than "Sleep Through the Static." People (critics especially) give Jack alot of grief for playing the same style of laid back songs and not mixing it up or being "edgy" enough. Personally, I respect Jack mostly for NOT giving in and pandering to the forces and expactations of the biz. I grow tired at times of artists I initially like but get pretentious trying to push the envelope and reinvent themselves only to lose sight of what made them great to begin with. Ultimately, I think all anyone wants are good songs with good melodies, and that's exactly what Jack delivers.
I think "To the Sea" will rank as some of Jack's best work. I loved the catchy upbeat "You and Your Heart" which kicks off the album. I was a little worried upon my first listen when the following two tracks were slower and more melancholy. They're good songs, but I was afraid given that the album is dedicated to his father who recently died of cancer it would sink into being a sad slow album. NOT SO!
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Format: MP3 Music
I have been a Jack Johnson fan since he was just a good surfer who was great at selecting tunes for his soundtracks. I must say that this is the first album he has released that has really disappointed me. I keep hoping that it is going to grow on me, kind of like how Sleep Through the Static did after getting more accustomed to Johnson's electric guitar playing, but have just not been able to get into it. This album really feels like a compilation of the rare tracks that I would skip on his previous albums.

Overall, this album is OK at best, 2.5 stars. I think the title should have been, Stranded in the Sea: Rarities, B-Sides, and Other Songs that Were Not Good Enough for My Previous Albums. I just cannot understand where Jack was at on this one. If you are looking to buy a good Jack Johnson album, just buy any of his previous albums, including the surfing soundtracks, and you will happy with your purchase.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Since hearing Jack Johnson while stationed in DC, we've been collecting his work.
Each CD has been a bit of the same but yet different. Something about the words and how Jack sings them makes it easy to listen to the whole CD. To the Sea is no different.
as soon as it arrived I ripped it to our iTunes collection and we grabbed a bottle of wine that night and listened to the whole CD.
Really enjoyed it. It is part of our party background music now. Easy listening and not too load. People ask us "who is that" so we just pop open the iTunes list playing and show them. Our Florida Neighbors ending up getting this CD and a few of his earlier works.
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