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Sleep Through The Static

4.3 out of 5 stars 206 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 5, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Surfer and singer-songwriter Jack Johnson returns with his fifth release Sleep Through the Static. Recorded directly to tape to achieve analog purity, the 14-track CD is filled with mellow, acoustic sounds with a bit of electric thrown into the mix, including the single 'If I Had Eyes'. Per Jack, 'At this point in my life I weigh about 190 lbs and my ear hairs are getting longer. I also have a couple of kids. My wife popped them out, but I helped. Some of the songs on this album are about making babies. Some of the songs are about raising them. Some of the songs are about the world that these children will grow up in; a world of war and love, and hate, and time and space. Some of the songs are about saying goodbye to people I love and will miss.' He recorded the songs onto analog tape machines powered by the sun in Hawaii and Los Angeles. 14 tracks. Universal. 2008

Amazon.com

Jack Johnson recorded his fourth album using nothing but solar power. This is somehow fitting for a singer-songwriter, surfer, and filmmaker who spends most of his days floating in the ocean under Hawaii's open skies. The forces of nature certainly seem to have found their way into the mellow grooves of standout tracks like "What You Thought You Need," "Adrift," and "Go On," songs so lovely and effortless that you can almost hear the melodies coming to Johnson on a warm breeze that rustles through the coconut trees. Sleep Through the Static documents his best work to date, even better than the Curious George soundtrack. The sedate singer transforms the acoustic campfire strums of the past into sublime, soulful ruminations on his wife, kids, and the state of the world. He even manages to conjure up some real anger on the title track, which is hardly diminished by its lavish grooves and glistening harmonies. --Aidin Vaziri
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 5, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Brushfire Records
  • ASIN: B000Z0UEU6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (206 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,217 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I'd read interviews where Jack Johnson had stated that his next album would feature a different direction with electric guitars. Well, he's not quite right. "Sleep through the static" isn't a radical departure, which is fine by me as what he does is great; Gently rolling surf like acoustic music. One listen to opening cut "All at once", "Enemy", or the lovely "Same girl" tells you that.

Lead single "If I had eyes" is bluesy and upbeat (well, by his standards), and you can hear the subtle difference new band member (pianist Zach Gill) makes to the music. I like the OO OO OOs!! Similar in feel is "What you thought you needed", with light marching beats and lightly buzzing guitars.

"They do they don't" is slower but with edgier (slightly distorted) sounding guitars (I really like this one), while "Hope" is lite reggae. "Adrift" is a tender piano sprinkled bluesy number, lovely!

I guess where there is more of a change in direction is lyrically; title track "Sleep through the static" sees him going political and lyrically references the Iraq war ("we went beyond where we should have gone" he says) or "Go on" (a lovely acoustic/piano ode to his growing brood, presently 2 children), and the very tender "Angel" (about his wife).

As long as you're not expecting a radically different sound, you should enjoy this,that is if you like the guy's music in the first place.
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Format: Audio CD
Jack Johnson's soundtrack to the 2006 film Curious George was a winsome piece of folk-pop that kept everything appropriately sunny and superficial. Sleep Through the Static, Johnson's fourth proper LP, has been pitted by publicists and Johnson himself as the melancholic yin to Curious George's carefree yang. By their accounts, this is the record on which the surfer-turned-musician wipes out on the insurmountable tidal wave of real life. He's growing older and watching his children do the same, in an increasingly hostile world. More importantly, he's still reeling from the untimely death of his cousin, Danny Riley (that's him singing backup on "If I Had Eyes"), to whom the album is posthumously dedicated. Sleep Through the Static introduces electric guitar into the mix and--claims Johnson--references his punk-rock roots, all while delving into more mature themes. At least by Jack Johnson standards, it sounds poised to be an immensely dark and difficult album.

It's not, of course, and listeners will instantly find themselves back within the cozy confines of Johnson's all-too-secure environment. Johnson has never been as soulful as Ben Harper, as idiosyncratic as John Mayer or as technically accomplished as Dave Matthews, but he's nothing if not reliable, and the fans who have rocketed him to the top of the charts know exactly what to expect. The album-to-album changes in his sound have been incremental to imperceptible, depending on how closely you listen. And after four installments of largely identical music, the big question is whether devotees will lap this one up with the same satisfaction as they have with the previous three, or whether--like the casual listener--they'll find it rather boring and long in the tooth.
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Format: Audio CD
If I could've given this item 3 and a half stars I would've.

I am a Jack Johnson fan from the very beginning, when most people didn't even know the man. Yes, those times when Flake was playing in some stations.

Something happened between In between dreams and this album, and I think it was all because of Curious George!

This album starts off in awesome fashion. As a matter of fact All at Once is an excellent song, and yet, the first time I listened to it I told my wife... "you shouldnt start off an album with such a mellow song". I didnt think that the whole album was going to be like that.

And here's where I agree with a lot of the previous reviewers. Yes people, this album is way too slow. Where did the feel good songs go. Where did the cool guitar riffs and rythms go. What happened to the upbeat songs (ie mudfootball, taylor, holes in heaven, never know, good people, etc)?

Yes, this album is mellow. But there are several songs that I think are worth the while playing over and over again. Among these, Angel, All at once and Same girl.

Why curious george? Cuz, some of the songs sound like some of the slow, depressive lullabies on Curious George soundtrack.

On another note. As much as I love the piano, on this album it tends to shadow the guitar repeatedly, which I hate, since I love the way the man plays the guitar. So thumbs down for the excessive amount of piano.

I will still listen to the cd, but only for very cozy, rainy evenings.
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Format: Audio CD
When I read the other sub-par reviews of this album from JJ on this site, I just figured that they were wrong. They in fact were correct. This album is a big let down when compared to Jack`s first three albums.
Perhaps it was that he recorded the album in L.A. versus Hawaii, who knows ?

The albums is really slow, aside from the single, most songs are mellow and depressing, as opposed to bright and cherry songs released prior by Jack Johnson. His previous records made me excited to go out and live life to its fullest, while this album is so slow that it makes me want to go to sleep. zzzzzzz

Really upset, expected so much more, (not terrible), but not even good, just barely mediocre. Again, I really was hoping for something good and I feel let down.
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