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All The Light Above It Too Album Review

Updated on April 6, 2018

Jack Johnson came out with his first studio release in 4 years with All the Light Above It Too. It was a return to form with the typical relaxed music with subtle social messages and revealing love songs. The opening song is a great introduction to the album with the title, “Subplots,” showing that the song is all about facing distractions. “Well, how many subplots you got runnin’ around your mind?” “Love Song #16” seems to be written to his wife. It uses simple guitar, but in an extremely effective manner. Jack Johnson doesn’t do anything too revolutionary, but his heartfelt tone and guitar style can be felt throughout all the tracks. “You Can’t Control It” shows how the need for excessive musical stylings aren’t always necessary for an effective song. In fact, it keeps the focus more on the lyrical content rather than the guitar work. Johnson, a former professional surfer, really embodies the lifestyle with his music.

Not all his tracks on this album are overly simple though. The single from the album, “My Mind is For Sale,” shows that Johnson has a vast expanse of musical ability. Johnson played most instruments on the whole album, and he allowed a few songs to show off his musical prowess. “My Mind is For Sale” is just poppy enough to keep everyone interested. “Gather” is another example of simple song writing, but accompanied by the many overlaid guitars, keys, and percussion allows for a beautiful mix of tone and relaxation. “Gather” also offers a simple message of people needing to stay focused in our busy world with a fun and attractive musical backing.

All the Light Above It Too didn’t offer anything new in the Jack Johnson body of work musically, but lyrically hit all the right notes. It was a bit of a safe album for Johnson. Not to say it was weak, but it just didn’t do anything to truly explode on the scene.

3.5 out of 5 stars

© 2018 Josh Whitworth

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