Jack Johnson delivers summer feel good vibes in his latest album, All The Light Above It Too. It’s just in time for the change of season, particularly for the southern hemisphere who are moving into warmer weather and it will no doubt accompany many on a beach day out or another other leisurely activity. This is Johnson’s seventh studio album to date. His friend Robbie Lackritz served as producer.
Overall the album sticks to the simple instrumentation of vocals accompanied by acoustic guitar, and a light rhythm section to fill the sound. Here and there Johnson adds variation, as in Sunsets For Someone Else which includes a mandolin. Gather is the most progressive track interns of its sound. He also created interest in the sound by changing the texture of the music. For example, Love Song #16 uses a playful staccato guitar technique which is also carried over into the vocal line. It all ties up quite nicely with the adorable nature of the track. The vocal harmonies in Is One Moon Enough? are like a warm sonic hug.
Johnson shares some powerful messages in his thoughtful album. My Mind Is For Sale and Gather express his socio-political commentaries on Trump’s recent rise to power. In particular, he comments on Trump’s immigration bans, the infamous wall between the USA and Mexico and how we, the people, should all come together to oppose these draconian policies. Fragments highlights an important environmental issue, namely the pollution of our oceans. The album cover shows Johnson lying amongst plastic trash that was collected on a beach in Hawaii. He brings these daunting realities to our attention, but throughout the album he also clearly communicates a celebration of love for the world and its beauty.