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The KickBack: “From Here to Now to You”

Andrew Gastelum | Thursday, September 19, 2013

If I ask you to associate the words “kick back” with a single musician, survey says Jack Johnson would come back 75 percent of the time. No matter the song, album or venue, Jack Johnson plays the tunes of a kick back. 

It’s unforced, genuine calm that reverberates through every pluck of his guitar and there is nothing more soothing than the final result. 

So on “From Here to Now to You,” his latest project, JJ’s cool is as enjoyable as ever before. Even better is the fact that his music sounds just as soothing as it did five years ago, yet you can tell the subtle progressions he has made throughout his career in order to refine his natural sound. 

The album starts out with the heartwarming single “I Got You,” which keeps an up-tempo vibe yet still gets its compassionate point across without sounding too cheesy. Then “Washing Dishes” follows and does nothing more than settle the listener into a kick back-type of groove. 

“Tape Deck” and “Radiate” are a few other examples of those kinds of songs, with addicting hooks and a little more bounce in their steps that will surely have you humming along. 

On his last album, “To the Sea,” Johnson tries to mix a new, faster paced sound and the intimate harmonies of his past works like “Sleep Through the Static” and “In Between Dreams.” But on “From Here to Now to You” he finds that balance with a revitalized energy that doesn’t stray too far from his acoustic prowess, while on “To The Sea” he tried to push across more electric sounds to keep the energy up.

With “From Here to Now to You” he realizes he doesn’t need anything outside of an acoustic guitar, a box drum and, more than anything, his voice to carry the tune along. No more electric guitars, upbeat drum patterns and experimental sounds. It’s all back to basics, what made him the Jack Johnson that the world has come to love over the last few years. 

If you’re in a bad mood, listen to this album. It will instantly spring you from your blues. If you are in a good mood, listen to this album. It will instantly make you feel on top of the world. If you are looking just to lie around and relax, listen to this album. It will instantly put you in a carefree space where nothing can go wrong. 

This is really the first Jack Johnson that can do all of that, and feel totally committed to each of these feelings at any given time. It’s natural, it’s adaptable, it’s Jack Johnson, “From Here to Now to You.”