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Review: Jack Johnson Engages in Quiet Activism, Love Songs on First LP in Four Years

Our take on the surfer-cum-strummer’s ‘All the Light Above It Too’

Will Hermes Sep 11, 2017

Jack Johnson's 'All the Light Above It Too' is his first album in four years. Photo: Josh Rhinehart/Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-SA-3.0

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‘All The Light Above It Too’ album artwork

Jack Johnson is a retired competitive surfer living with his college sweetheart in Hawaii, but dude wants you to know he still stresses. “I don’t care for your paranoid us-against-them walls,” he purrs over gentle calypso-rocksteady grooves on “My Mind Is for Sale”; “Fragments” is a wistful ballad for our befouled oceans (see his documentary The Smog of the Sea). On an LP of quiet activism and love songs, Johnson reboots the Zen-master delivery and swaying-palm-tree melodic sense that made his Curious George soundtrack LP a Number One hit. It’s no less inviting, especially with a frozen cocktail. We all need to chill.

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