Although Jack’s Mannequin may still be a relatively new project, the man behind the music, Andrew McMahon, is a seasoned veteran when it comes to making unforgettable pop melodies as is apparent on his newest album The Glass Passenger.
Influences of both the debut Jack’s Mannequin album Everything in Transit and McMahon’s former band Something Corporate are present on this album, but McMahon pushes himself a step further and experiments with new instruments and styles. Album single “The Resolution” sounds a lot like another “The Mixed Tape” and “Hammers and Strings (A Lullaby)” and could easily become his next “Konstantine.”
Songs such as “Annie Use Your Telescope” and “Bloodshot,” however, are a stylistic departure from McMahon’s previous efforts and in a very good way. He experiments with voice effects and synthesizer. On both, he elegantly mixes acoustic with the electric.
For all those Tom Petty fans, “American Love” offers a big song and a big chorus with some of the strongest lyrics on the album. McMahon offers a powerful image when he sings, “I dig my grave, but I just can’t stand to step inside.” This is an echo of a similar sentiment found in many of the other songs on the album like in “Swim” where he sings, “I swim for brighter days despite the absence of sun.” He often talks of just living and hoping for a better future despite blockades in life.
“Spinning,” which features the lovely Stacy Clark, is probably my favorite song on the album. Not only are the guitar riffs really fun and the vocals provided by Clark lovely , but this song has some of the greatest dynamic changes that I’ve heard in a long time. McMahon cleverly whispers, “I’m keeping quiet until the phone starts ringing” and “I’ll find my words, my words when there’s no one talking,” but then he explodes into the chorus.
This album will be played in its entirety on the upcoming fall Jack’s Mannequin tour. The Glass Passenger is released by Sire Records on Sept. 30, 2008.
01. Crashin’ (feat. Stacy Clark)
02. Spinning (feat. Stacy Clark)
04. American Love
05. What Gets You Off?
06. Suicide Blonde
07. Annie Use Your Telescope
09. Hammer and Strings (A Lullaby)
10. Drop Out – The So Unknown
12. The Resolution
Written by: Bethany