In Between Dreams (2005) Jack Johnson projects a rugged masculinity, yet his sunscreened folk, reggae, and blues doesn't kick sand in anyone's face. In Between Dreams follows the mellow… 2005-03-01 Jack Johnson
Music Review

In Between Dreams (2005)

Jack Johnson | SHADES OF BLUE Johnson sings of heartache
Image credit: Jack Johnson: Gerrad Needham/ Headpress/ Retna
SHADES OF BLUE Johnson sings of heartache
EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Mar 01, 2005; Lead Performance: Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson projects a rugged masculinity, yet his sunscreened folk, reggae, and blues doesn't kick sand in anyone's face. In Between Dreams follows the mellow drift of its predecessors. The melodies are sweetly casual, the lyrics alternating between beach-comber seductions (''Banana Pancakes'') and mild-mannered commentary on malevolent TV pundits (''Good People'').

Johnson never lets his emotions boil over; he's so laid-back it's hard to tell when he's worked up. In more encouraging news, his tunes are meatier. He's channeling Steve Miller with the cream-puff harmonies and hooks of Miller-lite tunes like ''Crying Shame'' and the folk-rapping ''Staple It Together.'' You just want Johnson to vent a little. In ''Sitting, Waiting, Wishing,'' he's not happy about acquiescing to his lover's lifestyle and accepting her friends. But ''putting up with them wasn't worth never having you'' is the politest gibe you'll ever hear.

Originally posted Feb 28, 2005 Published in issue #809 Mar 04, 2005 Order article reprints