Personnel: Jack Johnson (vocals, guitar, dobro, ukulele, percussion); Zach Gill (vocals, accordion, melodica, piano, Wurlitzer organ, vibraphone, glockenspiel); Merlo Podlewski (guitar, piano, vibraphone); Adam Topol (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixers: Mario Caldato, Jr.; Robert Carranza.
Recording information: The Mango Tree, Hawaii; The Solar Powered Plastic Plant, Los Angeles, CA.
Illustrator: George McFetridge.
Photographers: Emmett Malloy; Kim Johnson .
On his 2013 album From Here to Now to You, the surfing soft rock superstar Jack Johnson continues the subtle shift in his sound that began on his previous album, To the Sea. Like he did there, Johnson again spices up the sweet and sleepy acoustic ballads that are his claim to fortune and fame with some songs that have a little more bubbly, uptempo pop in their DNA. He and his able band put some surprising bounce in lighthearted rockers like "Shot Reverse Shot" and "Washing Dishes"; give his tale of playing in punk bands as a teen, "Tape Deck," a nice shaggy loping feel; and get almost funky on the jam band-friendly "Radiate." These tracks give the album a few nice jolts of energy, though jolt may be the wrong word. Maybe more like gentle nudges. Certainly not drastic enough to detract from the reliably mellow mood Johnson creates on the rest of the album as his quiet and peaceful tunes work like a shot of musical melatonin. Songs like the sweetly romantic "I Got You," the gently questioning "Don't Believe a Thing I Say," and the truly lovely ballad "Change" are like melodic cocktails guaranteed to give you a light and breezy buzz with no hangover the next day. When he gets a little melancholy, which he does a couple times, he does it in such a pleasant way that the slightly dark sentiments float by like stray clouds. Only one song lets down the side, the treacly and slightly odd ode to parenthood "You Remind Me of You," which equates children with clones and sounds way too silly compared to the rest of the record. This one stumble aside, From Here to Now to You is another impressive record from Johnson. The way he mixes sounds, styles, and moods on the album is, like it was on To the Sea, a nice step in the right direction; the songs are typically strong; and the whole thing goes down as easily as ice-cold soda pop on a hot summer day. ~ Tim Sendra