Rolling Stone - p.773 stars out of 5
-- "The finest moments on SLEEP THROUGH THE STATIC are the simplest, like the aching love song 'Angel' or Go On,' a sweetly swaying meditation on his growing children."
Spin - p.943 stars out of 5
-- "[With] chewy, Moog-speckled ditties that reveal an arty streak he's kept secret till now."
Q (Magazine) - p.1024 stars out of 5
-- "From the first forlorn chords of opening track 'All At Once' onwards, this is a more serious confection....His voice is as soothing as ever."
Blender (Magazine) - p.993.5 stars out of 5
-- "With a few more electric flourishes than before, he makes it all feel light as sea foam..."
Personnel: Jack Johnson (vocals, guitar); Zach Gill (vocals, keyboards); Trent Johnson (acoustic guitar); Merlo Podlewski (bass guitar); Adam Topol (drums); J.P. Plunier (hand claps, background vocals); Emmett Malloy, Josh Arroyo (hand claps); Danny Riley (background vocals).
If James Taylor was the face of '70s soft rock, then pro-surfer-turned-multi-platinum singer-songwriter Jack Johnson is surely his millennial counterpart: an easy-on-the-ears commercial juggernaut that the critics dismiss with undisguised and somewhat unjustified bile. Johnson's response to his detractors is to dig in, and with SLEEP THROUGH THE STATIC, his fifth--and best--set of soulfully mellow but emphatically hooky jams, he does just that.
Reportedly recorded on a solar-powered 8-track reel-to-reel, the songs--which, as he explains in the liner notes, concern "making babies...and raising them"--intimately reveal Johnson's newfound family bliss. He brings to the studio his touring band of drummer Adam Topol, bassist Merlo Podlewski, and keyboardist Zach Gill, who adds piano trills reminiscent of those in Nick Drake's "Pink Moon." A laidback Cali quality brims throughout cuts such as the title track and "Hope," as producer Robert Carranza keeps the sounds present but never overbearing.