SUPGlobal looks at afew music releases that should not be missed out – Jack Johnson and Newton Faulkner.
Newton Faulkner – Hand Built by Robots
Newton Faulkner is often identified as the UK version of Jack Johnson, which is very disingenuous to both artists, as they are very different. Newton Faulkner is an extremely accomplished acoustic guitar player, his style is reminiscent of Justin King, guitar geeks will love this album as they try and identify all the weird tunings and chords that Faulkner uses.
I first came to hear of Newton Faulkner because of his cover of the Massive Attack song Tear Drop. TO be able to take Massive Attacks dark electronica and reduce it into a bare acoustic song that looses non of the dark brooding emotion takes talent, and Faulkner proves he has it in spades. The rest of the album, some 17 song, is quirky and complex, going from the emotional and beautifully crafted “I need something” to the fun “UFO” with the unforgettable line “better watch out for the anal probe”. Faulkner’s voice is versatile and swings from gravelly emotion to clear heights and sits very well with his guitar talent.
The only song that you could accuse of coming from the Jack Johnson stable is “People should smile more” which drifts in with a mellow guitar riff. All in all the album is accessible, quirky and addictive. Well worth a listen.
Jack Johnson – Sleep Through the Static.
Jack Johnson has near mythical status in the surfing community; I first saw him in an old surf movie just after he had lost his front teeth and received 150 stitches from the reef at Pipeline. Then came his foray into film making and the classic film Thicker than Water, and the transition into a musician. Sleep through the Static is his fourth studio album and does not deviate from the Jack Johnson sound, except perhaps with the introduction of more electric guitar. Johnson has the unnerving ability to write a catchy melody and his signature sound of the vocals following the guitar line will keep the fans happy.
Sleep Through the Static is perhaps a little more mature sounding and the songs reflect that he is now a father in his 30’s. People will be getting up and dancing to the catchy “Hope” and the single “If I had Eyes”. The rest of the album has an acoustic laid back vibe. I don’t think that it is his best album (On and On is my personal favourite), but if you like Jack Johnson you won’t be disappointed.