After paying tribute to his late father on 2010’s understandably melancholic To The Sea, surfer dude Jack Johnson now regains the feel-good vibes he’s become renowned for on another family affair, From Here to Now to You. His sixth studio effort sees the ‘so laid-back he’s virtually horizontal’ singer-songwriter virtually drown in contentment as he gazes lovingly at his wife, three kids and other visions of his American Dream on the North Shore of Oahu where he penned most of its 12 tracks. Here’s a look at five sets of lyrics, which depending on your tolerance for his permanently sunny disposition, will leave you either agreeing that life is great or reaching for the sick bucket.
The self-satisfied whistle that kicks off the opening track immediately signals that we’re back in more happy-go-lucky territory as Johnson bows down to his wife for the first but certainly not the last time. After recalling the dark days of distorted pots of gold and home-building plans dampened by thunderstorms, this genteel acoustic ditty then veers off into greeting card territory with a chorus acknowledging that none of that stuff matters as long as they’ve got each other: [LISTEN]
Having recently celebrated his 13th wedding anniversary with college sweetheart Kim, this delicately-plucked serenade sees Johnson determined to prove that he’s still very much a true romantic as he recalls the moment that their eyes first met. Insisting that he immediately knew they were destined to spend a lifetime of bliss together, “Never Fade” also thanks his wife for inspiring him to write his first ever love song, an event which some of his biggest detractors are unlikely to be so grateful for.
Penned specifically for his young daughter, this acoustic lullaby cranks up the levels of tweeness to almost unbearable levels as Johnson, whose drowsy and slightly off-key vocal sounds like he was in danger of sending himself to sleep, plays the gooey-eyed adoring father who accepts that he will always be the second option when it comes to his kids needing a shoulder to cry on due to the effortless perfection of their momma: [LISTEN]
Possibly the album’s most Jack Johnson-esque track, this impossibly cheery piece of Hawaiian folk-pop is also his third and final chance to play the doting dad. Fellow parents may be able to relate to the sense of wonderment that washes over whenever he sees his youngest son get wrapped up in his own over-active imagination. But it’s the kind of slushy sentiment more suited to a Facebook wall post than a potential Billboard chart-topper: [LISTEN]
Suggesting nothing can phase his cool and calm exterior, Johnson returns to his Hawaiian home after a lengthy spell away to find that a flock of birds have taken residency in his attic, his beloved lime tree is dead and a front lawn overflowing with more grass than Snoop Dogg’s tour bus. But instead of emergency dialling the gardener, he simply whips out his machete and tends to the horticultural disaster himself, all the while breezily singing that home is where the heart is: [LISTEN]