Sunday, July 26, 2015

She thinks I’m much too thin, she asks me if I’m sick… - 10 Years Ago

"The opening lines of Jack's Mannequin’s debut album Everything in Transit, Something Corporate singer/pianist Andrew McMahon's side project, remind us all too well of Andrew's recent struggles with leukemia.  Written before his diagnosis, the line turned out to be eerily prescient of his coming sickness."

So begins the 2005 review on for one of the best albums of the [so-called] naughts.  A lot has happened in ten years: Andrew recovered from lymphoblastic leukemia, recorded two other Jack’s Mannequin Albums, SoCo's "The Astronaut" was played as a wake-up call on the International Space Station, a Grammy nomination,  got married, had a baby and never ever stopped touring.  I want to write him a letter to say I’m proud of you.  Seems kind of dumb, but I am.

Hard to believe that Everything in Transit is ten years old.  Released in August 2005 while Andrew was undergoing chemo, Jack’s Mannequin wasn't able to promote the album.  It still went gold and still shines today.  Everything in Transit, sounds like a combination of early Weezer without the loud and The Beach Boys without the harmonies. The album opens with "Holiday From Real," a bouncy anthem for slackers everywhere and the best song on the record: "…if you left it up to me, everyday would be a holiday from real.”"

The next song is a topic close to my heart, and probably yours, "The Mixed Tape." Unlike McMahon, I can't write or perform my feelings, but like him, with that mixed tape, "It's like I wrote every note with my own fingers."  You made them.  So did I.

Andrew pulls off a spoken interlude during "I'm Ready" á la Nada Surf on "Popular," and the track brings up important social issues as well: "I put on the same clothes I wore yesterday. When did society decide that we had to change and wash a t-shirt after every individual use; if it's not dirty, I'm gonna wear it." Preach on brother McMahon, I've been wondering that for years. At the end of the rant he says, "My life has become a boring pop song and everyone’s singing along." There he's wrong; he's made some the best pop music in a long time and we should all be singing along. Ten years after I'm going out on a limb: Everything in Transit is the new millennium's Pet Sounds.  

Gotta go.  I’m going to write that letter to Andrew.  AM8  

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