Jack's Mannequin
The Glass Passenger


4.0
excellent

Review

by Adam Thomas STAFF
September 29th, 2008 | 154 replies | 13,095 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: What would you do with a new lease on life?

“You gotta swim
Swim for your life
Swim for the music
That saves you
When you're not so sure you'll survive”



Life is about second chances. For most this seems like just another cliché Hollywood tagline, but for Jack's Mannequin main man Andrew McMahon its the truth. McMahon was diagnosed with leukemia only three month's prior to the release of his Jack's Mannequin project's debut Everything in Transit. Three years later and he has beaten the disease and has drawn off the reflections and hardships of facing one's mortality for the base inspiration of Jack Mannequin's newest release The Glass Passenger.

“Just follow the horizon
I promise you it's not as far as you think“


If there is one thing that permeates The Glass Passenger it is an resounding feeling of hope. Maybe its due to the circumstances under which the songs were written. Maybe its just that Andrew McMahon tapped into some vein of human emotion and just happened to find the right words to describe it. Either way, its uplifting to say the least. Even (most) of the songs with lyrics based on typical pop-rock clichés like broken hearts and separation come off as surprisingly personal. Thats not say that McMahon's lyrics don't occasionally falter. On American Love, though it's a catchy track and very well orchestrated, its chorus of “Big hearts are for breaking!” seems a bit hollow and forced compared to the other tracks that surround it. This is partly due to it following “Swim”, a song heavily derived from his perseverance in overcoming cancer.

“Currents will drag us away from our love
Just keep your head above“


While Andrew McMahon's lyrics are stronger than they've ever been, his singing occasionally falls short. A prime example is on the album's closer “Caves”. With the piano as the only accompaniment, McMahon ups the vibrato in his voice and roughly goes in and out of falsetto in a classic case of over-emoting gone bad. Thats not to say that his voice is bad throughout the album, but when he falls into the trap of over-emoting to try to match his lyrics its vaguely reminiscent of an hyperbolic Conor Oberst impersonation. Except instead of having Conor's endearing fragility, it ends up being a pitchy mess. This is exaggerated by the crystal clear production that gives him no place to hide in the mix. Fortunately this doesn't happen much and is only a minor annoyance, not a glaring blemish on the album.

With The Glass Passenger McMahon and Co. have continued to create another solid album of Ben Folds' inspired piano-pop, but now with a newfound sense of maturity due to the 26 year old's trying last couple of years. While it is not the greatest pop album of the year, The Glass Passenger provides an enjoyable and often intimate listen that fits almost any mood.



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user ratings (233)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
ToWhatEnd
September 30th 2008



3172 Comments


Good review. Never listened to these guys, should I/where should I start?

Against Miik!
September 30th 2008



215 Comments


I picked up the leak but I'm probably gonna buy the album. I love it.

You should probably start off with Everything In Transit. A few of my favorite songs are of Transit, but overall, this is a better album.

lunchforthesky
September 30th 2008



1039 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The Resolution is a great song. That aside this album is very weak and dissapointing.

timbo8
September 30th 2008



618 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Really good review. I'm gonna check this out.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2008



17204 Comments


The Resolution is probably the best song on the album.

MissaIsAlmostHere
September 30th 2008



16 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is an amazing record. Good review!

Kiran
Emeritus
October 1st 2008



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The video for The Resolution is really bad, although the song is decent. Haven't heard the rest of the album but from what I gathered from his last one, it's almost exactly the same as the stuff he made with Something Corporate. Would that be true for this one as well?

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 1st 2008



17204 Comments


In a way its similar to North because its very piano driven.

armfarm
October 1st 2008



576 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

alright album

JoeForPresident
October 5th 2008



178 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good review but i totally disagree with you on Caves. That song is incredible

Captain North
October 5th 2008



6784 Comments


Will probably check this out at some point, I didn't mind his last album.

roofi
October 5th 2008



959 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I liked Everything in Transit a lot more.

brandtweathers
October 5th 2008



2007 Comments


very surprised this isn't featured/creating significant buzz
i guess whats infected the continental southwest doesn't necessarily apply all over

JoeForPresident
October 6th 2008



178 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i agree w/ you brandtweathers i really thought this would have been on the front page

foreverendeared
October 12th 2008



14678 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^ yeah double dose of agreement. I really love Annie Use Your Telescope, What Gets You Off?, and the last 2 tracks. everything else is kinda meh for me. i tend to hate his vocals on the other songs. I fuckin love Everything in Transit though. That album owns this one

SpinLightTwo
October 12th 2008



1032 Comments


Everything In Transit is so damn good.

Dinosawesome
October 17th 2008



5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Absolutely loving this album. Every song is brilliant. Unlike most of the people who have replied so far I actually really like his voice this time around- he's always stuck within his limits with SoCo and on EiT, it's refreshing to finally hear him push his limits a bit- which is the distinguishing feature between this and his previous work.

MissaIsAlmostHere
November 11th 2008



16 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Swim" is definitely my favorite. I just listened to it again and it really just is one of those songs that you know you can rely on when you need it. looooove this cd and I'm totally going to learn how to play every song on the piano...

Alexithymia
December 13th 2008



6 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

an excellant album..his sober-ish mood this time really shows what he has been through...
EiT and TGP both have their great caracteristics...cant decide which is better.

FattyKnee
January 29th 2009



490 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

swim is so ace



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