Jack's Mannequin
Everything in Transit


5.0
classic

Review

by SowingSeason EMERITUS
June 26th, 2011 | 251 replies | 17,102 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It’s like I wrote every note with my own fingers…

Summer is one of the best seasons to crank down the windows, feel the air flow through your hair, and crank up the pop-punk. Love it or hate it, there is no denying that the much-maligned genre has a magical quality when the sun is overhead, the heat is blistering, and the ocean is in plain view. Maybe it is the romantic qualities that usually accompany these types of records, which combined with our summer flings, makes for the ultimate companion. Or perhaps it is the carefree vocals, the catchy rhythms, and the upbeat guitar chords that invigorate us. Either way, albums like Yellowcard’s Ocean Avenue, Taking Back Sunday’s Tell All Your Friends, and Blink-182’s self-titled have all found a place in our hearts as feel good records; but there is one work that seems to evade the same high levels of praise, even though it may very well trump all three of the aforementioned summer classics. The next time the heat is blistering and you decide to take to the beach, I recommend you take Jack’s Mannequin’s Everything In Transit with you – a record ideal for lazy, sunny afternoons when the sky is blue, the seagulls are flying around in a frenzy, and the air is so humid you can almost taste the salt on your tongue.

‘Holiday From Real’ kicks things off with the sound of those seagulls, along with a playfully bouncy beat and an infectious chorus of “Oh California in the summer, oh and my hair is growin’ long, and fuck yeah we can live like this.” The lyrics detail an escape from reality, and the song itself complements the laid-back feel established from the get-go. The whole of Everything In Transit actually possesses a few running storylines – and although it may be a little naïve to slap it with the “concept album” label – it definitely lends Andrew McMahon’s Something Corporate side project a unique flavor. There is nothing completely out of the ordinary present here, just your typical love stories and breakup laments that all end up sounding way more cheerful than they should overtop of glittering pianos, breezy electric guitars, and elated choruses. But there is also an endearing sense of personality that permeates each song on the record, and the listener may find himself/herself relating to the material on this record immediately. The accounts of failed relationships, emotional isolation, and triumphant comebacks are all narrated with remarkable candidness, yet they are common enough experiences by nature to seem like the words you always wanted to express but couldn’t. When McMahon sings, “It’s like I wrote every note with my own fingers” at the end of the dynamic piano-rocker ‘The Mixed Tape’, Everything In Transit begins to take on the role that he designed it to - and as I have become increasingly convinced of – that it was destined to.

While oftentimes albums - especially of the pop-punk variety - tend to misfire frequently, Jack’s Mannequin’s debut proves to be the exception to the rule. Its ten songs (eleven if you include the bonus track ‘Into The Airwaves’) are virtually all essential. There are the obvious sure-fire hits, such as ‘Bruised’, ‘Dark Blue’, and the two aforementioned songs that commence the album, along with a long list of sleepers like ‘La La Lie’, ‘Miss Delaney’, and ‘Rescued.’ Even the songs that don’t jump out at you upon glancing over the tracklist are never easily skipped, especially when listening to Everything In Transit as a whole, in order from start to finish. Each song strikes the listener with a fresh sound, while somehow remaining loyal to the pervading musical and lyrical themes of the album. For instance, while ‘I’m Ready’ is the first song on Everything In Transit that doesn’t lodge itself deep within your brain, it is also the first song on the record that displays McMahon’s pleasant-sounding piano abilities in the forefront. Furthermore, his spoken, tongue-in-cheek monologues give mobility to the album’s storyline as McMahon writes, in an almost journal-style entry:

I wake up to find it's another 4 aspirin morning and I dive in
I put on the same clothes I wore yesterday
When did society decide that we have to change
Or wash a T-shirt after every individual use
If it's not dirty, I'm gonna wear it
I take the stairs to the car and there's fog on the windows
I need caffeine in my bloodstream
I take caffeine in the bloodstream
I grip the wheel and all at once I realize
My life has become a boring pop song and everyone's singing along

Even when Jack’s Mannequin isn’t blowing us away with top-notch hooks, McMahon proves that he can keep us engaged for time in between. He proves it in the above scenario, along with the percussion-heavy ‘Miss Delaney’, the soundtrack-tailored ‘Kill The Messenger’, and the slow, pensive ballad, ‘Rescued.’ There really isn’t an instance where Everything in Transit isn’t packed with either contagious melodies or lyrics; and the best thing about it is that the majority of the time both are occurring in unison. The best example of that may be the closing track, ‘MFEO: Made For Each Other / You Can Breathe.’ While it technically stands as two songs in one, they flow together smoothly to create the ultimate outro for an album already packed with excellent pop sensibility. The first half of the track, ‘Made For Each Other’, is a piano and synth driven love song that is heartfelt enough to make you fall for every drop of sentiment expressed in the line, “Maybe we were made, we were made for each other…Ahh, is it possible for the world to look this way forever?” The second half, ‘You Can Breathe’ gently fades out like an exhale before coming down to Andrew’s message to the listener in which he talks about how long of a ride it’s been, how he needs to run out and buy more tape, etc. It is slightly humorous, slightly charming, and definitely cheesy…but cheesy works in this case, making Everything In Transit seem like some kind of mixed tape directly from him to his fan base. In fact, maybe that’s exactly what this whole thing is. Everything about the album is so personal, yet delivered like an open book. It’s as good as pop music gets, and from start to finish, it embodies everything that a good album of that nature should. Incredibly meaningful lyrics, soaring hooks, catchy choruses…it is rare to see an album like this that is truly deserving of such high acclaim. Put this up there with the classics of our generation’s pop-punk phase. Crank down the windows, feel the sun on your face, and let Everything In Transit take care of the rest.



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user ratings (394)
Chart.
4
excellent
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Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Emeritus
June 26th 2011



14510 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Been meaning to review this for quite some time...guess I needed the summer air to bring this review out of me once and for all.

theacademy
June 26th 2011



27669 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

jesus christ sputnik is fucking boring tonight im actually getting hella work done


like 4 threads about people's mp3 collections

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
June 26th 2011



48526 Comments


She's back already.

Digging: More Than Life - What's Left Of Me

IAmKickass
June 26th 2011



840 Comments


"like 4 threads about people's mp3 collections"

I'm loving it.

SowingSeason
Emeritus
June 26th 2011



14510 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Well take comfort here, weary sputnikers.

So yeah I don't normally boast but I think this is one of my favorite reviews...personally

Blindsided
June 26th 2011



1871 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

My fiancée would 5 this if she were a sputniker.
Good review and good lyric too.

Ire
June 26th 2011



41453 Comments


neg

theacademy
June 26th 2011



27669 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

lol

SowingSeason
Emeritus
June 26th 2011



14510 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

How do you know I'm not your fiancee?

IAmKickass
June 26th 2011



840 Comments


dun dun dunnn.

Slum
June 26th 2011



2579 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I had a chance to see this guy the other night but went and saw Super 8 instead. I love this album tho

IAmKickass
June 26th 2011



840 Comments


"I had a chance to see this guy the other night but went and saw Super 8 instead. I love this album tho"

Was it worth it?

SowingSeason
Emeritus
June 26th 2011



14510 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Wow that were you thinking

Crymsonblaze
June 26th 2011



7310 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Ahhhh such a great great album. I almost wanna 5 it

Spare
June 26th 2011



5223 Comments


is this pop punk direct?

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
June 26th 2011



6956 Comments


Really great review Sowing, didn't expect you to slap a 5 on this. I love the first half of the album but I think it takes a sharp dip in quality after Dark Blue.

Digging: Wild Beasts - Present Tense

SowingSeason
Emeritus
June 26th 2011



14510 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Thanks lucidity

Miss Delaney, MFEO, and Rescued are 3 of my favorites so naturally I disagree that it declines during the 2nd half

Japandroid
June 26th 2011



139 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So many memories attached to this album. I remember checking the website for this thing and there was some sort of animation with the album cover and beach noises going on.

Reading this made me smile. Great review. It's such a shame I never get into The Glass Passenger as much as I did with this one.

Isn't Andrew releasing another Jack's Mannequin's record this year?

SowingSeason
Emeritus
June 26th 2011



14510 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

The Glass Passenger isn't quite as good as this unfortunately. And I do think I heard something about that as well...(a new record this year)

Also, I like you a lot better in this thread than in the TBS one

HBFS
June 26th 2011



1214 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Been telling myself to listen to this band for over a year now, should probably get on that



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