I discovered Jack’s Mannequin when I saw them open for O.A.R. on August 5th in concert just a few days before I wrote this review. Jack’s Mannequin, better known as the solo project of Something Corporate’s vocalist/ pianist Andrew McMahon, is an alternative rock/ poppy indie sounding band that was formed during the late 2004 to early 2005 time (including Jon Sullivan on bass, ex-Phantom Planet guitarist Jacques Brautbar, and ex-River City High drummer Jay McMillian). Everything In Transit
, their first album, is a concept CD about Andrew McMahon finally coming home after years of touring nonstop with his band and getting re-accustomed to his everyday life in Los Angeles, California. The songs all have a fairly poppy sound with very emo sounding vocals, but have a very strong atmosphere, good lyrics, and a catchy song structure that just attracts me to the music.
The album kicks off with the smooth, catchy tunes of Holiday From Real
, which begins with a low bass tune followed by Andrew McMahon’s singing a piano playing after 4 seconds of silence. The song is very straightforward, and has a very nice flow and melody to it. The lyrics to the song are very well written and are presented in a unique way, and the chorus has that grabbing aspect to capture the listener into the song’s atmosphere. The most popular song from the album, The Mixed Tape
, is another example of a catchy melody and chorus along with unique and well written lyrics. The piano work on this song is amazing (as many other songs will show as well), and the vocals are very soothing and dynamic. Bruised
starts off with Andrew McMahon singing in a voice that reminds me of Eve 6. The song has a great flow and melody to it and is very catchy. The singing on the track is some of the best on the album and the electronica feel to the percussions on the track give it a unique feel. Overall the tack is one of the best on the album.
“And today was a day just like any other...” Andrew McMahon says as the next track, I’m Ready
kicks off. The song is another piano dynamic track, but what’s really capturing about the song is the chorus, which involves backing vocals along with the actual singing that delivers an aura of beautiful, catchy melody. Little after the halfway marker, a piano solo comes in as Andrew McMahon narrates his life for about a minute. The song is another one of the stand out tracks on the album. La La Lie
starts off with a very poppy guitar intro followed by some great piano playing and singing. The song is the first on the album that doesn’t stand out so much. The chorus is somewhat weaker then the bridges of the song, and the guitars get in the way a tad bit. Overall though the song is not bad at all, just not amazing like the other songs. Another amazingly catchy song is Dark Blue
(which is the song that after I heard live I went to the downstairs venue and bought the album). The song begins with a beautiful piano melody followed by a drum roll and some light guitar strums. The song is presented a lot differently then the other songs on the album, and the chorus is so insanely catchy I can’t seem to get it out of my head. The atmosphere to the song is amazing, and the musicianship is flawless. Overall it is probably the best song on the album.
starts off with some strange synths and techno-ish keyboard riffs. The song is another that doesn’t stand out so much but is still a good song in both flow and atmosphere. The catchiness of the song does not meet up to the other songs, but overall has a good, strong chorus and bridge parts. Kill The Messenger
starts with a soft piano melody followed by some percussions and well sung vocals. The song has a very progressive feel to it, while still being rather simple and easy flowing. The song is a lot softer then the other songs, and Andrew McMahon seems like he’s experimenting with panning vocals and echoes on the track. Overall, the song is well made, but does not contain enough dynamics to catch much interest. The ballad track of the album, Rescued
has a very slow, somewhat repetitive piano riff followed by some soft, mellow singing. The song is a lot like the previous and does not contain a whole lot of dynamics. The acoustic guitar in the song adds a nice atmospheric touch to it, but overall the song is not much of a standout.
The epic track of the album is the two part MFEO
. Part 1, Made For Each Other has a very catchy guitar riff to it that reminds me of Coheed & Cambria. The song goes back to the more poppy sound of Jack’s Mannequin. The song repeats a lot of lines which get a tad annoying, but are rather catchy. The music is the real standout in first part of the track. After a beautiful piano solo, the song goes into Part 2, You Can Breathe, which is a lot more catchy then the first part, yet still softer. The song has some electronica parts to it, but it still has a very soft melody to it. Overall, the epic track is better then the last two tracks, but still not the best on the album. The bonus track, Into The Airwaves
starts off with Andrew McMahon singing over a soft piano melody. The song sorta revives some of the poppy, catchy sounds of the first half of the CD, and the lyrics are some of the most unique I’ve ever heard. Overall, the album is great and perfect for fans of practically any type of music.
-- Great piano melodies and vocals.
-- Very original in sound.
-- Great lyric written and concepts.
-- Extremely catchy songs and atmosphere.
-- It was good enough to make a dedicated heavy metal head like me fall in love with this CD.
-- Some people will find the somewhat emo-esque vocals annoying (not as annoying as Coheed & Cambria though).
-- The first half is better then the second half.
1. Holiday From Real (4.5/5)
2. The Mixed Tape (4.5/5)
3. Bruised (5/5)
4. I’m Ready (5/5)
5. La La Lie (4/5)
6. Dark Blue (5/5)
7. Miss Delaney (4/5)
8. Kill The Messenger (3.5/5)
9. Rescued (3.5/5)
10. MFEO (4/5)
11. Into The Airwaves [Bonus Track] (4/5)