It’s a gas, gas, gas

Singer-songwriter Jack Johnson unravels your cares and troubles

by Claire Joseph

In a complicated world, simple, relaxing lyrics help people dream.

And dreaming isn’t always bad.

“In Between Dreams,” Jack Johnson’s new album, opens with “Better Together,” an uplifting song that can’t help but get fingers tapping and heads nodding.

Even those who have sworn off Johnson – and all other acoustic guitarists, for that matter – won’t be able to resist the song’s elevating, light tone.

“It’s not always easy, and sometimes life can be deceiving. I’ll tell you one thing, it’s always better when we’re together,” Johnson sings on “Better Together.”

These words, encouraging friendship, are refreshing for cynics and supportive of those looking for a relaxing drive alone with the sunroof open.

The easy tone of this album doesn’t stop at its opening song.

In “Banana Pancakes,” Johnson reiterates his simple view of life.

“This song is meant to keep ya,’ from doin’ what you’re supposed to, wakin’ up too early, maybe we could sleep, make you banana pancakes, pretend like it’s the weekend,” he sings in “Banana Pancakes.”

Johnson’s idea sounds peaceful and helps fuel dreams of this type of idealistic life.

Although we might always want to sleep late and eat breakfast, especially when prepared by pleasant, good-looking guitar strummers, Johnson’s lyrics do not always project reality.

Yet, somehow, his agreeable songs never come off as condescending or annoying.

And as the album’s title suggests, Johnson’s smooth lyrics might comfort listeners during those rough times between dreams by reassuring them life will get better.

Throughout the album, Johnson firmly steers away from anything unpleasant or controversial.

His approach might seem naive or even cowardly, but in a world with so much disagreement, it’s sometimes nice to dream of simple solutions to life’s problems.