Jack's Mannequin - Everything In Transit 2005 (2015) 10 Years Anniversary edition mp3@320
If Andrew McMahon is the Ben Folds of Something Corporate, then his side project Jack's Mannequin is his Fear of Pop, his opportunity to step out of the group and try something different. Except in McMahon's
case, it isn't so much fear of pop as much as an embrace of pop, since
he sheds the loud guitars and punky overtones of his main band for a
sunny, unabashedly tuneful Californian pop on Jack's Mannequin's debut album, Everything in Transit. I
n truth, it's not all that far removed from his contributions to Something Corporate, which were also tightly written and tuneful, but it sounds truer to his artistic inclinations than either of SC's
studio albums, since underneath its guise as a loose concept album
about a year of turbulent relationships on Venice Beach, it's a
full-blown singer/songwriter piano-pop album. More than ever, on Everything in Transit McMahon sounds like the heir to Ben Folds' wise-ass interpretation of Joe Jackson, but McMahon isn't as cynical or goofy as Folds.
His humor is sardonic and low-key, plus he's more concerned with
affairs of the heart. Although he relies a little bit too heavily on
first-person narratives, he has a keener eye for character and behavior
than his emo peers, and he's a better tunesmith, too, not just content
to write hooks, but taking the time to let the music build and breathe.
With producer Jim Wirt, McMahon has given Everything in Transit an appropriately colorful, even cinematic, scope and, thanks to drums provided by Tommy Lee (who proves here that he's a more versatile drummer than he ever did in Mötley Crüe),
it also has strong backbone. So the album has momentum, but it's as
sweetly melancholy as a fading summer, yet not nearly as transient as
that, either. It really shouldn't work -- it's a conceptual power pop
album, delivered by an emo songwriter, backed by an aging metalhead, and
co-produced by a guy who gave Hoobastank hits -- but the result is one of the more pleasant surprises of 2005. It's good enough that it makes you hope that McMahon makes Jack's Mannequin his full-time band.
This was released as a two disc edition. On disc 1 the album and on disc 2 rarities.