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Not many people have heard of Jack's Mannequin, so i'll tell you a bit about them before i start preaching about how brilliant their music is!
Jacks Mannequin are an alternative indie rock band who formed in 2004. The band began as a side project and consists of four members;
- Andrew McMahon (Vocalist, pianist and primary songwriter)
- Bobby Anderson (Guitar)
- Mikey Wagner (Bassist, however Mikey was not in the band when Everything In Transit was released.)
- Jay McMillan (Drummer)
Andrew's voice is absoloutly lovely. He sings with pure passion and is able to project huge amounts of powerful emotion through his voice (without screaming, yelling or singing ridiculously emotionally), raising memories and personal emotion from the listener.
Everything in Transit is the bands debut album and was released in August 2005. Some people consider the album to be considerably dominated by the story of Andrew McMahon's experiences with his previous band and coming home after years of non-stop travelling and tours.
The album has 12 tracks.
My personal views on each track are as follows:
Track 1: Holiday From Real
2 Minutes and 57 Seconds
I see this song as Andrew's realisation that he's been taking advantage of a girls kindness towards him, as she's obviously worried about him "she thinks i'm much too thin, she asks me if i'm sick." and because she's worried she allows him to borrow her car to pick up drugs, and accepts the fact that he's not been a great friend - "what's a girl to do with friends like this?." The first chorus revolves around andrew's selfish rockstar ways and not wanting anything to change. The second verse shows how different his life is now he's back home from tour, back in the real world, looking for work and keeping himself to himself so that no one recognises him - "put my glasses on so no one sees me." He continues throughout the song attempting to persuade us that he's okay "being poor was never better", and how he's sending postcards to friends and family telling them "we could live like this forever."
Fvourite Line "She lets me drive her car so i can score an eigth from the lesbians out west in Venace."
Track 2: The Mixed Tape
3 Minutes and 16 Seconds
One of the bands much more well known songs. I eel it's much more upbeat, powerful and an equally emotional song. Andrew makes a mix tape for his girlfriend (one of the best mix tapes he's ever made by the sound of it), because he can't see her due to the distance as he's on tour. He wants her to know she's always on his mind and hopes the mixtape will remind her of him and reassure her that he still loves and thinks about her despite the distance.
"This mix could burn a hole in anyone, but it was you i was thinking of.."
Track 3: Bruised
4 Minutes and 7 Seconds.
This song is incredible. Andrew sings gently and emotionally over very soft, subtle instrumentals (think there's a bit of guitar in there), about what seems to me to be the story of when he came home for a break from touring, but only for a short time. He's spent time with his girlfriend on an island in her families old hotel, but explains he can't relax because he knows he has to leave her again to go back on tour, and it breaks his heart. On the plane journey back to his tour after leaving his girlfriend at the terminal, he explains he'll be back soon and how numb and how every inch of him is bruised inside from leaving her.
Favourite Line: "I'm finally waking up."
Track 4: I'm Ready
4 Minutes and 0 Seconds
A song about the end of a relationship with an upbeat piano in the background. He isn't enjoying the relationship and instead feels he's grinning and bearing it. He's now ready to make a change as he's at the end of his teather and doesn't understand why he hasn't ended it before.
Favourite Line: "When did society decide that we have to change or wash a t shirt after every individual use?"
Track 5: La La Lie
3 Minutes and 47 Seconds
Another more upbeat song with catchy lyrics and a sing-along feel to it. Initially i thought the song was about how his friends and girlfriend have done something to upset him and are lieing/denying it, but now i feel it's more about his friends telling him things will get better when they know really that things won't work out with his girlfriend. They're only trying to protect him because they know how unstable he is, but he feels they're lieing to him.
Favourite Line: "Far too unstable to settle."
Track 6: Dark Blue
4 Minutes and 14 Seconds
Another beautiful song bursting with emotion. The instrumentals are lovely, with a soft playing piano, drums, and then it progresses to the guitar. My personal take on the song is that it's about Andrew's relationship falling apart (or drowning), and there's nothing either parties of the relationship can do to prevent it, and throughout the pain, chaos and emotion, she's still the person he focus' on and wants.
Favourite Line "And if you've ever been alone, you'll know."
Track 7: Miss Delaney
3 Minutes and 52 Seconds
Not keen on this song, i feel it's about finding someone who's perfect for you and has similar interests, but then finding they're already taken.
Favourite Line: "And she's so good, but she's no good for me."
Track 8: Kill the Messenger
3 Minutes and 25 Seconds
Lovely song, but to be totally honest i have no idea what it's about. The verse seems to revolve around a disorientated andrew feeling that he's alone, with the chorus sounding like he's trying to convince someone that particular rumours aren't true, or they are true but he's changed. All he wants is forgiveness and will "stand in the rain" outside her house until she talks to him. Another view i have is it may be the story of how he broke the news to his girlfriend that he's been diagnosed with cancer.
Favourite Line: "Oh my God, this hurts like hell."
Track 9: Rescued
3 Minutes and 56 Seconds
A song about giving up after breaking up with his girlfriend, and knowing it was always going to come, he's convicing himself that his girlfriend still wants him but knows deep down it's over. He compares the situation to drowning, with his girlfriend attempting to keep him warm and save him, but without her for the rest of her life he'd "prefer not to be resucued."
Favourite Line: "She's dying just to keep me warm."
Track 10: Made For Eachother
2 Minutes and 28 Seconds
It's a bit cheesy, but very catchy and more upbeat than the rest of the album tracks. Ironic song because although it sounds cheery it's infact (in my view) a song about addiction, perhaps cocaine; the bloody nose, headache, etc. Perhaps that's why he's so happy, because he's high, lol. Not a huge fan of this song.
Favourite Line: None.
Track 11: You Can Breathe
A song that's incredibly hard to describe, i'd reccomend giving it a listen as it's my favourite song on the entire album.
Favourite Line: "You can breathe, but the air is running out."
Track 12: Into the Airwaves
4 Minutes and 7 Seconds
An emotional song about how a friend/girlfriend moved away and his anger/sadness at how much he misses her.
Favourite Line "So hang on, don't panic, don't panic."
The album does contain quite a bit of swearing but it makes it that bit more relateable and emotional. Overall the album has a mix of meaningful songs, all are unique and the album never gets boring. I bought the album from Amazon for £8 and i listen to it loads so definetly have got my moneys worth out of it! The album artwork isn't anything special, it's a characture of what looks like a californian seafront.
Reccomended to anyone who's open to trying new bands, or is a fan of indie music. It's not the kind of thing hardcore rap fans will enjoy!
Jack's Mannequin are a piano rock band lead by Andrew McMahon of Something Corporate. The album contains songs that he felt would not fit in with the style and direction of Something Corporate. Soon after the album was completed, tragedy struck. Andrew McMahon was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Fortunately he fully recovered and has just completed the follow-up album : The Glass Passenger, which is set to be released on the 30th of September 2008.
The lyrics are stunning. Some however make uneasy listening, not because they are bad. Simply because they seem to make reference to his cancer despite having written them months, and even years before he was diagnosed. The first lyric on the album is : "She thinks I'm much too thin, she asks me if I'm sick."
'Holiday From Real' is the first song on the album. It's a song about escaping from reality. It's a good start to album. It's a very good song. Another lyric that makes uneasy listening due is : "Oh, and my hair is growing long."
'The Mixed Tape' is next. Starts off with guitar, then drums, then vocals. The piano joins during the chorus. Some lovely lyrics in this song :"Where are you now? As I'm swimming through the stereo, I'm writing you a symphony of sound"
I don't like the intro of 'Bruised'. The drum beat at the start of the song annoys me a bit, but after he sings the first verse - the song gets better. The general idea of the song is being away from someone, and he possibly about to be reunited when the plane lands. I am not a massive fan of this song.
'I'm Ready' is one of my favourite songs on the album. There is a speaking part in the song where Andrew McMahon simply speaks a verse quickly - it just fits the song so well. The simplistic nature of some of the lyrics amazes me. There is so much depth and description in these simplistic lyrics : "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."
'La La Lie' - Not bad, not my favourite though. The first verse annoys me a bit. It seems to be a song about friends being there for you, but still lying - possibly to protect you, but maybe there is some malicious intent there. It's a definitely a song where you have to read between the lines : "I've got friends who (La La Lie) will help me pull through (La La Lie)"
'Dark Blue' is my favourite song on the album, it starts of with a beautiful piano riff. The drums join in, and then the guitar and bass. It's amazing how a shade of colour fits with a song so well. The lyrics are stunning : "I'll wait, I'll wait for the ambulance to come, ambulance to come pick us up off the floor, what did you possibly expect under this condition? So slow down, this night's a perfect shade of dark blue, dark blue - Have you ever been alone in a crowded room? When I'm here with you."
I don't like the start of 'Miss Delaney' but it's a good song once it gets going but it's not my favourite song on the album.
I like the opening of 'Kill The Messenger' : "Oh my god, this hurts like hell. I had that dream again where I was lost for good in outerspace. So tell me doctor, how to shake a waking a nightmare that is only worse when I am sleeping" I don't really like the rest of the song.
'Rescued' - I like this song. It's soft and slow.
'Made For Each Other' lasts almost 7 minutes, and it's about a taking drugs (which links back to the drugs reference in the opening track of the album). The first part of the song is the 'high' of the drug, and the second part of the song is about the effects of taking it. I adore this song : "You waited for me in the rain in the parking lot. Cold hands, lips blue, clothes stuck to you. You could have phoned me for a ride, it's a mess out there. You said the rain's the rain - Some air'd be good for you."
With topics such as from living life to the full, to drugs, to love, illness and more, this album covers about just everything life can throw at you. And thank God that Andrew McMahon survived to bring us more beautiful music. I strongly advise you to give this album a spin.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Holiday from Real
2 Mixed Tape
4 I'm Ready
5 la Lie
6 Dark Blue
7 Miss Delaney
8 Kill the Messenger
10 MFEO: Made for Each Other/You Can Breathe
11 Into the Airwaves [*]
12 [Bonus Content] [*][Multimedia Track]
13 La La Lie