A lot of artists resist fame. Ive done interviews with bands for nearly five years now and have heard countless times from both nameless and recognizable acts that there were never any aspirations for a hit radio single or a gold album. For these people it seemed when something reached a point of popularity it lost authenticity. By acknowledging the idea of notoriety as an accident they were able to maintain a personal concept of credibility. The flip side to that is the rock stars running about proclaiming their songs importance to society at large. Ive talked to these people too, and while I admire their confidence the pretensions surrounding the music tends to wear thin. The best songwriters, not my favorite songwriters, have something that exists outside of both these ideas. They create music that personally resonates by touching on universality.
Andrew McMahon under his Jacks Mannequin moniker is writing tracks to tap into a larger audience. The songwriter, known best for his time as the front man of the emo-charged indie pop band Something Corporate, has created an interesting balance with his sophomore solo effort. The Glass Passenger is a record asking for an audience. It doesnt jam anything down your throat, but it offers up big ideas wrapped in sentiments and shared experience. Each song is something personal, but recognizable in the sense that weve all been there before. Its what a pop song should be.
Though the pieces are there, the execution of The Glass Passengers piano driven tracks are hit and miss. Unapologetically switching from upbeat sing-alongs to lullaby ballads, McMahon sometimes gets lost in his own ambition. The album lacks the direction of its predecessor Everything in Transit, but comes across with more mature content. Where Everything in Transit is an album working out issues, The Glass Passenger is examining a sense of self. The result of this is a delightful balance of sappy and sincere.
On the albums single The Resolution the song begins with the lines Theres a lot that I dont know. Theres a lot that Im still learning. The lyrics grasp the bigger picture of Andrew McMahon, and The Glass Passenger: potential that hints at something much bigger.
7.0 / 10
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