Does that mean he's as deep as a well? Fair play to Jack Johnston and everything, but the fact that I don't live on an idyllic island, playing guitar and frottaging the local groupies from dusk 'til dawn, means that every note he sings makes me boil with salaryman rage. But anyway, here's an interesting fact about the Kooks: Their name arose from a misspelling fiasco involving Luke and his stage school teacher. Their intended, and infinitely more accurate, name was The Cocks.
“Jack Johnson is well deep man! Some of his songs are so Insightful! thats what Gap Years should be about!”
“Hey, I remember this song...”
“No, this is a different one, he changed a few words round.”
“Finally, Jack Johnson gets his own uncyclopedia page instead of inexplicably being listed on The Kooks entry.”
Everyone who lives in England or America (and knowing the powers of world domination Warner Bros hold at their fingertips, pretty much anywhere else) will know that it’s hard to turn on any radio station or music based TV channel without pretty soon being treated to a glimpse of the inanely grinning face of this infuriating man-ape and his smooth, smooth voice.
On the rare occasions where I disengage from my lofty intellectual study long enough to experience this, such a sight makes me run for my TV remote faster even than anything featuring Fern Britten. To talk about Johnson’s looks would just be cheap and a waste of my talents, so I’m going to relish doing it.
The man looks like that kid who desperately wants to be in with the sporty crowd, but never quite makes it. The one who watches grotesque amounts of porn and then loudly shouts ‘EWWW’ whenever anyone talks about the female anatomy. The one who everyone thinks is harmless until his crippling inferiority complex drives him to flail wildly at a girl with his vast, unwieldy fists, or run naked through the school rubbing faeces on the walls.
I can, in short, imagine him raping a cheerleader and then making barely humanoid, desperate baying noises at the realisation of what he has done.
The Actual Music
So far, of course, I haven’t even got to the music. This is because I don’t want even to think about the music. It strikes me that Johnson is pretty much the musical equivalent of Barry Scott. He’s trying so hard to deliver something but despite his frustrated, over-pronounced attempts there is no actual talent there.
Unlike Barry Scott he and, more frustratingly, members of the general public, all have absolutely no comprehension of his complete lack of musical skill. Barry Scott is funny in much the same way that a retarded animal is funny. To then extend the metaphor, Jack Johnson is not funny in much the same way that a retarded child who must be cared for at all hours and therefore steals the life of some poor, unfortunate person is not funny. The man sings like Nick Drake in the closing hours of a horrible, horrible bender. A skilled listener can even make out the near non-existent consonants in vocals.
Despite this, Jack Johnson's music works incredibly well to put you to sleep. He his actually so relaxing that he needs backup singers to give him enough edge that people can stay awake to listen to him. To understand why this is the case--and why backup singers could ever give someone more edge--you must first understand that he sings two tones at once, creating destructive interference, much like what noise-canceling headphones use.
The songs are so smug that the image of the same kid I described earlier when he has reached about 34 is called to mind. One can imagine Jack (I think we’re on first name terms now) sitting in a pub with the only acquaintance he could find who couldn’t make up an excuse quickly enough, talking about his new girlfriend endlessly (perhaps with an Alan Partridge style ‘10 years younger than me… back of the NET’), or informing his new pal just how many times he has had sex over the last few years (a whole FIVE).
As for the irritating, chugga-chugga-chugga acoustic guitar repetitiveness and tasteful bongos (a nostalgic nod towards his ape ancestry? An opportunity to get his talentless drinking buddy into the band so they can play chugalug and then collapse after 3 pints?), one can only assume that it is at the required resonant frequency to stimulate the female orgasm upon hearing, because I can see no other attraction there.
So as I draw this article to a close (I have an appointment to go and drink wine and laugh about the failings of Hollywood with my obscenely intelligent friends), I can only hope that you, dear reader, have been educated by it.
Who knows, perhaps even Johnson himself might read it, and realise his failings, perhaps leaving to pursue a career in ox hunting or right wing politics, rather than bothering us with his happy-sappy rubbish. I doubt that however, I think Warner Bros keep him chained to the table in the boardroom, occasionally feeding him scraps or doing cocaine off his naked, scarred back as the mood takes them.
P.S. I forgot to insult him for being a pro surfer. Pro surfers suck. P.P.S You can fuck those banana pancakes up your arse, you blissed-out, sun-drenched, boring-as-fuck, beach monkey cunt.