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Jack Johnson, In Between Dreams

Pro surfer-turned-musician, Jack Johnson has been criticized for writing songs that sound the same and his latest release, In Between Dreams, won’t bring an end to those criticisms. Just like his 2001 debut Brushfire Fairytales and 2003’s sophomore release On and On, Dreams offers the same mellow, sunny acoustic melodies, and cutesy lyrics. What’s so frustrating about Johnson’s material is that it’s affected by the “Norah Jones effect” — you know it’s safe, watered down folk or blues but you still fall for Jones’ folksy “Sunrise” or Johnson’s upbeat “Banana Pancakes.” Yet, credit must be given to Johnson for writing some catchy songs. The funky “Staple it Together,” the radio-blues “Good People” and lyrically heart-warming “Do You Remember” will have you humming for days. In Between Dreams has some charming tunes that are best kept as soothing background music. (Universal) Rating: 3 Out Of 5 Stars

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