AOTY 2023
Jack's Mannequin - Everything In Transit
Jun 25, 2021

@PipePanic lol cope @PipePanic lol cope @PipePanic lol cope @PipePanic lol cope

Seriously though, I think there's a pretty good case you can make for this album. Mixing piano pop rock with beachy, tropical aesthetics is a genuinely interesting idea that causes this record to stand out a bit from its contemporaries. However, being creative is not the same as producing a quality piece of art. That begs the question, is Everything in Transit actually good? To answer that, I would say mostly, but it does fumble in some areas.

To begin with the positives, I've gotta give it to Andrew McMahon and the gang, they fucking nail the beachy atmosphere. Listening to this album feels like walking around the California coast (which, as somebody who lives in Arizona but was born in/has visited California at several points in my life, is a vibe I often miss). Due to the way the record is produced/written, it's also super nostalgic. I get transported back in time to when I was about 3-4 and my mother would play her CD of EiT on loop. That was an era filled to the brim with pop-rock & pop-punk of varying degrees of quality, but the band managed to take some of the hookiest, most serene elements of that trend and blended it pretty seamlessly with the aforementioned beachy-style + piano rock. In general, I also really appreciate the very carefree, relaxed vibe. I frankly don't know how somebody would actively hate it due to that fact. Being in-different, sure, but hatred? I think it's a little too sweet and earnest for me to understand that perspective.

Even with that in mind though, there are more than a few flaws on Everything in Transit. Firstly, I've never exactly Liked Andrew as a vocalist. I've mostly grown a tolerance to it because my mom fucking spam-played this album growing up, but I cannot deny he sounds awkward as hell trying to hit high notes like on the bridge of "The Mixed Tape" or when he's trying to be expressive on "Kill the Messenger". The last three tracks also range from xanax to being straight up bad. "Rescued" puts me to sleep, and "MFEO" is the absolute worst kind of corny. The song legit reminds me of the ending of a Disney-channel movie or a theme made specifically for a garbage romcom. I probably would've rated the album far more favorably if it were for the final three being such a gut-punch to the momentum.

All in all, this is a pretty decent record. It's not amazing, but it captures a very unique vibe that I frankly kind of wish other poppy-piano rock bands would tackle rather than the usually boring mom-music that the genre is notorious for (I also wish Jack's Mannequin didn't immediately slip into that after EiT, but that's a topic for the next review). If you're looking for something to transport you directly to 2000's Malibu or Venice Beach, definitely give this a spin. Even more so if you're a huge fan of pop rock. I can definitely see why both my mother and younger me garnered a great deal of enjoyment out of this.

Also, completely unrelated to the analytical side of the review, but a funny story nonetheless: I was about 9 or 10-years-old, and singing along to the lyrics to "Holiday from Real". My mom then had to have the awkward task of trying to get me to stop repeating the song, and I was initially confused as to why. She then explained to me that the opening lines were about drug abuse/addiction. I felt sad then, but now I can't help but giggle whenever I hear the track, because I just have the mental-image of baby-ass Charlise yelping about drug problems.

FAVORITES: The Mixed Tape | I'm Ready | La La Lie | Miss Delaney

LEAST FAVORITES: Rescued | MFEO | Into the Airwaves

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More Reviews by CLJesse
Jack's Mannequin - People and Things
Jun 26, 2021
Jack's Mannequin - The Glass Passenger
Jul 3, 2021
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