Jack’s Mannequin – The Glass Passenger

The Glass Passenger is without a doubt the best release so far for the quartet Jack’s Mannequin. The listener-friendly nature of the album means that you can glide effortlessly from track one to track 14, without having to resort to the obligatory skipping of songs.

Lead singer Andrew McMahon allows his songwriting skills to dominate, with tracks like Drop Out-The So Unknown, in which he sings, “And your eyes were lined with questions/with the blood rushing the waves.” Caves is another emotionally charged song that features soothing piano chords, McMahon’s sweet voice and whimsical lyric, “I’m caught somewhere between alive and living a dream.”

Recorded in Santa Monica, California, and produced by McMahon himself along with Jim Wirt, The Glass Passenger is sure to contain something for everyone. Spinning and American Love are quintessential upbeat pop songs that will be radio favourites if the band chooses to release them commercially. The third track on the album, Swim, tells a tale of determination and struggle. With McMahon’s powerful voice backed by ample guitars and drums, it’s a soppy song with a difference. Reading over the lyrics for Swim, it is easy to presume that McMahon is perhaps describing his battle with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, which he was diagnosed with back in 2005.

Hammers And Strings and Orphans are both gentle and pleasant tracks that have an element of theatricality about them, due in no small part to the piano. Each song on the record sounds familiar, but in an engaging way. It is very rare indeed when a band don’t feel the need to compensate for their lack of talent by trashing their instruments and increasing the volume. Jack’s Mannequin let their talent shine through by playing subtle yet thoroughly enjoyable songs.