14 Songs, 56 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“Survivor” is one of pop music’s most overworked phrases. Andrew McMahon, though, has earned the title by resuming his recording career after a harrowing battle with leukemia. As the guiding force behind Jack’s Mannequin, he turns 2008’s The Glass Passenger into an emotionally-wrenching and ultimately transcendent release. The Glass Passenger documents his struggle to regain his health, with “What Gets You Off,” “The Resolution,” and the eight minutes-plus “Caves” offering diary-like details of his recent ordeal. The heavy mood of the album is lightened by flashes of McMahon’s mastery of ‘80s pop forms — “Spinning,” “American Love,” and “Orphans” sparkle and chime to buoyant New Wavy melodies. Rather than wallowing in private suffering, the singer reaches out to fans in the panoramic “Hammer and Strings (A Lullaby).” “Swim” may be the album’s spiritual center, an expression of dogged resolve in the face of dark forces. McMahon’s bruised vocals and simple yet effective piano work show enough edge to make these confessions cut deep. The Glass Passenger is a high-potency, fine-crafted pop/rock effort as well as a personal document of hard-won survival.

EDITORS’ NOTES

“Survivor” is one of pop music’s most overworked phrases. Andrew McMahon, though, has earned the title by resuming his recording career after a harrowing battle with leukemia. As the guiding force behind Jack’s Mannequin, he turns 2008’s The Glass Passenger into an emotionally-wrenching and ultimately transcendent release. The Glass Passenger documents his struggle to regain his health, with “What Gets You Off,” “The Resolution,” and the eight minutes-plus “Caves” offering diary-like details of his recent ordeal. The heavy mood of the album is lightened by flashes of McMahon’s mastery of ‘80s pop forms — “Spinning,” “American Love,” and “Orphans” sparkle and chime to buoyant New Wavy melodies. Rather than wallowing in private suffering, the singer reaches out to fans in the panoramic “Hammer and Strings (A Lullaby).” “Swim” may be the album’s spiritual center, an expression of dogged resolve in the face of dark forces. McMahon’s bruised vocals and simple yet effective piano work show enough edge to make these confessions cut deep. The Glass Passenger is a high-potency, fine-crafted pop/rock effort as well as a personal document of hard-won survival.

TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
230 Ratings
230 Ratings
TarHeel15 ,

amazing, but in a different way than previous albums.

no one should have expected this to be just another "everything in transit." they are different albums that speak to different issues and different times of life. I think it's kind of interesting that Andrew had a major cut down on profanity, this might just be a sign of him maturing. After all he is married now, life is different than it was before. It's not about kids in high school, kissing your crush when she's intoxicated, or even simple love songs; he's past that now. Because now he has actual responsibilities to his wife. I think that had a major and positive affect on the album.

schmickledorf ,

Good album, but not the masterpiece that Everything In Transit was.

In terms of plain indie pop- without Foldsian crude humor or anything too eclectic- Jack's Mannequin may have put out the best album of all time. But unfortunately, it isn't The Glass Passenger, his sophomore release. While this new album is satisfying a great many people, I and I assume many other of his old fans are pretty disappointed. The music is still excellent, and at times moving, but so is a lot of other music. My music library is pretty well stocked with this sort of album. This will become an album that I give an occasional listen to, but Everything In Transit will always hold a special place in my heart. Good effort, Andrew McMahon, good album as well, but your last masterpiece has not been bested yet.

Just did ,

Great Follow Up

Andrew McMahon returns with his long awaited album The Glass Passenger, following 2005's Everything In Transit. Although McMahon is the primary song writer, he is also back with tag team producer extraordinaire Jim Wirt, whom also plays a major role in the development of The Glass Passenger and overall professional musican wisdom. If you are expecting Everything In Transit part II, guess again (No Tommy Lee!, and just a side note, i thought his drumming was superb).

The vibe of the album still remains pop, yet The Glass Passenger mingles with a somber disposition. The Glass Passenger is a testament of how McMahon's creativity has branched out further. Even though the overall song writing is definitely McMahon-ish, the focal points of the piano are equally balanced with the backing band, namely the guitar which in previous album, took a backseat. While the vintage-esque album stays at a consistent theme, there are also elements from Something Corporate's North as well as the Audioboxer EP. As many of McMahon's contemporaries have the pop-punk influences (or others), it seems as if Jack's Mannequin resembles artists like The Beach Boys, Ben Fold's Five, David Bowie or dare I say, even Tom Petty (kids do your research). Some songs from his In Valleys EP and The Ghost Overground EP made the cut on the regular album like Bloodshot, The Resolution and Swim, and others made it to the deluxe version of The Glass Passenger. Old fans might have to adjust gears and give this album a chance to show it's charm. Standout tracks include Annie Use Your Telescope and Swim.

Here lies the problem. I can't decide whether or not to give this album a 5 or 4.
Now I've liked this Andrew's writing style for a while now even in 2001. I've supported that guy since the Drive-Thru days as well as the other label changes, Maverick, Sire, Geffen, MCA ect. I know about his health problems and stuff so, i guess you can consider me a pretty loyal fan. Everything In Transit is so nostalgic to me because that's all I listened to through my Hurricane Katrina ordeal in Aug-Sept 2005. This album isn't the best representation of him in my opinion, but then again, this review is based off of listening to it twice. Maybe I'll like it in more time, but who knows.

I guess i would give it a 4 and 1/2 stars if i could, but I'll give him props where props are due.

Also Checkout: Konstantine by Something Corporate.
-J.Racelis

About Jack's Mannequin

Formerly known as the frontman for Something Corporate, a West Coast punk-pop quintet that garnered a modest following during the early 2000s, Andrew McMahon is also the piano-playing songwriter behind Jack's Mannequin. Utilizing the talents of numerous friends and collaborators (including Mötley Crüe percussionist Tommy Lee), McMahon began work on the collective's debut following Something Corporate's hiatus in 2004. The resulting Everything in Transit, a sunny pop/rock "concept album exploring his alienating return to the hometown he left to pursue his music," was released on Maverick Records in August 2005 to a positive critical response. Fans also approved of McMahon's new sound, and Everything in Transit debuted at number 37 on the Billboard album charts.

However, a supporting summer tour was canceled after McMahon was diagnosed with Acute Lymphatic Leukemia that same summer. He underwent a successful bone marrow transplant from his sister (for whom Something Corporate briefly reunited to record the song "Katie") and embarked on the long road to recovery.

As McMahon recovered, a video for the album's first single, "The Mixed Tape," began making waves on VH1 and MTV. Jack's Mannequin played sporadic shows in 2006, headlining a brief summer tour before serving as the opening act for O.A.R. on nation-wide dates. A repackaged version of Transit appeared that fall coupled with a bonus DVD, and the band returned to the studio in mid-2007 to begin work on a sophomore effort. McMahon graced the cover of Alternative Press in January 2008, while an article inside the music magazine hyped the upcoming Jack's Mannequin release as one of the most highly anticipated albums of 2008. Although originally scheduled for a summer release date, The Glass Passenger ultimately arrived that September. People and Things, the group's third studio album, was released on October 4, 2011. The first single, “My Racing Thoughts,” debuted earlier in the year. ~ James Christopher Monger & Andrew Leahey

ORIGIN
California
FORMED
2004

Songs

Albums

Videos

Listeners Also Bought