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Everything In Transit (Bonus Track Version)

Jack's Mannequin

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Album Review

If Andrew McMahon is the Ben Folds of Something Corporate, then his side project Jack's Mannequin is his Fear of Pop, his opportunity to step out of the group and try something different. Except in McMahon's case, it isn't so much fear of pop as much as an embrace of pop, since he sheds the loud guitars and punky overtones of his main band for a sunny, unabashedly tuneful Californian pop on Jack's Mannequin's debut album, Everything in Transit. In truth, it's not all that far removed from his contributions to Something Corporate, which were also tightly written and tuneful, but it sounds truer to his artistic inclinations than either of SC's studio albums, since underneath its guise as a loose concept album about a year of turbulent relationships on Venice Beach, it's a full-blown singer/songwriter piano-pop album. More than ever, on Everything in Transit McMahon sounds like the heir to Ben Folds' wise-ass interpretation of Joe Jackson, but McMahon isn't as cynical or goofy as Folds. His humor is sardonic and low-key, plus he's more concerned with affairs of the heart. Although he relies a little bit too heavily on first-person narratives, he has a keener eye for character and behavior than his emo peers, and he's a better tunesmith, too, not just content to write hooks, but taking the time to let the music build and breathe. With producer Jim Wirt, McMahon has given Everything in Transit an appropriately colorful, even cinematic, scope and, thanks to drums provided by Tommy Lee (who proves here that he's a more versatile drummer than he ever did in Mötley Crüe), it also has strong backbone. So the album has momentum, but it's as sweetly melancholy as a fading summer, yet not nearly as transient as that, either. It really shouldn't work — it's a conceptual power pop album, delivered by an emo songwriter, backed by an aging metalhead, and co-produced by a guy who gave Hoobastank hits — but the result is one of the more pleasant surprises of 2005. It's good enough that it makes you hope that McMahon makes Jack's Mannequin his full-time band. [Everything in Transit was also released in a clean version, containing no profanities.]

Customer Reviews

Better Than Any Other Music Out There? You Betcha!

For years now I have been claiming that Something Corporate's "Leaving Through The Window" album, Andrew McMahon's other band, was the best cd of all time, hands down. After coutless hours of "Everything In Transit" playing everywhere I go, I might have to take away that hands down part. Jack's Mannequin's debut album is so incredible that you can't help but fall in love with it. Every song is perfect. 1. "Holiday From Real" - I dont know how this can be but this is probably the worst song on the cd. How? I don't know. Thats how good the others are. However, this song is fun and awesome to listen to. Its a real treat. 2. "The Mixed Tape" - The song that everyones heard. Nothing to say but, wow. 3. "Bruised" - In my top three for the album. A disco-y type of song with great lyrics and lots of passion. 4. "I'm Ready" - Awesome tune. "And every word you say, say something sweet, cause all i taste is blood between my teeth". Kind of a theme song. A motivator. 5. "La La Lie" - Sing-a-long everyone! Sooooo much fun. 6. "Dark Blue" - One of the two songs that had to grow on me. However I am ow obsessed with it now. The lyrics are incredible especially when he gets to the bridge when he starts to say "we were boxing". Phenomenal. 7. "Miss Delaney" - A dance song. A song about wanting a girl but not having her. "Its biblical how f***ed my sleep can be, but she won't sleep with me". So awesome. 8. "Kill The Messenger" - If you are a true Something Corporate fan this was the first song you heard by JM. A great listen at first because it was something new by Andrew. When I got the album, it was probably my least favorite, but now I cant say that especially after seeing it performed live. So much passion in this song. 9. "Rescued" - I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this is my favorite song on the album. So sad and so incredibly beautiful. 10. MFEO - A two-parter. The first part is all poppy which will grow on you and the second part titled "You Can Breathe" is sensational, especially after seeing it live. Absoultely stunning. 11. "Into The Airwaves" - My second favorite song. You wil be singing this song all day. A great closing song. I'm not going to comment on "Lonely For Her" because its not on the actual cd, just on the iTunes one. I believe that it takes away from the album because it doesnt really fit with th others because the album itself is a a story and the ending of the story is at "Into The Airwaves". However "Lonely For Her" is very good. Jack's Mannequin is one of those bands that come around every once in a while that should be the hugest thing in the world but isnt and thats ok. I love it that they dont play JM or even SoCo for that matter on the radio. It kind of makes the band more of a "fan's band" not a "media mainstream band". Buy this now. Perfect from start to finish.

I'll Send This Message Through the Speakers

Earlier this year, Ben Fold's released a relatively serious album in Songs for Silverman thus leaving the smart-alec pop genre without a leader. First out the cannon to try to grab the crown is Jack's Mannequin. The band is the brainchild of Something Corporate's keyboard player, Andrew McMahon. Tommy Lee makes appearance on the album paying back McMahon who contributed to Lee's recently released Tommyland: The Ride. Musically, Jack's Mannequin's debut album, Everything in Transit, sounds like a combination of early Weezer without the loud guitars mixed with The Beach Boys without the harmonies. The album starts off with Holiday From Real, a bouncy song that could fit on any Ben Folds Five album and anthem for any slacker, "But if you left it up to me, everyday would be a holiday from real." The next song is a topic very close to my heart, The Mixed Tape. Unlike McMahon, I can't write and perform my feelings, but like him, with a mix tape, "It's like I wrote every note with my own fingers." To keep with the nerd rock theme, he pulls a talking interlude during I'm Ready just like Nada Surf did in Popular. And I'm Ready brings up interesting social issues too, "I put on the same clothes I wore yesterday. When did society decide that we had to change and wash a tee shirt after every individual use: If it's not dirty, I'm gonna wear it." Preach on brother McMahon, I've been wondering that for years. At the end of the rant he says, "My life has become a boring pop song and everyone's singing along." There he is wrong, as he is making some the best pop music in a while ands we should all sing along. The best song to sing along to on the album La La Lie, which talks a fun approach to the musical scale that seem to frequent pop songs. Even when MFEO parts 1 & 2 run for eight minutes, the song never seem to drag on at any point. One misstep is Dark Blue where the chorus doesn't come together for me. I can't get into this song just yet. The slowed down Rescued doesn't quite fit on the album either. It's not necessarily a bad song, but it sticks out from the other bouncy songs on the album.

Refreshingly Emotional Perfection

"Everything in Transit" stirs up emotions both sad and hopeful, relying heavily on the voice of singer Andrew McMahon, which is always rich with feeling. Appealing to both fans of Something Corporate, as well as those looking for a refreshing taste of the early-2000's emo boom in general, Jack's Mannequin features well-written and catchy lyrics. The pop/emo rhythms make nearly every track one to listen to over and over, and indeed, you'll find yourself going through this album daily. In full. Not an album to miss.


Formed: 2004 in California

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

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...
Full Bio
Everything In Transit (Bonus Track Version), Jack's Mannequin
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Customer Ratings