Produced by Jimmy Messer (Kelly Clarkson), South Carolina singer/songwriter Trevor Hall's fourth studio album, Everything Everytime Everywhere, moves further away from the acoustic roots reggae sound that saw him initially labeled as the dreadlocked Jack Johnson. The follow-up to 2009's self-titled effort is still drenched in the sounds of the summer, whether it's the lilting beachside pop of opener "The Return," the hushed stripped-back folk of "Te Amo," or the jaunty "Different Hunger," which blends infectious ska beats, carnival-style brass, and children's chanting before merging into a chilled-out slice of reggae-blues, while the universal themes of love and acceptance remain his dominant ideology. But its 11 tracks are slightly more polished than his previous output, an approach that might draw in those intrigued by his Shrek 3 soundtrack contribution, "Other Ways," but one that sometimes sits at odds with his gutsy and impassioned vocals. Indeed, the dirty basslines, nagging rock & roll riffs, and guest vocal from Jamaican dancehall artist Cherine Anderson on "Fire," the country-tinged guitar twangs and handclaps of closer "The Mountain," and the grungy rap of "Dr. Seuss," which owes more than a nod to touring partner Matisyahu (whose former guitarist Aaron Dugan appears here), all successfully experiment without ever compromising his rootsy sound. But the formulaic Matchbox Twenty-esque alt-rock of "Brand New Day" and "The Love Wouldn't Die" sound like calculated efforts to score that elusive radio-friendly crossover hit, removing any traces of Hall's personality in the process. But despite the odd lapses into generic territory, it's difficult to resist the uplifting charms of a heartfelt and sun-kissed record that oozes optimism from every pore.
AllMusic Review by Jon O'Brien