Jack Johnson

September Sessions/O.S.T.

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As well as being a notable singer/songwriter with a growing legion of fans behind him, Jack Johnson occasionally finds himself behind a film camera, too. Perhaps due to his incredible success in 2002, Johnson has released the soundtrack to his The September Sessions, featuring himself as well as a number of his like-minded musician friends. Far and away the nicest tracks here, though, are those by Johnson. His earnest voice and gentle guitar playing are truly mesmerizing, even when covering Jimmy Buffett's "Pirate Looks at 40." This one, like others on the soundtrack, was recorded before the release of the film and is actually taken from Johnson's live session at KFOG studios. It's so up-front and honest that, if you listen close enough, you'll hear the studio phone ringing in the background. Other outstanding songs include Greyboy's "Grey's Groove," a funky soul-jazz number, and the rastafied "Super Sundae Bowl" by Ozomatli. As well, Bombay the Hard Way's "Ganges a Go-Go" revs things up with its Bollywood-meets-Carnaby Street brass and tambourine combination. Sadly, the band assembled exclusively for the soundtrack, the September Sessions Band, doesn't provide much other than some bland, rootsy funk that negatively offsets the much more suitable contributions from the disc's known quantities. The September Sessions isn't near as interesting as Johnson's Brushfire Fairytales solo effort, but overall it's still a decent compilation of what are sure to be some of his favorite tracks leading up to the release of the film.

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