Song of the Day #119: ‘Flake’ – Jack Johnson

jackjohnsonJack Johnson is one of those artists who has written just one song and made a career out of recording it in slightly different ways.

OK, I say that with some degree of confidence, but the truth is I only own one full album of his (Brushfire Fairytales) and I’ve only heard a handful of songs apart from that album. So maybe he does things that are completely unexpected on the rest of his discography. But somehow I doubt it.

Of the various incarnations of the single Jack Johnson song, two stand out in my mind as the best of the bunch.

The first is ‘Upside Down,’ his Curious George theme song. I don’t care if it was written for the opening credits of a movie about a cartoon monkey… that song is damn good. It’s a crime that it wasn’t nominated for an Oscar, probably to make room for some syrupy Celine Dion schlock.

The second is today’s Song of the Day, ‘Flake.’ I don’t listen to Brushfire Fairytales very often, but every time I hear it I am drawn to this song. I’m not sure why because, as I said, it’s essentially the same as every other song on the album. But it works for me.

I particularly like the line “It seems to me that maybe pretty much always means no.” I imagine my daughters would identify very much with that sentiment.

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #119: ‘Flake’ – Jack Johnson

  1. Matt says:

    I was kind of waiting to see something from that show here, “No Other Way” is one of my favorites. I think lots of small things fall together in Jack’s music and makes it work. Plus the warm energy it brings about.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Dana says:

    There is, no doubt, a mellow acoustic sound that permeates through all of Johnson’s songs, but I disagree that he is recording one song in different variations. As with other acoustic artists, like Tracy Chapman, Indigo Girls, etc., the variations are there, but are more nuanced to discern. I suppose it kind of is like drinking wine–for some (like me) they all pretty much taste the same, but wine lovers can tell you the region and stray elements from one sip. So yes, all of Johnson’s music has a sameness about it, but there are sublte differences as well. And all of his songs can be digested like a 2008 Atlanta region cocal cola with ice.

  3. Amy says:

    I don’t know if they’re all the same or filled with all sorts of nuanced differences, and, truth is, I don’t care. He’s so damn pleasant to listen to that it doesn’t matter to me. That voice, that guitar, those lyrics all work together to create instant peace of mind. I put his album on often when my students are working in groups. There’s something about that “warm energy” that Matt mentions which makes everyone seem to behave more kindly towards one another. With the exception of the Curious George songs, I can’t begin to name or hum for you (God forbid) a single song from Brushfire Fairytale, but I certainly do enjoy them all. 🙂

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