Jack's Mannequin

In this age of rock/punk bands with predictable melodic lines and poorly-written lyrics, it?s rare to find a unique band with talent. Although their music is reminiscent of many other influences, they add their own unique style to their instrumentation. This is obvious when listening to ?The Mixed Tape,? the first single released from their album Everything in Transit. The song starts out sounding like the beginning of any song by Simple Plan, but quickly blows you away with its mixture of rock music and piano solos.

Jack?s Mannequin doesn?t use the piano to turn their music from punk/rock to easy-listening. Their music manages to retain its identity without blowing out your eardrums or lulling you to sleep. Surprisingly, Jack?s Mannequin also manages to write lyrics with which anyone can identify. One of the best lines from ?The Mixed Tape? has to be: ?As I rearrange the songs again/This mix could burn a hole in anyone/But it was you I was thinking of.?

Unlike other bands that have released one promising single, then faded away into
oblivion, Jack?s Mannequin has a CD devoid of songs that you?ll skip over. The third track, ?Bruised,? sounds like Ben Folds, with a little bit of Yellowcard thrown in. The song?s lyrics are easy to identify with, such as ?Sometimes perfection can be/It can be perfect hell.?

Although the songs ?Bruised? and ?The Mixed Tape? are easily the highlights of album, the rest doesn?t peter out. Throughout the CD, the drumming by Tommy Lee stops most hints of repetition, which is appropriate when you consider what the album is based upon. Transit is devoted to chronicling lead singer Andrew McMahon?s teenage years while living in Southern California ? with a healthy dose of irony to fill the gaps. As he says in the song ?I?m Ready?: ?My life has become a boring pop song/And everyone?s singing along.?

Despite his assertion that his life has ?become a boring pop song,? Andrew McMahon definitely has enough going on in his personal life to ensure that it?s more than a flash in the pan. McMahon, the lead singer of both Jack?s Mannequin and the group Something Corporate, took some time off from the latter to work on Transit. After McMahon took a break to record, he was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukemia, according to an article published on vh1.com. Because of his treatments, he was too tired to record a video. As a result, he decided that the video for the first single off the CD, which is ?The Mixed Tape,? would be animated. McMahon was also undergoing a bone marrow transplant the week of August 23, the CD?s release date, so he was unable to publicize it.

In an interview with MTV News, McMahon said that ?we have a beautiful record that I love, and it helps me to be able to see something on the other side of this.? He is expected to make a full recovery. Until he does, many fans of Something Corporate and Jack?s Mannequin eagerly look forward to his next project.

Pratima Neti
Junior Staffwriter