By Chuck Arnold Eileen Finan
February 18, 2008 12:00 PM

Sleep Through the Static |


“Sometimes it feels like a heart is no place to be singing from at all.” So sings Jack Johnson, sounding like someone has stolen his surfboard, on “All at Once,” the world-weary opener of his new album, Sleep Through the Static. He clearly has more on his mind than catching the perfect wave, venting about the war in Iraq on the title cut (“We went beyond where we should have gone”) and theorizing about natural disasters on “Losing Keys” (“The world has its ways to quiet us down”). But Johnson, for all his mellow charm, lacks the musical—and emotional—range to truly pull off this venture into deeper waters; much of it floats by without really sinking in.

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