Jack Johnson recently revealed that his forthcoming album is a bit different; his sea-salt folk is being plugged in, a Dylan-esque move to the electric guitar. And he isn’t the only one in his tribe making this move.
But in plugging in, the trio erodes some of the beauty and eloquence that has shaped its past work. The driving “Royalty” and angular riffing of “Under the Southern Sky” reveal a Police-like take on reggae-rock, but defy the textures successfully captured on the first two Beautiful Girls releases, leaving thin constructions without much heart.
All isn’t lost on Ziggurats, though. Like the Tin Man in Oz, the band needs look no further than inside themselves – and their acoustic instruments – to reclaim the heart that has launched them to international success. Let’s just hope they find it soon.
Ziggurats is out now on Controlled Substance Sound Labs.