Jack’s Mannequin, a piano rock band that started as the side project of Something Corporate’s Andrew McMahon, formed in 2004. The band’s debut album, Everything In Transit, is definitely their best. This album features songs about McMahon’s homecoming, and the differences he faced upon arrival. The record shows you the unexpected journey of life, something McMahon himself understands; he was diagnosed with leukemia around the release of this album and had to cancel some of the Everything In Transit tour.
The first song on this album sums up the entire album’s purpose: to be a “Holiday From Real”. This whole concept is a great one, and McMahon’s ingenious lyrics shine in this song as he depicts this “holiday”. The rest of the album really stands true to this first song, and it was an excellent choice to grab the listener’s attention.
The most famous track on this album “The Mixed Tape”, has been ironically put on mixed CDs for the past 6 years, and rightfully so. This song has it all: the occasional soothing melody, a powerful chorus, and Andrew McMahon’s explosive voice, heavy with desperation. Later on the album, you hear the second most popular song, “Dark Blue”. This song features a very recognizable piano riff that leads into the simple melody that makes this song noteworthy. This song also includes the lyrics “have you ever been alone in a crowded room”, which is a feeling everyone can empathize with. The end of this song also has such an incredible build up; you can feel yourself getting more amped and involved in the song as it progresses.
“Rescued” is the slowest song on the record. This song has almost a complete instrumental focus on piano, with only a light incorporation of drums. However, as true to many Jack’s Mannequin songs, there is an intense buildup in the middle of the song until right before the end, where McMahon slows the song down again with soft and simple piano notes. McMahon’s passion at these moments is what makes Everything in Transit so powerful: the listener can tell he is really pouring his heart into every note.
Perhaps the most intricate song on the album is “MFEO: Part 1—Made For Each Other, Part 2—You Can Breathe”. Part 1 elaborates on the moments that never change over time, and the hopes of hanging onto these memories to help you get by forever. Part 2 depicts a romance, which elaborates on the “Made For Each Other” theme. At the end of this song, Andrew McMahon speaks directly to the listener. The end of “MFEO” makes it seem like the whole album was a personal experience, a creation made specifically for you. It makes the entirety of this record seem much more intimate, which is not a feeling you typically get when you finish listening to an album. The ability to convey this feeling is what makes Jack’s Mannequin such a unique and relatable band.