Personnel includes: Jack Johnson (vocals, guitar, piano); Ben Harper (slide guitar); Merlo (bass); Adam Topol (drums, percussion); Tommy Jordan (steel drums).
Personnel: Jack Johnson (vocals, guitars, piano); Ben Harper (slide guitar); Adam Topol (drums, percussion).
Audio Remasterer: Bernie Grundman.
Jack Johnson, the multi-talented American guy who likes to surf and play music, makes an honest impression on his debut album, Brushfire Fairytales. He's not focused on any genre in particular, but stays close to acoustic simplicities. Ben Harper's producer, J.P. Plunier, lends a hand and perfects Johnson's basic songwriting into a charming and inviting soundscape of songs most personal to Johnson. It's poetically abrasive, especially on tracks like "Sexy Plexi" and "Fortunate Fool," but Jack Johnson is a regular guy and his most natural feelings are indeed candid. "Inaudible Melodies" is a bluesy mix of lazy harmonies and acoustical twitching, whereas "Flake" is an easy flow of American trad rock, quite similar to Dave Matthews, but echoing steel drums and Harper's blistering lap steel guitar make for an outstanding rock & roll romp. Johnson's voice, which is hauntingly like Wes Cunningham, makes Brushfire Fairytales a decent record. He's not noisy or gregarious. He's content with his new creative finding. He might chase waves in his other life, but his songwriting ways do make for something quite charming. [Brushfire Fairytales was also released on LP.] ~ MacKenzie Wilson
Q (11/02, p.103) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...It's laidback stuff, subtly melodious and really rather charming..."
Uncut (12/02, p.134) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Johnson's sensitivity is authentic, and there's a chilled freshness and a hip hop lite inflection to his vocals..."
Mojo (Publisher) (3/03, p.114) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Johnson's songs are wordy and subtly funky, his voice sinewy....Cool..."