Jack Johnson Makes Music for Monkey

Culture Writer
The Arbiter Online, Boise State University

Jack Johnson, who’s released a plethora of albums since his debut in 2000, including “Brushfire Fairytales,” “On and On,” and “In Between Dreams,” has yet another to add to his ever loved, and multiplying list of accomplishments. Johnson, who collaborated with a cluster of other talented musicians, including friends like Ben Harper, G. Love, and Matt Costa, worked on the soundtrack for the cartoon movie “Curious George.”

The album, titled, “Jack Johnson and Friends: Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the film Curious George” is a melange different song types. This album brings together tracks such as “The Three R’s Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” and “The Sharing Song,” for his younger fans, while sparking new hits currently getting radio play, like “Upside Down,” and a cover of “We’re going to be Friends.” (Originally preformed by The White Stripes.)

With lush guitar strokes, and a steady drumbeat, Johnson sings in “Upside Down,” “I want to turn the whole thing upside down/ I’ll find the things they say just can’t be found/ I’ll share this love I have with everyone/ We’ll sing and dance to mother nature’s song/ I don’t want this feeling to go away.”

In the more juvenile song, called “The Sharing Song,” Johnson sings, “It’s always more fun to share with everyone/ If you’ve got a ball/ Bounce it to the gang/ If there’s a new kid/ Invite him out to hang/ If you’ve got one sandwich/ Cut that thing in half-”

In one of my personal favorite songs on the album, “Lullaby,” Johnson and friends sing, “When you’re so lonely lying in bed/ Night’s closed it’s eyes but you can’t rest your head/ Everyone’s sleeping all through the house/ Wish you could dream but forgot to somehow/ Sing this lullaby to yourself.”

Ben Harper, who’s known for songs such as “Burn One Down,” and “Please Bleed” contributed “With My Own Two Hands” to the “Curious George” soundtrack, which was originally on his album “Diamonds on the Inside.” In this song, Harper sings a positive message to Curious George fans, “I can change the world/ With my own two hands/ Make it a better place/ With my own two hands.”

Final ruling: Jack Johnson devotees, and those with small children who want a positive musical influence should check out “Jack Johnson and Friends: Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the film Curious George.”