“People and Things” will definitely satisfy fans eager to hear more of the band Jack’s Mannequin’s signature sound.
The new album is polished, has a cohesive tone and is driven by upbeat, pop-rock tempos.
The band’s lead singer, Andrew McMahon, who also serves as the group’s songwriter, went through a battle with cancer in 2005. McMahon has said that the experience taught him to slow down and appreciate life—an inspiration for much of the album.
“People and Things” focuses on relationships, but not at all in the typical, cliché way. While in the midst of his battle with leukemia, McMahon let a lot of people slip out of his life, so this album served as a way to “make up for lost time.” Instead of building around Andrew’s piano and lyrics, as the band often relies on for their sound, Jack’s Mannequin decided to get out of the city scene to escape all of their possible distractions. They believe it gives the album a freer tone and helped them connect deeper as a band.
In light of the title, McMahon says that throughout these songs, he describes every day, average and sometimes mundane details of life. McMahon liked the idea of framing a record on those two very simple but relevant topics.
The single “My Racing Thoughts,”is about the waiting and timing involved in relationships and sets the tone for the entire album with the lyrics “I think I’m running low on inspiration.” The downfall of this album, may be just what that song describes. It is filled with the same sounds—song after song.
The album otherwise may be put together, but seems so produced and planned that it loses some edge. It’s easy to listen to, but the album doesn’t take any risks.
If this album was in a relationship with the listener, it would be stuck in the friend zone.