Sound — 10
The new Jack's Mannequin CD is one of the best this year. Jack's Mannequin is basically Andrew McMahon's (of Something Corporate) side project and he uses a side project well. Which is more than you can say for Blink 182 members. His sound lightens up considerably, and he makes, well, a concept album! The CD was written while he and his girlfriend were falling apart, and after their break-up, and the lyrics are all about that. His piano features prominently on every track, along with Tommy Lee's guest drumming on most of them.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics progress from the first songs, which are pure love songs, down through a break-up to the end. They are even better than his lyrics with Something Corporate. Many may consider SoCo to be a horrible pop-punk band that is ruining the world of music, along with others, but Andrew serves his genre well, and his voice even seems slightly less whiny on the JM CD. Overall, you hardly even notice over the beautiful music and great lyrics.
Overall Impression — 10
01. Holiday From Real - poppy, SoCal song that could be a hit. Sing "F--k yeah" with Andrew at the top of your lungs. 02. The Mixed Tape - the first single, and an awesome but not overly corny love song. 03. Bruised - the song about the break-up, told in reality (and maybe in metaphor) of flying on an airplane. 04. I'm Ready - another SoCal beach song, with a good vibe and a great lyrical bridge. 05. La La Lie - one of the weaker tracks, with harmonica, another "doubting" song of someone who's been broken up with. 06. Dark Blue - the perfect, amazing song of this CD. Just try and not like it. 07. Miss Delaney - a song about getting together with an older woman, I think. She's cheating on her boyfriend. 08. Kill The Messenger - continues the storm of piano and good lyrics. 09. Rescued - the slowest song, a beautiful depressed ode. 10. MFEO Pt. 1, Made For Each Other - the first half of a two-part song (an idea stolen from Green Day, no doubt) that is poppy and cute. 11. MFEO Pt. 2, You Can Breathe - second part, more beautiful and slow and heartrending. 12. Into The Airwaves - the bonus chapter, as he calls it, that doesn't fit in as well to the CD but is still a great song. This CD is worth checking out, or maybe just buying straight out if you like SoCo or any pop-punk. It has a softer feel, possibly because of the piano, but it is one of the best releases of the year.