November 15, 2007

Artist Comparison: Colbie Caillat and Jack Johnson


My first distinct memory of Jack Johnson was shortly after he released his first song on Brushfire Fairy Tales in 2001. I was driving up to Burlington with my mother and brother, and the song Bubble Toes was on the radio. It caught my ears, but I promptly forgot about the song and singer until his last album, 2005's In Between Dreams. Recently, I've come across another singer, who bears a fairly strong resemblence to Jack Johnson, Colbie Caillat, who has recently released her debut album, Coco. Interestingly, the title of her lead single is Bubbly.

Both singers are out of the West Coast of the United States, and have a couple of similarities between the two of them. Musically, they both play the guitar - Johnson is well known for it, and Caillat seems to follow his sound somewhat. Both have an extremely carefree sound that's perfect for a sunny, lazy afternoon when you really don't want to do anything (this is typically when I listen to either to any degree.) It's not that I don't like their music, it's just that I have to be in the right mood to listen. Both artists employ a fairly slow and deliberate pace that is pretty specific.

Subject-wise, they also have some similarities - a number of both of their songs are concerned with love and togetherness, or loss and longing. It's an extremely common theme in music, and while in some places it's just annoying, here it really works in a way without being whiny. Their sound and their fit really go well together.
I think that some of this has to do with their location - both singers seem to fill a bit of a cool-surfer, laid back persona (just look at both of their music videos), something that's generally associated with California or the islands of Hawaii. I'd bet that both artists would credit singer Jimmy Buffet to some degree with songs such as Margarittaville to their music, as it has the same, lazy feeling to it.

We Are Going To Be Friends (The White Stripes) - Jack Johnson
Realize - Colbie Caillat