Artist of the Month: Jack’s Mannequin

Jack’s Mannequin. Do I really need to say anything more here?

I consider myself a person like everyone else, and I take my time writing my records because I feel like it captures more of who I am. You have a much greater chance of hitting on themes and points…that could play into someone else’s life in a larger way.” – Andrew McMahon

When I started thinking about what I wanted to do for Press Play Fridays, I not only wanted to introduce you to new artists and music, but to artists that I love or artists that I can reintroduce you to. So, for Artist Of The Month, I want a celebration for the artist. To send the streamers and paper confetti flying! Not only will we be celebrating their music, but what makes them, them; their voice, their style, their attitude toward their music, etc. To begin this journey, we’re going to get to know the artist a little bit more. It’s going to be fun, you’ll see.

And for this first Artist Of The Month, I could think of non-other than a person and musician that I admire and love. His name might be Andrew, and he might be a real flesh and blood human, but he is still Jack’s Mannequin.

This is Behind The Music (Insert some awesome background music here): Jack’s Mannequin.

After being the front man and piano man of three Something Corporate albums, Andrew McMahon decided that it was time to bring it back home to southern California. In an attempt to slow things down and get back to his roots, Andrew starting writing songs for what would be Jack’s Mannequin debut album Everything In Transit. “I just wanted to get things off my chest. I wasn’t planning to do anything with these songs except record them” (Source).

Then as the writing process was ending, Andrew was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Though caught in the early stages, this specific type of leukemia was rare for someone of Andrews age. Over time, Andrew received different treatments, including a stem cell transplant from his sister Katie. In December of 2005 the transplant was deemed successful and Andrew began to perform again after several months. Andrew remains in remission today.

At the same time Andrew was dealing with his diagnosis, Everything In Transit hit stores in August of ’05. “From spirited songs about living life to its fullest to gut-wrenching ballads on hopeless despair, Everything in Transit explores the complete emotional spectrum, taking you along on a journey that will make you both smile and cry, sometimes even in the same song” (Source). Songs like The Mixed Tape, M.F.E.O, and Dark Blue have become songs of a generation (Well, I think of them that way). “Everything in Transit is one of the best pop rock records I have ever heard, and is further testament as to why Andrew McMahon is the one of the greatest songwriters of our generation. Everything in Transit is an album that will make you laugh, cry, and truly appreciate life . . . ” (Source).

After continually touring the states, Jack’s Mannequin released their sophomore album, The Glass Passenger in 2008. “McMahon’s voice captures the longing of youth, the uncertainty of the future, and the optimism of a California afternoon. You can’t help but feel mentally and emotionally attached to each of the unknown “characters” in the lyrics, as the combination of the vocals, musical arrangement, and arresting lyrics rope the listener into a world not too dissimilar from their own. McMahon’s skill as a lyricist is evident from his earlier work with Something Corporate and as the years have gone by, he proves that this is a gift that continues to expand and flourish.The entire album is a reminder of how much the art of music is so fully intertwined with life, love, and our interactions with the people and the world around us” (Source). The first single off the album was The Resolution, an uplifting and inspiring testament to survival.

After his battle with leukemia, Andrew understood that their was a large demographic of young adults battling cancer without the proper treatment or research needed for them. In 2006 he founded the Dear Jack Foundation in an effort to grow more awareness for cancer research and raise money to help young adults and their families who are battling with the disease. Andrew is continually working with charities to advance cancer research. Now, in 2010 Andrew is working once more to blow our minds with amazing music. The new album is expected to be out later this year.

This has been a presentation by Kim the FanGirl.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programing!

Hey! Welcome back! I hoped you enjoyed Behind The Music. Next week, we’re going to explore the music of Jack’s Mannequin. So if you have any favorite Jack’s Mannequin songs be sure to request them in the comments!

See you on Monday! – Kim

* Authors Note: Though we will be featuring Jack’s Mannequin all this month on the blog, I will still be featuring new artists and music for you to discover. These posts will most likely be posted on Tuesdays. If you have any recommendations for me be sure to put them in the comments!

For more Kim the FanGirl follow the blog on Twitter @kimthefangirl and on Facebook

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