When I imagine being stuck on a desert island, the primary emotions that come to mind are panic and angst. Panic obviously, because being stranded isn’t exactly my idea of a good time. And angst because, if left alone for too long, I will inevitably become an angst-ridden emotional wreck. But thankfully, Everything In Transit by Jack’s Mannequin is my fix for both of these feelings, and everything in between.
Everything In Transit is one of those albums that will never get old for me. I first listened to it in its entirety a few years ago, on the first of many trips away from the biting Minnesota wind to a week of sunny isolation in southern Florida. When I listen to it now, it takes me back to a place of memory, preserved dreamlike in my mind, where everything is a little more beautiful than it actually was.
Since the beginning, Andrew McMahon, former frontman of Jack’s Mannequin, has made it clear that Everything In Transit is a story: of growing up, of love and heartbreak, and of “faith in the universe and the opening of one’s eyes and heart so they might end up on the path for which they were intended”. And when I listen to it, I feel all of this at once. I feel the pain of leaving relationships at home, mixed with the joy of new friends in a faraway place. I taste the salt in the air and the rush as I realized I was growing up and starting to actively take part in the world around me. As these eleven songs flow through my headphones and my bloodstream, everything feels more colorful, more real, and I feel more like myself.
Formally, Everything In Transit is a perfect compilation of piano-based pop-rock with the occasional melodic ballad. It’s a nice in-between sound: whether I’m in a mellow mood or I want to dance around my bedroom, or hypothetically run around an island, it’s a perfect soundtrack. And as much as I would prefer not to be alone and in one place for an indefinite amount of time, as long as I have this piece of my life with me, it would be manageable.