State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Staff Pick – Music I’m Thankful For: Jack's Mannequin

When Andrew McMahon announced that Jack Mannequin’s show on November 11, 2012 would be the final show for the band, I think a little piece of me died. Formed in 2004, the band was a side project of Something Corporate’s frontman, Andrew McMahon. He decided to start writing his own songs and incorporate more personal and intimate thoughts into his music; music that was different than Something Corporate. Alas, this resulted in the formation of Jack’s Mannequin. In my eyes, the man could do no wrong so I downloaded Everything In Transit, Jack’s Mannequin’s first studio album. You could say it was love at first listen. Since the beginning you could feel his passion and emotion in every single word sung on each and every album.

I remember listening to every song on that CD and experiencing the full spectrum of emotions. “Holiday From Real” makes you wish you were lying on a beach in California basking in the sunshine without a care in the world (I wish) while “Rescued” is a painfully sad and pensive ballad which is handy if you ever need a good cry (seriously). I’m not going to go through every single song because I could go on for days, but I will add that I dubbed Andrew McMahon the master of piano melodies after listening to this album.

After finishing the Everything In Transit album, Andrew was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and was forced to cancel his tour and record promotions. This inspired more than a few of the songs on The Glass Passenger, Jack’s Mannequin’s second album which was released in 2008. The track entitled “Caves” opens with mesmerizing piano chords, but picks up half way through and tells of his struggle with cancer and his recovery. If I had to pick a song to represent courage, hope, perseverence and just never giving up, it would be “Swim”. Whenever I’m feeling down, angry, hurt, sad, depressed, this song never fails as a pick me up.

I won’t go over their latest and final album, People and Things, but I recommend listening to the tracks “Release Me” and “Platform Fire”.

As a final note, I will say that Jack’s Mannequin was possibly one of the greatest pop rock bands ever and I am extremely saddened over their decision to retire. However, I look forward to Andrew’s future endeavors as a musician as I’m sure they will be just as fantastic as Jack’s Mannequin.