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Jack’s Mannequin: People and Things — 4 out of 5 stars

Oct. 25, 2011

Updated Oct. 25, 2011 at 8:03 a.m.

Pop rock group Jack’s Mannequin does what it does best on its third album People and Things. The rich orchestrated tones of the piano as well as the electric vocals from lead singer Andrew McMahon carry this album.

The vocals come into focus and are by far the standout in People and Things. A little less piano and a little more Andrew leak out into the newest album.

The album’s first single “My Racing Thoughts” follows suit to previous singles such as “The Resolution.” Although not as punchy as the group’s first real hit, “Dark Blue,” the new single “My Racing Thoughts” still carries that nostalgic, reflective tone the band has become known for.

Much to the shock of the public, the band’s lead singer Andrew McMahon was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2005. Most artists would take a break after beating such a devastating disease, but instead McMahon went right back to work, releasing a new album three short years later with his feelings about his sickness at the forefront of his lyrics.

Tracks like “Hey Hey Hey (We’re All Gonna Die)” with the sing-along chorus of “Hey hey hey we’re all gonna die someday,” take on the dark notion of the inevitable while keeping with McMahon’s ability to write his real-life story into his music.

Another standout track, “Amy, I” shows a relationship gone wrong as the lyrics read, “Amy I’ve never felt this kind of cold before/ I may never feel this way again.”

The song for fans of the band’s “Miss Delany” on Jack’s debut album Everything in Transit is definitely “Amelia Jean.” It has that same angsty you-want-what-you-can’t-have feel that “Delany” brought out in the band’s first album.

Overall, People and Things is a well-crafted, well-written album that brings out the Jack’s Mannequin known and loved by fans everywhere. The album boasts all the same revealing, heart-wrenching music with a little less piano and a little more pop rock. People and Things will continue to satisfy Jack’s fans until the very last track. Then press repeat.

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