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September 14, 2009 | by  | in News |
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Exhaustive study concludes Jack Johnson singing about “good times”

A massive study spanning 5 years, 15 universities, and almost 2000 ethnomusicologists has concluded that popular solo artist Jack Johnson sings predominantly about having good times.

Spearheaded by Victoria University’s School of Music, in conjunction with the London School of Music, the exhaustive analysis of Johnson’s songs and lyrics concluded “overwhelmingly” that the singer-songwriter famous for his breezy tunes and pretty sweet beats does in fact produce breezy tunes with some pretty sweet beats.

Over the last half-decade, the study assigned dedicated teams of experienced academics to preen Johnson’s music with a fine-tooth comb for its inner meaning.

A “War Room” established at Victoria’s School of Music was covered in rolls of newssheet where researchers would spend hours, sometimes days, scribbling Johnson’s lyrics across in an attempt to unravel their intricacies.

A guest researcher from the London School of Music established a base camp, equipped with a three-person tent and full cooking facilities, besides one wall brandishing lyrics from Johnson’s 2006 single ‘Upside Down’.

“It became one of the most trying intellectual quagmires of my career,” the researcher explained.

“It’s like he’s tapped into a well of sweetness that’s, quite amazingly, pretty chill. Understanding this was one of the most exhausting experiences of my 40-year career.”

The study laid to rest the belief the docile surfer from Hawaii primarily focused on “decent times” and “semi-cool beats.”

“That’s simply not the case,” noted study chair-person Professor Ron Dyer.

“Speculation that Jack Johnson is responsible for performing music about anything other than good times has been unfairly bandied about. What we’ve proven is that he is, quite conclusively, singing about times that are pretty sweet and chill, which is pretty chilled out and sweet.”

As part of the study, researchers were assigned to beaches the length and breadth of Northern California where they would play songs from Johnson’s complex discography and measure the reaction of those around them.

The study showed that nearly “99 percent” of the time, a circle of relaxed 20-something surfers and college students would arrive, light a small bonfire, and sway along with the music long into the night.

“I’ve met more blond-haired college girls called Ashley on San Francisco’s North Beach than I ever thought possible, all because of their love for Jack Johnson’s pretty chilled and sweet beats,” another researcher told Salient.

“Man, the vibes were so good, and that bonfire burned so long. It was so sweet and chill.”

An unexpected twist came early into the study when all 2000 researchers began sporting short-sleeved light-coloured polo shirts and sandals to work, regardless of what weather conditions were outside.

“Johnson became a part of our everyday lives, man,” Research Assistant Mark Webber explained.

“It was like, ‘Woah. Dude, I can’t believe how sweet these beats are. Man, good times are so sweet’. My bro Jack’s got my back and the sun is shining.”

Johnson himself was unavailable for comment, but a spokesperson did invite Salient down to the beach to catch some “sweet” waves and relax with “some peeps” later on.

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