A Good Friend Is Nice
In the six years since Jack Johnson and Jack Gilinsky first went viral on Vine—the now-defunct social media platform built around super-shortform video—the duo have savvily flipped social media stardom into a bona fide music career: They headlined the DigiTour concert series in 2014, released a string of hit singles (including their breakout, “Wild Life”), and opened for Shawn Mendes. All that hard work has led up to this, their first full-length album, which funnels their youthful energy into a sleek studio product. Big, hopeful pop duets (“Promise Me,” “No One Compares to You”) are the duo’s bread and butter, but their adventurousness is what makes the album so exciting. EDM-lite explorations play with horns and pitched flutes (“Rise,” “Lotta Love”), while rap interludes make for quick mood changes (“Pose” morphs from a ballad into a monologue about Hollywood socialites). The album’s low-key showstopper is “Barcelona,” a sentimental love letter to the one that got away. With subtle synth flourishes, chiming horns, and bars that pull from boy-band tradition (“I might’ve been in looove with you,” they croon), the song might just be smooth enough to get her back.