To the Sea

To the Sea is the fifth studio album by singer-songwriter Jack Johnson, released on May 26, 2010 in Japan,[1] May 31, 2010 in the United Kingdom and June 1, 2010 in the United States, through Universal Republic Records and Brushfire Music Group.[2][3] The album debuted at number 1 in the United States, selling 243,000 copies in its first week.

To the Sea
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 1, 2010 (2010-06-01)
RecordedJanuary 19 – February 12, 2010
GenreFolk rock, soft rock
LabelBrushfire, Universal Republic
  • Jack Johnson
  • Merlo Podlewski
  • Zach Gill
  • Adam Topol
Jack Johnson chronology
En Concert
To the Sea
Jack Johnson and Friends - Best of Kokua Festival
Singles from To the Sea
  1. "You and Your Heart"
    Released: April 6, 2010
  2. "At or with Me"
    Released: September 2010
  3. "From the Clouds"
    Released: February 2011

Background and recordingEdit

On January 19, 2010, Johnson and his band reported that they had entered the studio to begin work on a new album, and on February 1, the band announced that their currently untitled fifth studio album was slated for a June 1 release, to be followed by a world tour.[4][5] The album was recorded over three weeks in Johnson's two solar-powered studios, The Mango Tree in Hawaii and the Solar Powered Plastic Plant in Los Angeles.[6][7] To the Sea was released on Johnson's own label, Brushfire Records, with the first single, "You and Your Heart", already released on radio and iTunes.[3][7][8]

In the album, Johnson used more instruments than before like electric guitar, organ, Wurlitzer and Mellotron.[9] Johnson said of the album's title "I guess it's a reference to a father leading his son to the sea, with the water representing the subconscious. So it's about trying to go beneath the surface and understand yourself".[7]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [10]
BLARE Magazine     [12]
Entertainment Weekly(B)[13]
The Guardian     [14]
The Independent     [15]
The Oakland Press(positive)[16]
Rolling Stone     [17]
MusicOMH     [18]
Ultimate Guitar(9.3/10)[19]          [20]

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 69, based on 12 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[21] Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic rated it four stars and commented: "Call it the signature of a surfer so bleached by the sun that he rushes nothing, but To the Sea substitutes the sunset strum-alongs of his earliest records for a sleek daytime sheen that might glimmer too brightly for hippies but it makes for a better overall pop record."[10] Mikael Wood from Entertainment Weekly gave a B grade and said that: "Here's another set of strummy beachside ballads from the most successful surf bum in history."[13] The Billboard review was positive, saying that: "A natural progression from 2008 release "Sleep Through the Static," the new set features more electric guitars and a brighter, full-band sound while still bringing plenty of singalong acoustic romanticism and breezy melodies."[22] Rolling Stone was favorable, saying: "On To the Sea, the 35-year-old surfer and filmmaker is still staring down adult fears. But this time he has made an existential chill-out record that feels substantial, at times even edgy, without feeling forced."[17]

Mike Diver from BBC Music analysed that: "Should he ever stretch himself as a musician the results could be fascinating – think The Beach Boys before Pet Sounds, and what they felt capable of afterwards – but right now he's operating in a comfort zone that should guarantee continued commercial success."[11] Margaret Wappler from the Los Angeles Times said: "It's the most genuine sentiment on a record from a simple but ambitious man whose real-life philanthropic and environmentally sound practices aim to soothe the world, one bro or surfer girl at a time."[23] Caroline Sullivan from The Guardian wrote: "Johnson treads lightly with his sunniness – he just lies in a metaphorical hammock and offers nuggets of wisdom, which sound deceptively meaningful, when illuminated by his pretty guitar work."[14] The BLARE Magazine review was positive, saying: "To the Sea shows his mindset as it's not particularly groundbreaking, but it's enough to make his down-to-earth, flip-flop-loving followers dig it. Upbeat tunes still float nearby while the honest gems that reveal his surfer heart are both depressing and warming enough to cap off that campfire with close friends at the beach."[12]


Johnson toured Australia and Europe in support of the album, with a North American tour starting on July 9 in Connecticut and concluding on October 14 at the Santa Barbara Bowl in California.[3]

Track listingEdit

All songs written and composed by Jack Johnson, except where noted.

  1. "You and Your Heart" – 3:13
  2. "To the Sea" – 3:30
  3. "No Good with Faces" – 3:31
  4. "At or With Me" – 3:58
  5. "When I Look Up" – 0:58
  6. "From the Clouds" – 3:05
  7. "My Little Girl" – 2:21
  8. "Turn Your Love" – 3:13
  9. "The Upsetter" – 3:50
  10. "Red Wine, Mistakes, Mythology" (lyrics: Johnson & Zach Gill, music: Johnson, Gill, Merlo Podlewski & Adam Topol) – 4:03
  11. "Pictures of People Taking Pictures" – 3:20
  12. "Anything but the Truth" – 2:54
  13. "Only the Ocean" (lyrics: Johnson, music: Johnson, Gill, Podlewski & Topol) – 3:40
iTunes bonus track
  1. "Better Together" (featuring Paula Fuga) – 4:15
Japanese bonus track
  1. "What You Thought You Need" (Live from Yokohama) – 4:17


  • Jack Johnson – vocals, guitar, ukulele, mellotron, percussion
  • Adam Topol – drums, percussion, glockenspiel, backup vocals
  • Merlo Podlewski – bass, percussion, backup vocals
  • Zach Gill – piano, wurlitzer, melodica, backup vocals, percussion
  • Paula Fuga – backup vocals on tracks 5, 8
  • G. Love – harmonica on 4, 10
  • Emmett Malloy – percussion & backup vocals on 10

The album was co-produced by Robert Carranza, Johnson, Podlewski, Gill and Topol, and engineered by Carranza.[24]

Chart positionsEdit

The album debuted at number 1 in the United Kingdom[citation needed] and at number 15 in Ireland.[citation needed] It debuted at number eight on the Oricon Albums Chart[25] and moved to number seven next week.[26]

In the United States, the album debuted atop the Billboard 200 with 243,000 copies sold in its first week, becoming Johnson's third number 1 on the chart.[citation needed] The album broke an eight-week-long streak of number 1 albums selling less than 200,000 copies.[citation needed] Overall, To the Sea is Johnson's fourth top 10 album on the chart.[27]


  1. ^ "ジャック・ジョンソン:トゥ・ザ・シー". Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  2. ^ Mugan, Chris (2010) "Jack Johnson Previews New Album Tracks in London", Spinner UK, 8 March 2010, retrieved 2010-04-06
  3. ^ a b c Holmes, Abby (2010) "Johnson's earth-friendly tour reaches the Gorge", Wenatchee World, April 2, 2010, retrieved 2010-04-03
  4. ^ "News & Press Archive". Jack Johnson Music. 2010-01-19. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  5. ^ "News & Press Archive". Jack Johnson Music. 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  6. ^ [1] Archived March 27, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ a b c Montgomery, James (2010) "Jack Johnson Reveals To The Sea Album Details", MTV, March 3, 2010, retrieved 2010-04-03
  8. ^ "News & Press Archive". Jack Johnson Music. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  9. ^ "Jack Johnson Plugs In for Electric New Disc 'To the Sea'". Rolling Stone Music. May 24, 2010. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Allmusic review".
  11. ^ a b "BBC review".
  12. ^ a b "BLARE Magazine review".
  13. ^ a b "Entertainment Weekly review". 2010-05-26.
  14. ^ a b Sullivan, Caroline (May 27, 2010). "The Guardian review". London.
  15. ^ Gill, Andy (May 28, 2010). "The Independent review". London.
  16. ^ "The Oakland Press review".
  17. ^ a b "Rolling Stone review".
  18. ^ "MusicOMH review".
  19. ^ "Ultimate Guitar review".
  20. ^ "To The Sea".
  21. ^ To The Sea Reviews at Metacritic Metacritic Retrieved 2011-03-23
  22. ^ "Billboard: Jack Johnson - To The Sea - Review".
  23. ^ "Album review: Jack Johnson's 'To the Sea'". Los Angeles Times.
  24. ^ CD Booklet
  25. ^ "検索結果- アーティスト/CD検索 Japanese Oricon Top 30 Albums". Oricon (in Japanese). Retrieved 2010-06-10.
  26. ^ a b "検索結果- アーティスト/CD検索 Japanese Oricon Top 30 Albums". Oricon (in Japanese). Retrieved 2010-06-10.
  27. ^ Jack Johnson's 'To The Sea Sets Sail At Nº 1 on the Billboard 200 "Billboard Biz" Retrieved 09-06-2010
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Jack Johnson - To The Sea". Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  29. ^ a b "To the Sea - Jack Johnson". Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  30. ^ "European Albums". Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  31. ^ "DEUTSCHE CHARTS - ALBEN TOP 10". Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  32. ^ "Jack Johnson - To The Sea". αCharts. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  33. ^ "JACK JOHNSON". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  34. ^ "Best of 2010 - Canadian Albums". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  35. ^ "VIVA Album Top 100". Archived from the original on 2011-01-08.
  36. ^ "RIANZ". RIANZ. Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  37. ^ "End Of Year Charts: 2010" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  38. ^ "Best of 2010 - Billboard Top 200". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2010-12-31.
  39. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2013 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 10 August 2020. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  40. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Jack Johnson – To the Sea". Music Canada. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  41. ^ "Latest Gold / Platinum Albums". Radioscope. 17 July 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  42. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Jack Johnson; 'To the Sea')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  43. ^ "British album certifications – Jack Johnson – To the Sea". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 26 May 2019. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type To the Sea in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  44. ^ "American album certifications – Jack Johnson – To the Sea". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 26 May 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.