Utilizing the talents of numerous friends and collaborators, McMahon began work on the collective’s debut in 2004. The resulting Everything in Transit, a “concept album exploring his alienating return to the hometown he left to pursue his music,” was released on Maverick Records in August of 2005 to a positive response from fans and critics alike. A supporting summer tour was cancelled after McMahon was subsequently diagnosed with Acute Lymphatic Leukemia that June; he underwent a successful bone marrow transplant (from his sister) in October.
As he recovered, a video for the album’s first single, “The Mixed Tape,” was beginning to make waves on VH1 and MTV. Jack’s Mannequin began playing sporadic shows in 2006, including a brief summer headlining tour before serving as openers for O.A.R. on nationwide dates. A repackaged version of Transit appeared that fall coupled with a bonus DVD.