Release Date: Apr 17, 2012
Record label: Atlantic
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter
"I see a sunset on the beach, yeah/It makes me feel calm," sings Jason Mraz on his new album. For Mraz, calm is the goal, of life and of music. Inspired, perhaps, by the massive success of his lite-reggae anthem "I'm Yours," he's added more world-music textures to his folk pop, and turned up the blissed-out vibes on Love Is a Four Letter Word. ("Living my life/Easy and breezy/Peace in my mind," he croons in "Living for the Moment.") He's a Gen-Y version of Jimmy Buffett, with booze and boats replaced by veganism and yoga.
Underneath his tongue-twisting wordplay, Jason Mraz fancies himself a loverman -- and given that his greatest success came from the sticky sentiment of "I'm Yours," who can blame him for thinking this way? Nevertheless, he's never made a full-blown makeout record until Love Is a Four Letter Word, an album steeped in '70s soul. Mraz doesn't neglect his acoustic guitar nor does he abandon his showy verbal gymnastics, but apart from a cut or two -- including "I Won't Give Up," the album's first single -- they're buried underneath stacks of luxurious strings and thick, insistent grooves, touches that tie the record together with elegance. Mr.
Once merely a funny-hat-wearing antidote to John Mayer’s Serious Rock Guy poses, Mraz has accrued a major fan base thanks to hits like ”I’m Yours” and ”I Won’t Give Up.” Many of the hacky-sacking grooves on his fourth album settle for snoozy gentility. But he tiptoes the line on Love Is a Four Letter Word between hammock-strung wisdom and twee naïveté with such goofball charisma that otherwise forgettable love-each-other-doodles like ”Everything Is Sound” become sweetly breezy anthems. B Best Tracks:Sly, jazzy 5/6Colorful Frank D.
Twenty two seconds. That’s all it takes Jason Mraz to get back to the type of acoustic guitar pop reggae upstrokes that made “I’m Yours” 2008’s unavoidable mega-hit on his latest set, Love Is a Four Letter Word. That’s it. A mere 22 seconds. Not even half a minute. A few lines, some ….
"Ipicture something, it's beautiful/ It's full of life and it is all blue" are the first words on Jason Mraz's fourth album, confirming that here is a songwriter who rarely suffers songwriterly afflictions such as self-loathing or uncertainty. Mraz's perpetual optimism – displayed to its sweetest effect on the 2008 hit I'm Yours – is even more pronounced here. Written in the aftermath of a relationship, its 12 songs percolate with hope – Living in the Moment even starts with whistling.
Given that his 2008 breakthrough was courtesy of the anaemic cod-reggae of "I'm Yours", it would have been unreasonable to expect Jason Mraz's fourth album to be a carnival of envelope-pushing thrills, but even by his own standards this is stupefyingly insipid and pedestrian fare. He's not helped by clunking lyrics that alternate between the ludicrous ("We are spiralling down in gravity" bravely reimagines Newton) and the banal ("In Your Hands" is a veritable thesaurus of break-up cliches). Ultimately, it's hard to decide which grates more – the insanely happy upbeat songs or the wistful, dreary ones, but the truly excruciating chorus of "Everything Is Sound (La La La)" just clinches it for the former.
Pick your poison: the simp or the cad. Being held through the night or getting a high five on the way out the door. Warm and fuzzy or cold and brusque. Pretty lies or ugly truth. Jason Mraz, well, he would never hurt you. That’s been clear for years, but never more so than on his 2008 hit “I.
Mraz’s easy on the ear material has progressed subtly, without upsetting day-one devotees. Mike Diver 2012 Jason Mraz is a cheery looking chap. You’d be too, if your previous albums collected enough platinum discs to keep Chilean miners in fresh chupallas until the sun swells red and devours us all. But his glass-half-full demeanour doesn’t always translate on studio releases, which perhaps explains the extensive live catalogue he’s already built up.