Release Date: May 13, 2008
Record label: Atlantic
Genre(s): Rock, Pop, Alternative
Out of the mellow folk-pop dudes who’ve surfed to stardom on Jack Johnson’s wave, Jason Mraz may be the most entertaining, since he’d rather crack a joke than ruminate on life and stuff. (When he mentions Jesus, it’s in the same verse as ”a party getting started in the yard.”) His third studio CD, We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things., includes pleasantly lightweight jams with beachy guitars (”Live High”), R&B horns (”Make It Mine”), even playful scat singing (”I’m Yours”).
Obsessed with carnality as he is, it was only a matter of time before Jason Mraz realized that it's better to sound sexy than to blather about it incessantly. This monumental moment arrives on his third album, We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things, easily his sleekest collection of sounds and his only album to contain a suggestion of seduction within its grooves. Actually, We Sing is Mraz's only album to actually groove, as he sets down his acoustic guitar for much of the album and rides along on smooth rhythms partially indebted to '80s blue-eyed soul by Hall & Oates and Steve Winwood -- in that sense, the album recalls John Mayer's Continuum -- but he relies more heavily on Thriller, mixing it up with some modern neo-soul that gives this a surprisingly soulful sound.
Review Summary: 30 year old pop-singer's reliance on his boyish appeal is growing thin. Still, if it works, run with it.Sometimes known as the geek in the pink, Jason Mraz is instead an artist who works in shades of grey. Not so much a metaphor for his music's mood, but rather its aesthetic; Mraz has always floated between labels, and for better or worse, the separation between sides has come to define him.