Release Date: 10.15.02
Record label: Elektra / Asylum
Genre(s): Movies, Film Scores, Musicals, Etc.
Waiting and Ever Wasting
by: paul schrodt
He sits on a curbside, wearing a look of oblivion and a pin that proclaims, "I love sex." Adjacent to an unbefitting rooster, it's Jason Mraz on the cover of his debut album--not so innocent of being a cock himself. The good majority of Generation Y may find themselves gloriously bewildered, but for the remainder Waiting For My Rocket To Come can be simplified to second-rate snobbery with far more compositional skill than it deserves.
On Rocket, Mraz draws influences from a sort of egg basket of significant artists: Dave Matthews, David Gray and, less noticeably, Ani DiFranco. But for as many songs that honor its inspirations, cheap attitude fills the rest. When it's bad ("Too Much Food," "I'll Do Anything") Mraz's lyrics meander through foggy introspection like a dimwitted high school student who thinks they'd make a good columnist.
On the arrogant "Curbside Prophet," he lends his lack of rapping talent to the banjo-laden tune about being white and wearing his hat sideways, or something like that. To its end it doesn't have a brain in its hideous head, while gratuitous "cool" remarks like "I'm a down home brother, redneck undercover" and "raising a toast to the highway patrol" thrive.
Still, there's no doubt that Mraz was equally responsible for some of the disc's tastier offerings, which turn up as both more fun and sincere. Indeed, here cliché, glossy poprock becomes much less the artist's retreat than his savior. For hearts property of John Mayer, "You and I Both" and top single "The Remedy (I Won't Worry)" bring out Mraz's inner sweetie, whilst "Absolutely Zero" and the striking blues jazz track "The Boy's Gone"--both written by Mr. Jason alone--offer an intelligence he loses in the company of his recording playmates. Undecided and often too shameless for its own good, Waiting For My Rocket To Come narrowly escapes a good thing. 07-Oct-2003 8:20 AM