About a week ago, I was having a conversation with a friend about language it would be badass to learn next, and why. French was my first answer, and when I thought of bad-asses who spoke French, I thought about seeing Jason Mraz live, years ago, doing a French verse of one of his hits at the time (I believe it was The Remedy).
Naturally, my next move was to see what he’s been up to, and when he’s coming to town next. I found and acquired his latest album; Love is a Four Letter Word, released just a bit earlier this year.
An ironically timed album for love and life, it takes several battles in love and puts them to music beautifully. From the perfect love dedication song and groovy intro track, The Freedom Song, to the thirteenth and hidden track, I’m Coming Over, the album stands up well, and left a few lessons for the fellas in that miasma.
I Won’t Give Up is the first favorite and fourth track on the album. It was also the first single, having dropped on January 3rd of this year. The song follows Jason through what is hinted at as a post breakup plea to make the right choice. With odds not being in his favor, he wants to wait it out for his love, set to beautiful strings and piano and rounded bass. The song closes out with a lighthearted instrumental section and final ode, of course leaving that pins and needles feeling behind it.
Right afterword, 5/6 is a checklist for keeping a lover happy, or running away to keep all your precious time. Right off the bat, the odd timing keeps the groove nice and smooth, the questions jazzy and sly. This is the sound I remember from the beginning, and I’m glad he keeps it intact with little touches, as the sharp organ notes do throughout the song. This was easily the best harmonizing and instrumental-ism on the album.
Who’s Thinking About You Now? sits perfectly arranged with piano, low bass, and a little bit of funk on the guitars to hang with the violins. The song tells the story of Jason asking some real questions to the the apple of his eye, and is praying she feels something. He wrote a lyric I thought was quite clever, and it made it my favorite on the album:
When you’re sleeping, darling when you’re next to me,
I scan you like a credit card, connecting freckles like I do the stars
The best part of all his new work will definitely lie in his live show. For my fellow Angelinos, that will be at the Hollywood Bowl on October 10th. I expect to see everyone there fully trained in singing along to one of the funniest and best love dedication songs out there, You Fckn Did It. Tenacious D would be proud.
Until next time my friends,