Jason Mraz – Love Is a Four Letter Word Jason Mraz – Love Is a Four Letter Word

It is widely known that I have been madly in love with Jason Mraz’s word-playing easy-going witty charm since “Waiting for my Rocket to Come”. Since then, Mraz has grown from his youthful charming quirky self to a more mature playful singer-songwriter in “We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things”. Of course, most people know him all-to-well for his the widely covered and radio smothered hit “I’m Yours”. I’ve been waiting for his new album to sneak up through the weeds this summer. And here we have it; Love is a Four Letter Word reached number two in Billboard 200 charts after its release. The album popped up in April selling over 102,000 copies in the first week, and remains in 17th squished between Train and Karmin.

Right from the first strum “The Freedom Song” has his usual smooth rolling lyrics paired up with a subtle reggae beat that rings true to Jason Mraz’s smooth pop-folk style. The entire album is soaked with love and romantic optimism, almost a little too much but what’s wrong with running from the Debbie D’s. No need to get down this summer, when you can relax to the soothing tone and softly vibrating vocals of Mr. A to Z. Already finding an album favorite, “I Won’t Give Up” catches my ear and replays in my mind. Easy to connect with, Mraz sings of an aging relationship and fighting against the changes to keep the candle burning with love. Of course, the cynics clap their hands over their ears, shake their heads, and throw paper at the screen, because to them it’s just not true to life. But hey, let’s be romantic for a moment and throw our hands in the air and sing, “I won’t give up on us, even if the skies get rough. I’m giving you all my love, I’m still looking up.”

“93 Million Miles” is another song that I’ve come back to several times. Mraz’s voice being a part of his charm, he gets me good when his unique vocals are matched up with the softly chirping bells and vibrant acoustic guitar. “Be Honest” featuring Inara George is one I can’t really figure out why I keep coming back again. The simple truth stated in the lyrics, “I don’t ask for much, just be honest with me,” resonates to the bone. But then the song’s sound has me imagining him standing in an outrageous tropical shirt with a typical Mraz hat as his background singers step side to side snapping and singing at a extravagant private pool party with a mix of strange people sipping martinis and ego rubbing their way to the pool side bar. Pretty sure he would puke at that delightful image, but he asked for honesty so there it is.

Behind all his Mraz eccentricities, the melodies are fresh and revitalized with new a feel and sound that differs from his past albums. Several of his songs actually remind me of Milow, a singer-songwriter from Belgium that I heard months ago and loved. With less witty wordplay and a boost in the chill factor, Love Is a Four Letter Word is okay to lounge around at a poolside barbecue to and would fit smoothly into a coffee shop playlist. But listening to the album all in one sitting, I find myself wanting to pick up the tempo and sneak in the up-beat charm of “Curbside Prophet” for ol’ time sake.

Track List
1. The Freedom Song
2. Living in the Moment
3. The Woman I Love
4. I Won’t Give Up
5. 5/6
6. Everything in Sound
7. 93 Million Miles
8. Frank D. Fixer
9. Who’s Think About You Now?
10. In Your Hands
11. Be Honest (Feat. Inara George)
12. The World As I See It

Jason Mraz - Love Is a Four Letter Word, reviewed by Alana Paige on 2012-05-11T13:48:36-07:00 rating 3.5 out of 5

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